Review of NYBG Wonderland

Review of the NYBG Wonderland Exhibit and Afternoon Tea. The exhibit runs through October 27, 2024.

NYBG Wonderland Exhibit

In June, I joined members of my local botanic garden, Clark Botanic Garden, for a visit to a much bigger nearby garden–the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG).

Traci Levy by New York Botanical Garden's (NYBG) "Wonderland" Curious Nature" sign. Traci is wearing green and purple glasses, a straw hat, and a pink shirt. Scenes from Alice and Wonderland are on the sign--the Mad Hatter, a teacup with a mouse in it, etc.

A guide led us through their their Wonderland: Curious Nature plant exhibit. Afterwards, we enjoyed an afternoon tea. The story of Alice in Wonderland inspired both experiences.

The plant exhibit was beautiful and thoughtfully curated. You start by walking through a Victorian garden–the world Alice belonged to before going through the rabbit hole. Then, you walk through a door representing the rabbit hole. Fantastic, almost otherworldly plants great you on the other side. I saw so many wonderful plants and flowers!

The Amazon water lily pads and the spotted begonias were among my favorites! Read more for garden and afternoon tea photos…

Review of NYBG Wonderland Tea Party

After touring the beautiful exhibits and riding the tram through the garden on an unusually hot day, afternoon tea in an air-conditioned dining room was very welcome.

There was lovely mismatched china, white tablecloths, an array of salads, and tiered tea trays with sandwiches, cookies, and tiny cakes. (I believe there is room to customize the menu, so selections could vary.)

There were whimsical touches, too–like a kitten creamer and Alice-themed cookies. I enjoyed the round cookies that said “eat me” and admired the bottle-shaped cookies that said “drink me.” (Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of the bottle cookies.)

On the table, there was an assortment of tea and tisanes from Mem Tea. I had a really lovely time. The staff were very kind and attentive and the food was fresh and tasty. I enjoyed chatting with the other garden members on my trip.

If I could point out one area for improvement for this afternoon tea, it would be how the tea was served. Hot water was put into teapots for us to pour into our cups with our chosen tea bag. The problem is the hot water was put out long before tea was served. Thus, it wasn’t really as hot as you would ideally want it to steep black or herbal teas.

Closing Thoughts

All in all, it was a wonderful experience. I’d like to extend a hearty thanks to the members at Clark Botanic Garden who organized this trip and inspired me to write this review of the NYBG Wonderland exhibit and tea.

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