Paws down, this is the cutest afternoon tea I've ever done. Ever. And I shan't be apologising for the litany of puns about to litter this post. #Sorrynotsorry
As my date for the day is still rather young, he also brought his gorgeous Momma (one of our Aqua Kyoto bottomless brunch blog addicts - if you haven't been, you need to get there soon), and the utterly delicious Momma-to-be MontgomeryFest overlord for an afternoon of squealing, pinky raising, scone banter and a cheeky glass of champagne.
This is how expats do (not quite) Mothers Day in case you ever wondered.
Well, some of them.
My love for animals is fairly well documented, so when I discovered that a beautiful hotel in a gorgeous part of London had a doggy afternoon tea, all I had to do was entice a few of my favorite people to accompany me and lure our fetching date out with the promise of woofles. I mean scones.
Met with the wagging tail of Olly (our two-year old collie cross, bow-tie clad date rescued from Battersea Dog and Cats home) closely followed by Christina and Annie, we were seated in the bar of the 5-star luxury boutique Egerton Hotel, our table ready for an onslaught of expats. My voice was a little bit Husky with a cold, but feeling Ruff was worth the visit. Boom tch!
It was paw-fection.
It wouldn't be a London building without a dash of ridiculously amazing history. No. 17 and No. 19 Egerton Terrace now stand on what was part of an 84-acre parcel of land left in trust in 1627 by Henry Smith, Alderman of the City of London, ‘for the relief and ransom of poor captives being slaves under Turkish pirates’. Of course it was.
Having passed through a few hands, it's now a 28-room oasis of opulence in the heart of Kensington. Pups and their owners gather here both on the weekend (and to stay obviously) to while away a few hours of indulgence. After ordering our tea and clinking our glasses, out came our stands, one for the ladies and one for our gentlepup.
And out came the squealing photographs.
He was so, so patient with us. As were the lovely staff who fussed over Olly almost as much as we did - and in true luxury hotel style kept chatting to him by name all afternoon.
For the humans, we enjoyed selection of mouth-watering sandwiches (all of the traditional fare - cucumber and cream cheese, coronation chicken, a salmon on walnut bread and egg with a flaked almond crumb), freshly baked scones with Devonshire clotted cream and choice of preserves, toffee caramel cupcakes, chocolate orange brownie slivers, lemon and poppy seed gateaux, blackberry stuffed macaron, apple and blackberry crumble with a delectable coffee undertone and spiced pumpkin and plum tart.
All homemade, served with endless lashing of individually potted tea and the cutest of fellow diners.
Just. Look. At. These. Cuties. (Above and below.)
However, I did have one moment of terrifying indecision that I've never had to face in my *too long to admit* time period of afternoon tea addiction - there are two schools of thought on the Jam/Cream or Cream/Jam debate, but what do you do when the cream is served with irresistable slices of fresh strawberry?
My photos aren't the best as I was too busy trying to steal Olly cuddles, but I feel that the sacrifice was worth it a hundred times over. We had a howling good time being whined and dined.