Afternoon tea. It once was the preserve (apologies for the pun) of high society ladies and has of the last few years been reinstated as a luxurious way to spend quality time with people that you adore. So, no surprise then that when I was recently invited to try the new Spring tea at an old favourite, the Conrad London St. James (then known as the Intercontinental Westminster)…
Disclaimer: I was honoured to be a guest of afternoontea.co.uk to review the beautiful Conrad St. James.
… and I heard that a good friend of mine was using up some annual leave that I enticed her out to sample it with me for an early evening tete a tete.
This may surprise you, but allegedly London is one of the greenest cities in the world. The reason? The Royal Parks which are under The Queen’s protection, and the small but mighty patches of green that fit slip between the brick edifices like The Quince Tree Cafe at Clifton Nurseries.
At first glance, this is just another garden centre, curved around the corner from Warwick Avenue underground station, snugged between two terraced houses.
Four years ago (how on earth has that time disappeared so quickly?) we excitedly booked our first – of many – visits to Lady Dinah’s Cat Cafe. It was a wintery Saturday evening – because that was the only time they had free in about 3 months of searching – and I gathered together a couple of my nearest & dearest, and we enjoyed a pawfect evening petting the kitties.
Warning: If you don’t like cats, this probably isn’t the right post for you – there are a plethora of other interesting afternoon tea posts in this blog though. However, it may be the right post for someone you love. Like all of the bemused guys with their girlfriends…
It was a dark and stormy day. Two bloggers braved the sheeting rain and dodged puddles as they made their way to the wilds of Paddington for an afternoon tea, relaxing after busy weeks. They (eventually) slipped into the hotel entrance (cleverly disguised by being called Roseate House) for an afternoon of cosiness.
I was meeting with the one and only Country Mouse Claire, as a late, late birthday catch up (for her – not me, even I don’t have the courage to claim that months afterwards – six weeks is my limit so far).
** Warning: this blog post contains an afternoon tea metaphor so tightly stretched that it might explode. It even flavours this warning.**
When I first moved to the UK, I wanted to avoid the antipodean cliches. I didn’t want to live in a share house with half a dozen Kiwis and Aussies, I didn’t want to drink away my weekends and approach Mondays with an empty wallet and a dozen regrets, I didn’t want my life to be contained between the three areas of Shepherds Bush, Fulham and Clapham.
I wanted to find the mystical Europe that haunted my dreams, I wanted to escape everything that I thought I knew and make connections with real British people whose culture was so different to mine. I only had two years (or so I thought) and I simply didn’t want to waste them.