I have a confession. I still miss London. It’s kind of hard not to. And it’s not only because the trip was so fantastic, but also because I am given daily nudges that poke at me and say, “Hey, Remember London?” On television, coverage for the 2012 summer Olympics has already begun and every store I go seems to have London on the brain too. London luggage, London t-shirts, London “cuppa” tea. I’ve even started seeing “Keep Calm and Carry On” on merchandise!
What to do, though? I knew I couldn’t just hop on the next flight to London, but I knew there had to be a way to bring a little taste of London to me. Finally, it hit me. A tea house opened near me shortly before I went on my trip. I would go, bask in the British tradition and have high tea. I’d imagine I was in London, even for an afternoon.
(In London, after tiers of food were devoured).
First, let me describe what high tea is like in London (at least the one time I went). Pure sophistication. Elegance. A pot of tea for each person—flavors you’ve never even heard of. Finger sandwiches of salmon and cream cheese, ham and cheese, cucumber and cheese, egg salad. Dainty cakes to devour in an instant. Freshly baked scones served with specialty jams and softened butter. And the grand finale—as if this wasn’t pleasant enough? A glass of champagne to sip on while you mentally calculate the next time you’ll be able to go.
Now I know this isn’t London, but I was going to a “tea house” so I felt optimistic. I was excited about if for days. My mother and I arrived eager to choose our teas and nibble on our mini treats.
Here’s what happened:
Mini sandwiches not available, would we like wraps? Have tea, but would you prefer wine? The wraps are okay, but the cheese and olive plate is better. Have the cheese and olive plate. You know you want the cheese and olive plate. And you can’t have tea with cheese and olives so have wine instead. The wine is a much better choice…with the cheese and olive plate.
I felt as though we were being brainwashed, ambushed out of high tea. I wanted to shout, “Bloody hell!” or “Bollocks!” or something equally British in my British accent that was aching to come out. But I was perplexed or hypnotized and found myself smiling, nodding, agreeing.
We did ask for a glass of champagne instead of the wine so maybe that counts for something at an imposter tea house? Not sure how that works.
So I’m desperately missing London and now in search of genuine high tea, but I may simply have to wait until I return to London to get the real deal.
I can live with that. 🙂
Thanks for the almost high tea. It was still a fun afternoon!