Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Tea for Three and no sugar for me

At the moment I am trying to cut down on refined sugar i.e. stop eating my own weight in chocolate every day. I imagine this will lead very rapidly to taut abdominals off which any interested parties could bounce a tennis ball, clear skin, and possibly a fairly intense degree of spiritual enlightenment. This is a jolly good job as in the meantime it is miserable and at the moment I would wrestle anyone to the ground if they walked past me with a Kit Kat. Even if they looked really hard.
Mad gnomic posters. Non placet = it does not please
At the weekend however I did overdose a little bit on sugar so you would have thought I would have built up reserves or something. I went to London with my mum and Aunty Kath and we had afternoon tea at the Cadogan Hotel on Sloane Street.
Tea, champagne and sandwiches = top meal
Whenever I go to London with my mum and Aunty Kath it is like a glimpse into how the other half live as, understandably, what they like to do is stride fearlessly up and down Bond Street and posh places criticising the merchandise, whereas when I go alone I spend most of my time mooching thoughtfully round occult bookshops in Bloomsbury, in my hairy coat. I do sometimes feel that every moment my Aunty Kath spends not heading an expedition up the Nile or similar is a moment wasted, as I have never met anyone so impervious to exhaustion, thirst, hunger or the lassitude that comes upon you suddenly when you find yourself in Harvey Nichols lost in the luxury leather goods department. Her masterful fending off of the very determined Man In Charge Of Perfume in Fortnum and Mason on our last visit was a sight to behold, as was this weekend’s Expression When Confronted With An Overpriced Glass Lampshade in Portobello Market. Do not mess with someone who has been studying the Miller Guide to Antiques since you were drinking Cherry B in a kaftan, lampshade lady, do not mess.
Aunty Kath, fixing my mother with a glance to keep her under control
Anyway I pretended to my mother that we were going there rather than the Ritz because the Cadogan Hotel has an exciting history (it is where Oscar Wilde was arrested, I don’t actually know if that’s exciting or depressing), but this was not quite true. I booked the Cadogan because it was the only place I could find which did afternoon tea for a reasonable charge. Afternoon tea seems to have become quite big business recently, and if you go to one of the big hotels on Mayfair you can be paying £44 per person. That does seem quite a lot to me (because, you know, I could feed us on a week for that), but, I imagine the tea is quite a production, because ours certainly was. It was very nice.
Buns! Scones! Macaroons! Spun sugar! We are refined so we paced ourselves and did not snarfle it all down in one
We had sandwiches, scones, little sweet nibbly petit-fours things and an Earl Grey cheesecake in a glass. It was all delicious, and we had a choice of tea, and a free glass of champagne. The hotel was absolutely full of groups of ladies having tea, but was not crowded, and there was a nice atmosphere. I enjoyed it very much. My mother was a little bit unsure at first because the gents toilets were being renovated and had a dustsheet outside, yes, you did read that correctly, but, it was alright, after she had drunk her champagne she thought no more about dustsheets.
I have now had my champagne and will forgive them their unsightly renovations
Perhaps I might institute gracious living and Afternoon Tea in my own life. I might put my Yorkshire Tea for Hard Water teabag in a nice cup and have a small snack in the afternoons. Might it involve refined sugar? Readers, I think I may crack.


The Gingerbread Lady said...

Haha! Loved this post! You Aunt Kath and my Aunt Maureen ought to get together. They'd have that bothersome North African crisis sorted out in no time with a few lashes of the Evil Eye and a round of smacked bums.

Marushka C. said...

I was going to sympathize about the sugar withdrawal because I have been one week dessert-free myself, but I am laughing too hard. Loved this one. You are lucky to have these two women in your life!