(A fine English Tradition)
My friend retired recently and I wanted to do something a little different, so as a surprise we went for afternoon tea in a posh hotel.
It was a beautiful Autumnal day and the colour of the trees was stunning, the photos don’t do it justice, and the sun was shining which made it extra special.
After what seemed like an endless tree-lined driveway, the stunning mansion came into full view like something from a Disney film. It dates from 1170 but was demolished and rebuilt in 1615, this took 21 years to complete. In the early 1900s, there would have been 100 servants and 20 gardeners.
The Queen visited Crewe Hall with the Duke of Edinburgh in 1955.
We sat in large sofa’s with a low table for the food. First, the waitress offered a selection of teas, it’s always traditional for me and at home, I probably drink six cups per day. It’s a comfort thing, in England a lot of problems are sorted with a cup of tea. It’s the first thing I do in the morning and any visitors are always greeted with ‘Come in and have a cup of tea.
If there’s bad news or a shock,… what do we do?……. exactly, make a brew, maybe with some sugar or a dash of brandy!
I like my tea strong with just a little milk but every person is very individual about how they like their tea.
How do you like your tea?
The first course was a selection of sandwiches with the crusts cut off. There was a beautiful sorbet with fresh strawberries, scones with jam and cream, and finally tiny cakes to finish off. We didn’t consider the calories, we could walk them off later!
The only criticism is that the teacups, saucers, and plates could have been more ornate, either more delicate china or a handpainted decoration. We were only a few miles away from Royal Doulton who are famous for making fine china.
There was more than enough for three of us and they offered us a little box to take home what we couldn’t eat. We were brought a fresh teapot every fifteen minutes with a little timer to show when the tea was ready to pour.
This is the ceiling of the restaurant and the sun shone through some of the most beautiful stained glass windows. I couldn’t help but think about the amount of cleaning involved, no wonder they needed one hundred servants! A massive fireplace took pride of place making a warm and relaxing atmosphere.
My friend was thrilled with her surprise. She has worked hard all her life and now it is her turn to sample the finer things in life. Retirement is a very hard adjustment to make and many are overwhelmed by the vast ocean of time stretching ahead.We spend a great deal of our time working, raising a family, juggling finances and running a home.
Its important to take time out and just live in the moment.
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