Having a birthday when you’re in London, for my mum, means High Tea somewhere lovely…
Yes, today is her birthday and she gets to celebrate with high tea at the Kensington Hotel. We’ll be joining our friends in the afternoon, but before that we thought it would be fun to go to the Toy Museum – Pollock’s Toy Museum to be precise.
I originally found the place last year online while looking for the old fashioned paper cutout theatres from the 1800s. I have one I bought years ago when I went up to Haworth (of Brontë fame) with Helen, one of our friends who lives in the UK that we’re having tea with. But I wanted to see if there were other theatres available out there. The one we have came with a script for “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” and it’s lovely, but I thought there might be some other theatre styles and other scripts that would be nice to have – should I ever get the chance to teach again and for my own enjoyment with AEB.
It was charming. It’s off the beaten path, or at least off most of the usual paths I’ve taken in years past in this wonderful city.
Then it was off to have high tea with our friends! Talk about a “Comedy of Errors”, though no sets of twins were involved it did rather seem as if we were dealing with an hotel where the right hand had no idea what the left had was doing. We checked in the the maître d’ and were told to wait for a few minutes. A few minutes became ten which became almost an hour before we sorted out what was going on. We were promised high tea in the restaurant, except the restaurant was being set up for an evening event for 100 people. We were not informed of this when we’d come in person to book the tea yesterday. Finally we were able to speak with management to sort things to our satisfaction, but the service was very slow and the waiters seemed not too terribly attentive to when we were finished each of the courses. Oh well, we’ll be laughing about it all for years to come. And mum had a nice time and that’s what really counts.
The only issue other than the wait and the wait staff was that the tea was of a Steve McQueen theme so the tea stand was looking very modern with silver spray on a cone of black sesame seed cone with pate and chutney, very tasty but the silver got all over one’s fingers. The poached quail egg was sprayed with gold spray. The tea cake was covered in a deep purple/blue fondant with blueberry filling, but it was a bit of a disappointment in that we had though perhaps they were dipped in dark chocolate. Oh well! However, the Ceylon tea was excellent and so was the company. AEB says that the Chamomile tea was lovely, too. So it wasn’t a total wash of an experience and they gave up champers to cut the bad taste in our mouths from the bad start to it all and brought mum out a lovely display of macaroon biscuits with a candle on a slate with “Happy Birthday” scrawled on it.
This evening our small reunion group will meet up with our final member who lives and works in London – lucky girl, for all the expense of living here. I’m very much looking forward to it.