I love tea. My son has running joke about how I once said in one of the low points of my life “tea is the only thing that makes me happy.” I said that while warding off my daughter’s attempt to grab my tea.
So it came to as no surprise to my daughter that a “High Tea” was on my list of priorities when visiting London. My daughter is a savvy budget traveler. Not eager to pay the hefty prices I had settled for, she a found a moderately priced “High Tea” at the “Orangerie” in Kensington. It was off a busy street, nestled behind Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace. What a royal setting!
We walked through the gardens, entered the “Orangerie” and asked to be seated at a table with a garden view. After looking at the menu, we selected the cheapest offering. We talked to the server about my daughter’s citrus food allergies and I asked about vegetarian options. To our surprise, the server said my daughter would have to talk to the manager before ordering food. The manager had a serious but cordial discussion with my daughter about available food options and the possibility of cross contamination. After she agreed on substitutions, she ordered her food.
When the food arrived I reminded the server that I was vegetarian. A few minutes later a side platter of delightful sandwiches arrived. We had the most flavorful mint tea seeped in mint leaves. Looking at the elegant setting and our food my daughter remarked that she didn’t know any guys who would enjoy a “High Tea.” I made a mental note to add this my checklist of things for her potential suitors!
I was really happy with the tea, sandwiches, scones and desserts. My daughter didn’t think the food was extraordinary stating that is was not like the brunches in America. Of course not, I thought, there is nothing like a fine English High Tea! After all even now in the best of times “tea is one of the things that really makes me happy.”