I have officially found my favorite London tradition.
Now, I’ve never really considered myself to be a “tea” person, but not liking tea in England is like blasphemy, right? Plus, I like to think I’m an open-minded person. So I decided to try Earl Grey tea when CAPA took us out for afternoon tea two weeks ago and now I’m completely and utterly in love with Mr. Earl Grey and the entire afternoon tea experience!
In London, afternoon tea usually consists of tea (obviously), small sandwiches, scones, and desserts. A lot of hotels serve it, but I’ve seen entire restaurants devoted to tea and even a traveling tea tour bus. Yesterday after my Com303 class, some of my flatmates and I were going to have afternoon tea at the Orangery by Kensington Palace, but it was booked for an event. It worked out perfectly though because we ended up on the doorstep of the Milestone Hotel.
Even though we got there at closing time, everyone was super friendly and brought us into a cozy room that looked like it was transported straight from an old London home. It had wall-sized bookshelves, bay windows, couches as the seating, and Beatles music playing overhead. Once most of the other guests had left (which we think included a politician or ambassador because one of the staff members kept saying how honored he was to meet him!), the overhead music turned off and we got our own personal pianist.
Not only was the food completely and utterly adorable, but it tasted amazing too.
The food I’ve eaten in London has really varied. Due to convenience and healthiness, my meals have usually consisted of Tesco and Sainsbury products (London’s main grocery stores). Sainsbury’s pesto pasta is highly addictive and the UK’s candy bars never fail to make me smile.
In Clerkenwell, I’ve explored a little bit, but I’m finding it hard to stray from my American roots. My internship lets me have an hour-long lunch break, so I said I was going to use it to try new foods and be adventurous. So far, I’ve been to Paul (a cafe with AMAZING briochettes), Subway (sorry), Starbucks (sorry again), Pixxa (owned by an Italian family), and Noodles Express (a Malaysian restaurant where they serve noodles in ginormous bowls). Okay, so I haven’t been particularly adventurous, but I still have to explore!