Monday, August 8, 2011


Last week I had a friend staying with me for a few days and thought it would be nice for her to meet some of my new friends. So I contacted a few of my supper club friends and arranged an afternoon tea at a local restaurant. Formerly Dock Gate 4, it has gone under a remarkable makeover, and is now called Grand Cafe.

I loved the new decor. Lots of black and white zebra covered chairs, jewel coloured cushions, fantastic eclectic styled lights and I was happy to see the wallpaper I have on my guest room wall adorning some of the walls of the restaurant. How cool must I be?
The decor divided our group. I think you either will love it or hate it. I loved it.

But the decor was not why we had come, it was to enjoy an afternoon tea with friends. There is something really nice sitting around a beautifully set table, chatting and catching up with old friends, while at the same time meeting new people. One of my friends had a Spanish lady with her and she was just loving the very English experience of enjoying afternoon tea. I think we forget just how special traditions like these are. I think it is important to keep them going, and I am happy to see they seem to be very much in fashion at the moment.

We were seated in a lovely alcove at a large table covered in white linen. We were seven ladies in all and all eagerly looking forward to our afternoon tea. A couple of the ladies requested coffee, so wrong, so UN- English but it was brought without fuss or questioning. The rest of us had pots of tea brought to the table, and of course we all enjoyed a glass of champagne. Just to make the event really special.

The sandwiches, scones and cakes arrived on traditional tierd plates. Bowls of clotted cream and fresh strawberries sat alongside the scones. Smoked salmon, egg, prawns, ham and mustard and cheese sandwiches adorned the bottom tier, cakes and pastries the middle tier and the scones and accompaniments on top. It all looked very tempting. Soon we were all tucking in. So now we were doing what we girls love doing best, enjoying lovely food with good friends and loving every minute of it.

As we were leaving we decided we must make a habit of continuing this tradition of taking afternoon tea together. I look forward to doing it again soon.

Maybe I will even organise one in my home. Break out the white table linen and best china for the occasion. Yes I think I will, and soon.


Nicola said...

That looks like such a lovely spread! Glad you enjoyed it x

Coby said...

There's something about a starched table cloth.....did you have a favourite from the selection of tasty tidbits Jacqui? Often a simple sandwich when done perfectly is enough to make me swoon:D

Jacqui said...

Funny you should mention a well made sandwich, I just love a simple smoked salmon on brown bread, crusts cut off. Something decadent about it. Very tasty.

Mo said...

It was indeed a most enjoyable occasion. So refined and traditional. Cetainly beats a quick coffee in Starbucks! Not so keen on my hamster-look in the photo! Think you caught me with a mouth full of sandwich! I love sandwiches too!