Afternoon tea is perhaps, a British institution. Of course, it involves tea, and nowadays there’s a wider choice of tea than you really need.
To keep to tradition we stuck with traditional English Breakfast loose leaf tea. (I wonder why there isn’t Traditional English Afternoon Tea? Let me know if there is.) I’m not sure that any of the variety of herbal infusion tea-bags would have cut it for a true experience. Our tea was accompanied by a round of sandwiches (including cucumber, and egg), warm scones with cream and jam and a selection of pastries and cakes.
Once we got the hang of the tea pots and agreed that we didn’t need the tea strainers because of the in-built filter, all was good. Naturally it was a very formal occasion and the waiters were attentive to our every need, and, naturally, we were suspicious of the potential increase to the bill for any additions. We had nothing to fear, and after working our way through the pile of goodies we made our way back onto the busy streets.
As is traditional for a day in the city we were heading to a matinee show in the West End and what better way to get there than to ride a London bus. On decision like this it soon becomes obvious that it’s not as easy to do as it seems. The first bus stop we tried was no good, but we did get a chance to check out how to buy tickets. With some local knowledge we changed streets and the information board showed our destination. A few seconds later and along came the number 11 bus. A rush to buy tickets and we hopped on board and on my insistence to the front seats of the upper deck (the best seats on the bus). We tried not to worry about the slow pace and the amount of traffic that seemed to stretch ahead. The journey doubled as a sightseeing excursion as we went past Trafalgar Square, saw the Union Jacks along the Mall, part the end of Downing Street and on to Victoria.
The stop was announced digitally and we wobbled down the steps and onto the street.
I was glad to be a tourist in my own town.