I did a lot of very British things today. First up: afternoon tea with all the fixins!
A small group of my classmates and I trouped through drenching rain to the Strand Palace Hotel Lounge to enjoy this leisurely day, which had begun with one of our tours getting cancelled. The tea included cucumber sandwiches, salmon sandwiches, tomato sandwiches, and egg salad sandwiches (all tiny and with the crusts dutifully cut off), mounds of scones, and the lovely looking tarts and other assorted pastries you see above. We could choose which tea to drink and ordered assam and Earl Grey—Twinings loose. For £13 each, all this was delivered, on three of the layered trays seen in the photo, and with seemingly unlimited refills of the warming tea. There was enough for all seven of us to have one or two (or more) of everything; I know I felt like I’d eaten quite heartily by the end. The service was efficient and amiable, the atmosphere bright and relaxing, and it definitely served to ease all of our homework-frazzled, travel-addled brains.
You may know Billy Elliot from the film, but I assure you—you haven’t really seen it until you’ve seen the actors, both precocious child and weathered adult, give their all onstage in song and dance. Amazing, fluid, angry, emotional, funny, touching dance. They really were awe-some, particularly the main child actors portraying Billy and Michael, his best friend. I thought of my parents often during this performance, as I think both of them would find it highly enjoyable. My dad because of his long involvement with labor and his own steelworker’s union; my mom because of her love for musicals and the original movie.
I finished up the evening with a classmate, taking the tube to SoHo and navigating the rest of the way back to our flats. We passed many a theatre and club, pubs, and even a few sex shops. Best of all, though, was the late night dim sum that I stopped for. I confess that I’ve never had dim sum until tonight. I got the vegetable steamed buns, which were excellent, and the pan-fried vegetarian bean curd rolls, which were just okay. Even though my tummy felt slightly upset afterwards, I’m still game to try more dim sum in the near future.
- Vintage Tea In Time For Ladies Day At Newbury Racecourse (thefoodielist.co.uk)
- Cucumber Tea Sandwiches (blogher.com)