Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Tuesday at the Tate Britain and a Little Afternoon Tea

Traditional breakfast
See the flowers on the eggs?
Having survived a full day out and about, Rob and I were ready to tackle our Tuesday.  I had rescheduled our Afternoon Tea for Tuesday (originally scheduled for Sunday) but we had other plans for the morning. Specifically:  The Tate Britain.

But first, we had breakfast and I chose the traditional British breakfast, complete with beans and black pudding.  It was a lot and I have to say I was surprised by how bland the black pudding is.  Disappointing only because it was not at all what I had expected. 

The museum had been recommended to us by my stepsister, although she may have meant the Tate Modern.  It doesn’t matter because we had a wonderful time, exploring the individual rooms.  A few of them were quite warm, one so much so that I stepped into it, glanced around and, not seeing anything that grabbed my immediate attention, I stepped back out.  Rob saw, then followed, my example.  But missing out on one or two rooms was not enough to keep us from having an amazing experience.  And Rob obliged me by allowing me to drag him up to the Blake exhibit. I was surprised and enchanted to see some of the pages I have only seen in books.

We saw this sign on our walk
to the Tate Britain
I had planned for this to be our morning experience and then we were going to slip into Westminster Abbey before going to the hotel.  We never went, walking by because Rob wanted to get back to the hotel and rest a bit before we had Afternoon Tea. 

The tea was lovely, from bottom to top.  Rob and I each ate taking turns, sharing our thoughts.  We were the only ones in the room and Giorgio, the young man who was so wonderful serving me drinks and canapés my first night at the hotel, was there being attentive to our needs.  The sandwiches were larger than I had expected and so delicious.  As always, everything was served with flowers.  Yay!  The scones were served with clotted cream and jam, no lemon curd.  Apparently it is not necessarily traditional to have curd, depends somewhat on where you are, what part of England, etc.  See?  I learned things while in London.

So pretty.
So yummy.
The desserts at the top were elegant with a clear jelly topped with a berry purée, a Battenburg cake (so pretty), a small fruit tart, and a sponge cake.  It was all so elegant but Rob and I were sort of goofy, having so much fun, and not being the least bit dignified.  Thankfully, because we were alone in the Library, we didn’t embarrass our nation before witnesses. 

After tea, I decided to take a bath.  My legs were in a lot of pain from all of the walking and even Rob, whose work keeps him walking and standing most of the time.  I had thought maybe I was hurting so much due to lack of exercise and, while I won’t imply it isn’t part of why I was so uncomfortable, I took some comfort knowing Rob was experiencing some pain as well.  He decided to go to the store and buy some ibuprofen.  Because of his delicate stomach, he asked for some with coating.  The pharmacist reached behind him and pulled out a box of ibuprofen with codeine. 

Apparently, you can buy codeine over the counter in England, something neither of us had expected.  A friend of mine had actually encouraged me to do just this—go to a drug store and see what drugs they have that we can’t get here in the US and bring them home with me.  I guess I’m too conservative and straight-edge (something of which nobody would EVER accuse me) because I had no interest in trying to sneak illicit drugs into the country, even if they are OTC in the country I’m leaving.

Now, I could have happily skipped dinner, had some canapés in the Library and been done for the night.  Rob, however, wanted to go out and eat so off we went to find another place to have something to eat.  We ended up finding a place that is probably a chain.  It had that “chain” vibe.  It was very noisy, crowded, and offered some traditional options. Rob ordered a steak pie and I ordered a chicken one.  But I was not impressed.  The afternoon tea was more impressive and satisfying. 

I went to bed, knowing I had eaten entirely too much for the day and looking forward to tomorrow because we had big plans for the next day, plans I had been dreaming of since I was a little girl.


  1. Sounds like a great day. Westminster Abbey was one of my favorites though.

    1. I do wish we had gone and we probably would have if Rob hadn't been so sick upon our arrival. That illness had a domino effect on the rest of the trip that was simply unavoidable. :(

  2. What a beautiful tea! I'm so glad that you managed to have that experience in spite of the glitches in your itinerary.

    1. You and me both, Joy. And there is a future afternoon tea blog post coming in the next few days, I'm sure, because I didn't quite share everything about the trip. :)