If there's one thing I like, it's tea. Sit me in a comfy, high-backed armchair in front of a silver tower of petit fours and fresh pots of tea on hand and I'll happily while away the hours, whatever the weather. Which is incidentally, exactly what happened the other Tuesday.
Whilst of course there are the flashy and ostentatious (The Savoy, Cafe Royal, The Ritz), I love sometimes treating afternoon tea less as a special occasion and more as a post shopping pitstop, an 'everyday treat' (perhaps why I'd left the house wearing all but brow pencil and a tinted moisturiser!) - made all the more viable by choosing affordable spots like this.
After quite the steep climb up Barnett Hill, F and I arrived at a little plateau atop the hill, on which stands quite the most gorgeous, Victorian building. With not another soul to be seen and aching to flex my hidden exploratory talents (I came first in orienteering at secondary school don't you know!), I had to take a look around the grounds, which are a delightful mesh of pathways, sculpted lawns and shrubbery.
We felt a couple of spots of rain (England..) so hurried inside the vestry, in search of tea and cakes, and found ourselves to be pretty much the only bodies frequenting the building - bliss. This place is gorgeous - equally as ornate on the inside as it's exterior, with the classic Victorian chequer-tiled floor, white, paneled walls and specks of chartreuse here and there for a modern touch.
I went for a good Earl Grey (my staple unless they have fresh mint or rose tea), to swill down the quite delicious scones, laden with cream and jam. I love how nebulous milk looks when poured into tea. Are you a cream or jam first person by the way? I feel I've struck the perfect balance by marbling them together ;)
With bellies full (seriously full..), I couldn't help but wander down the corridor (F in tow) in the direction of the library, when I stumbled (quite literally) upon this stairwell..
I had to tame my fervent excitement with a little sit down in the library and a pensive stare out of the window ;)
Nothing flash nor flamboyant, but a cosy, informal little spot to while away a few hours with a loved one.
Let me know, what are your favourite getaway spots for a quiet afternoon?
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