Now I know this is a gardening blog but today I'm doing a food review. There were roses on the table so maybe that's justification but who cares! Philip says I need to be more personal in my scribblings and let you faithful readers into our lives. Well today I spent a delightful hour at a local coffee shop, Expresso Cielo in Palm Springs. They had started a new event 'high tea' and I went with my friend Jim. Now you may wonder why I was so fickle as not to go with my husband Philip but as he has a wheat intolerance, he couldn't have eaten any of the lovely foods, so hence accompanying Jim. The term 'high tea' is slightly confusing, as to me this meant the family meal after work or school when I was a kid with something cooked, bread and jam and cake - usually served sitting up at the kitchen table! Today's delicate confection was more afternoon tea, such as would be served in Downton Abbey but I understand that the terms are nowadays often interchangeable!
Anyway - the tables were set perfectly with bone china, shiny milk and sugar containers, the aforementioned roses and napkins folded into flower shapes in the cups. Michael, the proprietor and his team were dressed in peacock blue waistcoats (vests). There was a choice of teas including a good strong English Breakfast, served in a proper teapot. The food was served on a three tier cake-stand - Quentin Crisp eat your heart out! Tiny sandwiches all in different shapes with delicate flavours, tiny round scones with jam and real clotted cream, and on the top layer, perfect little two-bite cakes. Scrumptious!
Many years ago I had the privilege of attending the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace and sampled Her Majesty's afternoon tea - it was OK - bit of a scrum really. And more recently Philip and I enjoyed afternoon tea aboard Cunard's Queen Mary 2 when sailing over to the USA. So I have two very British comparisons to make. As you know I am inclined to be judgmental, so was expecting to have good fun criticising this British tradition but I was dissapointed - as there was nothing to criticise! Michael - don't change a thing - its perfect. If you want to go folks, you'll have to book - its popular!