Last week, my darling Mum turned 55!
Don’t worry, she isn’t the sort who gets funny about people knowing her age. In fact, my Mum’s ability to embrace her age for what it is (a milestone, a marker of how many years she’s lived and loved and learnt) is one of the things I admire most about her.
For her birthday, I took her out for surprise afternoon tea at Pennyhill Park. I’ve had it planned for a few weeks now. Pennyhill Park is one of the most beautiful hotels in Surrey, with an award-winning afternoon tea. I actually worked there for a few months the summer before I met Jason, and spent hours (literally *hours*) each shift hanging about in the pastry kitchen, pilfering spoonfuls of ice-cream straight from the freezer, eating all the white chocolate truffles from the petit fours plates (& filling the gaps on the plates with the horrible dark chocolate ones), and persuading the chef to make me a pistachio soufflé to enjoy at my leisure once I’d finished ‘working’. Thinking about it, I’m surprised the hotel actually paid me a salary…
But back to it! Sunday morning when I picked up Mum, we were excited! Lots of squeals were squealed. We *love* surprises in this family! We drove about 10 minutes, and when we turned into the driveway of the hotel, Mum said ‘No! No way!’. I asked what she thought we were here for. She replied ‘Afternoon tea?’, and I said ‘Yes! Surpriiiiiise!’
Mum thought the surprises were done with once we’d got to the hotel, but no! There were more to be had! I’d actually dropped my sister off at the hotel about fifteen minutes before picking up my Ma, so when we got to our table, surprise again! Francesca was there in place, looking glorious and elegant and as pleased with herself as I felt! Mum shrieked, and then cried, which is pretty much the reaction my sis and I had been banking on ;)
And after all that excitement, the tea itself was crazy delicious too! Hibiscus and berry was our especial favourite (we drank pot after pot of the stuff!). Also, those scones. Oh my. They were the size of your fist, crisp on the outside, and all fluffy-warm inside. The jam was something special too. I didn’t take too many photos over tea (was up to my elbows in jam, you see) but the few I did take are below. Some are iPhone jobbies, others are from my proper camera. I hate mixing iPhone and proper camera photos in the same post, so I’m sorry about that.
^^ Afternoon tea get-up. Bare legs in February. Cerrazy. ^^`
^^ That choux bun was filled with gooseberry compote and vanilla cream, and is one of the most delicious pastries I’ve ever eaten. ^^
Happy birthday little Ma! We love you!