O N E F I N A L C H R I S T M A S T R E A T . . .
One thing that my family and I always wish we had more of is quality time together. With there being an eight year age difference between my sister and I, and the fact that I moved out of our family home more than four years ago now when she was only 13, it often feels as though our lives are on two very different timelines!
Instead of buying my Mum and sister each a stocking full of bits and pieces this Christmas, I decided that it might be fun for us to spend the afternoon together in London indulging in our shared favourite pastime- eating afternoon tea!
And so it was that a table for three was booked in Sketch’s Gallery restaurant, at 2.30pm on the 3rd of January…
My Mum and I had been to Sketch for tea years and years ago, in the little tearoom right at the front of the building, but despite having seen the famous pink Gallery in approximately 5 million Instagram photos, I’d never made it there before!
The room itself more than lived up to expectation…
First on the menu came the selection of teas- English Breakfast, ceylon and rose, silver needle, rosebud, and peppermint tea. I loved the delicate tasting ceylon, but Mum was adamant that the silver needle was the star of the show.
The chinaware is part of what makes Sketch so fun- the shapes are all slightly unusual and have words or phrases on them like ‘dreams’ ‘ghost’ and ‘forget about it’.
I fell in love with those sweet tea cups!
The main event, those heavily laden cake stands, arrived, and we got stuck in.
There was so much to choose from, it was hard to know where to begin! We ate basil and fennel and cream cheese and smoked salmon flatbreads, miniature grilled Comte cheese, coronation chicken, and ricotta and cucumber sandwiches.
The sweet things followed next- lemon and passionfruit tarts (the best thing we ate all day!), pineapple cake, mini blackcurrant cheesecakes, and, of course, the obligatory scones with jam and clotted cream.
Pot after pot of tea arrived as we ate, and eat we did! In fact, by the end of the meal we all were full to bursting, and I was so very glad I’d happened to wear a pair of trousers that’re a good couple of inches too big for me around the waist!
As we whiled away the afternoon, sipping from our teacups and spooning generous quantities of jam onto our scones, we chatted about the past few years of our lives, and the ones ahead too.
About time spent feeling frustrated and cooped up at university, about the exciting summer just gone, about weddings and birthdays and families, and what the future might hold for each of us.
It felt so peaceful and civilised, and the nicest way to wrap up the Christmas season ahead of this first working week of January.