Monday, July 26, 2010
Greetings from: LONDON
Matthew and I have been to London before, so we can skip the usual tourist stops (Tower of London, British Museum, Tate Modern, London Eye, Millennium Bridge, Buckingham Palace) and go straight for the shopping. Alas, Matthew’s rather disappointed that he can’t find a nice sports coat at Austin Reed like he did on our last visit two years ago, and when the salesperson suggests Aquascutum across the street (more suited for slender guys like us), we come across a depleted stock. You should have come earlier in the sale, the Mick Jagger-like salesman says. I can barely plan a trip across the street, much less plan a trip to coincide with a certain sale.
What I can manage, however: high tea. This time, at the Wolseley, which is attended by an army of servers, all of whom move about with such crisp efficiency that it seems they have wheels on their feet. High tea is always deceptive: when it comes out on its cute three-tiered tray, you have to remind yourself that tea wasn’t meant to be a meal -- a few finger sandwiches, a sprinkling of pastries. It’s a placeholder meal until dinner comes. But in the stomach, tea interacts with cucumber sandwiches in a strange way: the bread expands to fill up available space, like spray foam, so by the end, you barely manage to cram the last piece of scone into your tea-hole.