Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Afternoon Tea - The Experience

Sunday finally arrived. Our tea time reservation at the Fairmont Royal York was for 12:30. Because of all the street and train station construction, it was a bit of a challenge negotiating my way across to the hotel. I entered to see this magnificent display.
I arrived quite early, so I decided to check out the shopping underground tunnels. Unfortunately, they were closed, as were all the stores and coffee shops on the lower hotel level. Construction, I was told. I ventured upstairs where I first passed sculptures based on the story "A Christmas Carol", carved entirely from tallow.  As I stood and admired this creation, depicting one of the ghosts, I heard a fellow say to his friend, "Who's that supposed to be, Jesus?"
Although I had dressed in a presentable manner, I decided to forgo the fascinator. I was glad I did when I saw this Christmas tree sporting the exact same hat. That could have been embarassing!
After sipping a martini and gulping a few glasses of water I went to check out the reservation. "Nobody's here yet from that party," I was told, so I hung up my coat and took a few timer photos with the large lobby tree.

When I returned to the library lounge ten minutes later, everyone had arrived...well, except for me. I took my place at the head of the table and attempted to read the menu. It didn't really matter that I couldn't see because except for the tea, we all received the same food items. Our specified flavour of tea arrived first, then the sandwiches. My teapot had a minor issue which caused me, in my handicapped state to pour tea all over the tablecloth. Oh well, it smelled and tasted a great loss.

Meanwhile, we were all having a wonderful time meeting with each other, chatting and laughing a lot. We nibbled our very filling sandwich triangles. When my friend decided to explore the depths of her teapot, she came up with this rather disturbing discovery...another huge source of amusement.
 Next came the dessert tray, containing a variety of items including scones, macarons, tarts, cake and cream puff swans. Goodies not consumed were packed up in a lovely Fairmont doggy bag.


As we got ready to leave, I noticed the source of our entertainment. It wasn't a recording at all. Rather there was a guitarist sitting directly behind my chair. Gave new meaning to the words, background music.
  We hated to disperse after such a lovely time, so all of us went to take individual and group photos by the huge lobby tree. What a lovely memory and good times with nice people.
I'd consider doing this again some day. It would have to be in the summer, when the cost is lower and there's the opportunity to tour the hives and herb gardens on the roof of the hotel. I think that opportunity would add a nice dimension to the tea time experience. Oh...and just to add another dimension, I'd seek out a place where I could afford to have two martinis prior to tea time.

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