London Is Calling

10:26 PM

This week has been awfully dreary now that the Olympics are over.  Despite having to wake up with the rising sun each morning for work, I would loyally stay awake to watch the Games until Bob Costas signed off for the night.  My nightly entertainment may be gone, but my sleep-wake cycle is relieved that it is all over.

I have never been a fan of the long-distance races like road cycling or marathon running, but I tuned in this year for the scenery.  Forget the athletes!  The sites of London were the real draw.  I was very fortunate to have visited London for the first time this past April, and I'm still thinking about the little bits of the charm I discovered throughout the city. 

I swooped into London on an absolutely beautiful day.  London weather definitely did not live up to it's bad rap during my trip.  There might have been on day of gray clouds and rain during my trip.

I was exhausted from working and then jetting across the Atlantic overnight, so my friend and I took it easy. It was too early for dinner anywhere unless you have gray hair and some liver spots and too late for lunch.  Luckily, the English have teatime.  

After a much, much, much longer walk through Hyde Park than expected, we settled into chairs outside The Orangery for high tea.  We went for full she-bang with petit fours, savory sandwiches, and SCONES.

I still do not know why scones are so dense and dry in the United States.  Scones are more like biscuits, just not as buttery and tender.  This golden morsel was way tastier than any "scone" at Panera Bread or Starbucks.  Add some clotted cream and jam?  Perfection.

My favorite of the food offerings was the smoked salmon sandwiches.  My friend is vegetarian, so I got double the deliciousness out of the deal.

And let's not forget the tea. Tea with milk?  I'm now obsessed and carry on the tradition in my little apartment on those blessed lazy mornings.  My friend ordered the Earl Grey Blue Flowers, and there were actually tiny blooms in the pot.  Amazing.

I really could not have asked for a better scenery for my first experience with afternoon tea.  The Orangery proved to be a popular spot with tons of people milling around the tea salon and Kensington Palace next door.  I even sighted Joely Richardson enjoying the weather at the table next to me.  The ravens did not miss on the party either.  It's so eerie how many ravens are just hanging out in the park.

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