It rained all morning, a typically grey day in London. A few of my favourite girl friends (Dimple, Ewelina, Lucy) and I had plans to escape the weather and enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea at The Chesterfield in Mayfair.
As you would expect, it was an elegant, classy affair. Our coats were collected when we arrived and we were lead through hotel’s Butler’s Restaurant inside the hotel and out into the beautiful conservatory. Classical piano music filled the air. Natural light flooded in through the huge windows. The rain had stopped by the time we arrived.
For the next three and a half hours, we slowly nibbled our way through three levels of sandwiches, scones and pastries (but failed to finish all of it). We started with an iced tea followed by the traditional afternoon tea menu with Chesterfield Afternoon Blend tea which was delicious until the re-fills when it was watered down, but we were too full of tea and sugar high by then to want to drink any more anyway.
I can never finish a full afternoon tea. I get through the sandwiches at the bottom and then make my way onto the scones where I start to feel absolutely stuffed after the first one, which is a shame because all of the pretty desserts are still sitting untouched at the top. We skipped the second scone and agree on one bite of each of the goodies at the top. We still couldn’t do it.
Lucy, the creative one of the bunch, had pulled together a brilliant little scrapbook for me, full of photos and memories, some from my friends back in the States. In celebration of my wedding later this month, they gave it to me as a gift and I really enjoyed reading the notes from everyone and laughing at some of our funnier memories.
After the tea, we decided to head out to Purl for cocktails. It was a 20 minute walk, which suited us since we were so full. Fresh air felt great and the sun had come out. We strolled along, carrying our coats. A few minutes later, we found ourselves near Berkeley Square where Dale Chihuly’s new(ish) sun sculpture is installed.
I have been meaning to make time to go see it so I was thrilled to be up close. It’s made from 1,300 hand-blown glass elements and lights up at night. It’s just as impressive as I thought it would be.
Purl was dark and dingy and claustrophobic, so we turned around again and planted ourselves outdoors in the sun at a traditional London pub on the corner. It even had a dartboard. Not that we used it. Danny came along for a visit on his break since he’s running the sound at the nearby Open Air Theatre at Regent’s Park this summer.
In pursuit of delicious cocktails and perhaps a few tapas, we decided to book a table at one of my favourite restaurants in London: Iberica in Marylebone. Of course a trip to Marylebone took us past Daunt (my favourite bookshop) and non of my book loving friends had been in so we made a slight detour. As always, the cocktails (and the tapas) didn’t disappoint. I had the Wile Thyme – yum! And we shared olives, ham, bread with tomato, bread with olive oil, croquettes, a platter of cheese and padron peppers.
From there, I walked home, through the back streets of Mayfair, and stumbled upon this fantastic sculpture by Neal French – a photographer and model Twiggy. There’s also a third piece nearby – a shopper watching the photo shoot.
All in all a great day out in excellent company!