In one of Diana’s latest blog posts on exPress-o, she talks about the joy of early mornings. It’s my favourite time of day, the early morning (at least when I don’t wake up to an alarm). I love waking up at the crack of dawn on a slow weekend with nothing on the agenda and strolling out of the house for a walk through the near empty city streets, my only company a couple of neon-clad joggers and rough sleepers still dreaming in their sleeping bags. There’s a peacefulness in the streets before the shops pull up their shutters, before the families with kids fill the park, before the flow of traffic increases along with the honking of impatient drivers.
But before all of this, I love a quiet cup of tea with a good book, the latest travel magazine or a long scroll through Pinterest to inspire my day. So I was thrilled when Harrods sent me one of their Draycott hampers to try out.
It arrived in a lovely re-usable basket with a lid. Inside, I pulled out all sorts of goodies: a tin of English breakfast tea (my favourite), a tall tin with fresh roasted coffee (a treat for Jorge), some mini chocolate chip shortbread (which I suppose I will share), some fruity sweets (which reminds me of some my dad used to buy when we were kids), butterscotch sweets (yum – almost gone already!), blackcurrant jam (excellent on English muffins) and orange marmalade (which I have yet to try but am happy to see in my fridge).
I dug right in, of course. Starting with a cup of tea (in my mug from Copenhagen).
I’m saving the coffee for Jorge but I like the container so I took a photo anyway!
And then the shortbread for dipping.
Spread a bit of blackcurrent jam on my sourdough bread.
And some sweets for later on:
It’s lovely when someone sends you something as a treat, something you wouldn’t buy yourself. Sure it’s simple stuff, but there’s something about having a Harrods hamper in the kitchen that’s a bit nostalgic for me.
One of my favourite adventures in life – the one that triggered so many others – was my semester studying abroad in London as a university student 10 years ago. It was Fall 2004 and I was in London on my own for the first time. And where was I living? Our accommodation was smack in the middle of Knightsbridge, across from Hyde Park, next to Harrods. (Of course it was cramped living quarters and we had a resident cockroach in our kitchen, but we didn’t care). So every day I walked past Harrods. It was the end of the year, so I remember being in awe of the lights that cover the building around Christmastime. Harrods always reminds me of those carefree days.
But my first Harrods memory comes from when I was much smaller. My British side of the family used to send little Christmas and birthday presents to us in New York. One year, someone sent me a small plastic shopping bag from Harrods – not the ones they actually pack your shopping in, but a toy for kids. I used to carry things around in it, the hunter green bag with its luxurious golden letters. It was my first “handbag”. Of course, I’d much rather have one of those Prada beauties that are displayed in their windows at the moment…!
Here’s a link to the rest of the Harrods hampers in case you have someone in mind for a special treat.