London: witty notes about aristocrats and tradition of high tea
“To be a woman today means to be a few chick“, - authors of the book “Tiptoes in London“ report, having charged to Frenchwoman Virginia Ledra to tell about into what categories residents of the British capital are divided. Today she - and with irony and knowledge of business - will tell of aristocrats. And that it was not only it is interesting, and it is useful - we write off addresses of the best places for tea drinking in London where it is possible to like imperial spirit and to try classical sandwiches and skona.
the Chick from Meyfer is a resident of London posh posh posh (“smart, aristocratic“), read: smart and rich, unlike the former participant of Spice Girl group, and nowadays David Beckham`s spouses, which only “rich, rich, rich“.
the word posh Origin instantly positions our chick. It comes from an abbreviation of POSH which is deciphered as Port Out, Starboard Home - the best places in a cool shadow onboard the ocean liners plying between India and England during a colonial era. This etymology is quite disputable. But we will keep it as even in wrong option it perfectly characterizes that strange mix of qualities presented in our chick from Meyfer whose secret is known only to it: opportunism, money and good manners.
the Chick from Meyfer does not know intermediate states: or she is a business woman of high flight, a shark with steel teeth, or the rich idler, the spouse or the mistress of the billionaire, the lord or the baron City. It is difficult to compete to it, I warn. Anyway, it flies highly, out of striking distances: it is connected by secret acquaintances to members of the British and international aristocracy and financial oligarchs.
the Chic of the chick of posh posh posh not such shouting as at It Girl, it is more deeply connected with traditions and is much more expensive. As for hats - it is Filip Tracey or nobody. She buys dresses and suits from the designer, extremely posh - Caroline Charles.
For ancestors of this birdie, as well as for her, London was always only the necessary place of stay in connection with the beginning of season. What season? A season of races in Ascot, sailing regattas on the Thames in Hanley, operas in Glayndborna, opening days on the Bond - the street and in Gallery Serpentayn Gayd - park between other primordial entertainments.
the Statement that London and Meyfer is represented for it only the temporary haven, certainly, is just a metaphor. This quarter she inherited the five-floor house about 250 square meters, often with rooms for servants: managing director, butler, driver, nurse.
But the real life for it - absolutely in other place, on father`s lands, for example in Northumberland. Our Posh Girl feels really happy, only when in Wellington boots and the Barbour jacket splashed by dirt under the drizzle refreshing her pink skin bypasses stables of the estate or remembers with the granny former departures on hunting with hounds - the well-known foxhunting which is nowadays forbidden as a result of fierce fight between Tony Blair`s government and chamber of lords. Horses - her secret passion. She would like to become the real champion as the queen`s granddaughter princess Zara. As well as the hat from Filipa Tracey, a horse is the integral attribute of our chick of posh. The Madonna, the careerist - the Yankee, perfectly understood it when she wanted to reincarnate in the English lady, being married to Guy Richie. She spent all the days off in a tweed suit astride a horse, jumping the Scottish relatives of her husband on the ground. It is interesting whether it kept the habits after divorce?
In policy of the lady of posh posh posh on the party of the Tory, it is automatism, a conditioned reflex which is not even discussed. She reads Daily Telegraph and sometimes to Daily Mail to entertain itself these gruesome stories about the poor.
of High tea
of Posh Girl is loved by tea. In this case we, certainly, do not mean the bag which is carelessly thrown into a cup without saucer in a break between household chores or preparation of documents at office. No, it is about high tea or rich tea, the separate meal arranged in large hotels of the capital or house on condition of observance of all rituals. To drink tea for Posh Girl - it is like for French to re-read feats of Napoleonic battles which load with energy and, having caused tears of emotion, return on two hundred years ago.
Let Posh Girl does not drink tea daily exactly in 17. 00 as it was done by her ancestors, but be sure, she follows all rules and the put traditions. However, probably, the chick of posh - the only inhabitant of London who likes to see off (to lose?) three hours behind this ceremony invented by the duchess Bedfordskaya in the 18th century.
the Ordinary resident of London (not posh) the cup behind a cup swallows of strong black tea with small addition of milk. Even if the nation does not rush in a uniform rush to Fife any more - about - a shred, tea remains national drink and a certain symbol of good manners. When the London woman feels disappointment in love, clashes with the administration, quarreled with mother what her first reflex? To prepare for itself nice cup of tea. Almost all English movies show this moment of a national unification and compassion around cuppa (“big tea“, a dinner with tea). To take at least heroes of the movie of Mike Li “Everything or nothing“ - the pathetic existence they fill in with tea gallons with milk.by
In Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly, and it is perfect precisely, it is possible to buy the best tea (in bulk and in bags). Sellers in dark suits talk in English, worthy queens. Their obsequiousness at the same time bewitches and irritates, but it is worth it. Hundred kinds of tea are on sale in beautiful boxes which can be collected. My darling - Keemun, packing in 250 g (scattering) of the well-known Chinese black tea. The price is 10 euros (www. fortnumandmason. com).
When the chick - posh and besides the daughter of the marquis as my new acquaintance of Charlotte, the girl with transparent skin and a long white neck, it uses services of luxurious hotel Claridge “s.
- Tea is, perhaps, the only ceremony peculiar to all social groups, - confirms Charlotte. - Whether you train him for yourself, or for darling, or even for the chief, this real national action. Style can differ, but sense always one, irrespective of the social environment: to grit teeth and to move further, despite of difficulties; a little burning tea and milk, and the organism is stirred up.
In France this function is carried out by a cup of black coffee. For us solemn tea drinking smells slightly of snobbery, and coffee is considered more vigorous, national drink.
of High tea demands some physical and moral training.
- I Advise you, - Charlotte says, - nothing is at midday and not to plan a dinner after high tea. It is the most nourishing meal which I know. I always go to the pool the day before and the next morning. Personally I do not eat at least in ten hours prior to high tea and within eighteen hours later. (It is necessary to tell, Charlotte - improbably thin in the black dress acquired from the Antwerp designer).
But why to call this high tea? One more class detail: afternoon tea with biscuits - a meal bourgeois, whereas high tea, needless to say, more class, purely aristocratic hobby. For workers tea, without adjective is simple, long time meant the only evening meal upon return of the father of family from work.
For high tea I advise you the following hotels. Count on £
Claridge Hotel “s . The highest class, masterpiece of decorative art.
Savoy Hotel . During high tea the harpist, divinely plays.
Brown Hotel“ s . A situation skin - a tree, cozy.
of The Connaught Hotel . It was the favourite hotel of Dirk Bogard! Drink tea near big fireplaces in the winter.
So, after a light breakfast at 16 o`clock I meet Charlotte in a lobby - the bar Claridge “s. Towering since the beginning of the 19th century on Brook - the street, in heart of quarter Meyfer, Claridge“ s is considered already more than 150 years home away from home (“the house in the distance from the house“) the European aristocracy. In January, 1860 the Queen Victoria accompanied by the quick prince - Albert`s konsorta drank teas here with the empress Evgenia (the last empress of France, Napoleon III`s spouse) when that was journey in London, and later at all for all winter s lodged in Claridge “.
When Charlotte appears, I admire ancient photos in a lobby of hotel. The door-keeper and bell boy in a livery and white gloves direct to it with respect of a former era. The third character, the administrator, accepts relay and takes away us in the foyer. Charlotte reserved a little table last week:
- For tea sometimes should reserve places in advance, this madness. Here know my family therefore difficulties do not arise, but in “Brown“ or “Savoy“ where I sometimes invite the cousin grandmother Mildred, it becomes really problematic.
Really, high tea, long time buried in oblivion, comes back with new forces.
Behind the next little table two models talking to the Polish accent hold the cups from the Chinese porcelain with grace of big wild birds; with a lemon they do not touch tartlets. The situation is absolutely magnificent: small round little tables from a beech, soft carpets, light it is muffled.
Charlotte orders two high teas with “Earl Gray“, tea with bergamot oil.
the Count Charlz Gray, the big fan of divine drink, gave preference to only one grade which bears his name now: tea with a bergamot was sent it by his friend, the Chinese tangerine. When once reserves of tea ended, the count Gray asked the Twinings company - its shop still should - be prepared on Strend Street for it the same mix. As a result of columns who was a prime minister - the minister from 1830 to 1834 became famous not for the political program, but unique mix of black Ceylon tea and oil of a bergamot.Skona`s
there Comes the solemn moment, the little table on castors appears. Before our eyes the service literally grows from silver and thin porcelain: a teapot for everyone, two milk sellers, two bowls with warm water, two strainers and saucers for them, porcelain cups and in completion to it a three-storyed silver tray. Above - various ptifura, tartlets with red berries, pass - eclairs, lemon cakes - meringue. On the first floor - the well-known sandwiches without crust, with the cucumber and sea mustard crushed by egg and cress - salad, a salmon and capers, chicken and mayonnaise and, at last, ham and mustard. Also at the very bottom I see scones (“skona“ - traditional English rolls), simple and with raisin, given together with strawberry jam and clotted cream (very dense sour cream made in Devon and Kornuelle). whether
is Known by Charlotte how many cups of tea drink in day of her compatriot?
- I read article on this subject recently, - she exclaimed. - We consume 2,2 kilograms of tea a year on the person that is equivalent to one thousand cups a year, that is nearly three cups a day. But the players are from year to year changed. Actually we also drink grass and fruit infusions much. My darling - ginger and lemon Twinings. British remain the largest consumers of tea in the world. After Turks, of course.
we Admire this perfectly served table, worthy brushes of the Dutch artist. Slight dizziness: all of us in the 21st century or were already had to the past? Perhaps, now Winston Churchill with the huge cigar will enter here? What refinement, what conservatism! But there is no time to reflect, Charlotte shows me as it is necessary to eat scones:
- you Cut them in half in width, you smear with sour cream, then jam. You hold between big and index fingers.
Ah, I conceal from pleasure and I almost die. The first piece flavored with a drink of hot tea sends me straight to paradise.From the rest I remember
only as we leave 90 minutes later with the inflated stomachs and that I do not eat after that the whole days. Charlotte was right. High tea, “it is quite an experience, dear“ (“This real event, expensive“).
From the book “Tiptoes in London“