Tea Time

If I am a sucker for anything, that thing is tea—especially all the lovely bites that make up a ladies’ tea. Give me teeny-tiny sandwiches and itty-bitty cakes, and I pretty much lose myself in a miniature-foodstuffs ecstasy. Since my birthday is coming up, Melissa and I, along with our friends Martha and Sim, headed over to Lovejoy’s Tea Room in San Francisco.

Sim opted for a curried chicken pastie and scones, while Melissa and Martha and I had the Queen’s Tea, which is a never-ending extravaganza of deliciousness: the requisite teeny-tiny sandwiches (I chose cheese with chutney and chicken with asparagus); green salad; slaw; fruit; scones with clotted cream, lemon curd, and jam; crumpets; shortbread cookies; and to top it all off, petit fours (I chose an orange and bitter chocolate one); and tea, of course.

We were seated on a lovely pair of divans facing one another and nibbled and sipped and sipped and nibbled and chatted away until we’d worked ourselves into an honest-to-goodness tea-coma of satiety.

After that, it was back to our respective homes for afternoon naps.

Originally, Melissa and I had planned to go hear a program of Vivaldi concerti at Philharmonia Baroque tonight, but she woke up from our nap with a sore throat and fever, so we opted to stay home. We had tomato soup and leftover ham salad for dinner, then curled up together while she read guidebooks about walking tours in England (we’re hoping to take my mother along with us on one in another year or two) and I copied out recipes from her assortment of cooking magazines. At the moment, we’re imagining a walk along Hadrian’s Wall—though we have plenty of time to dream up multiple itineraries before we go.

It’s too bad we missed the Vivaldi, but I can’t imagine we’d have enjoyed ourselves any more at the concert than we did cozied up at home.

P.S. It’s now Sunday morning, and much to my chagrin Melissa has pointed out that I failed to mention the cats’ excellent contributions to our cozy evening at home. They sat beside us (Maggie), curled up on our laps (Archy), and launched repeated missions to scale us as though we were the Himalayas (Damian). Our evening would have been much less satisfactory without them.