I recently had the privilege to visit the Windsor Arms Hotel for Afternoon Tea, and loved every moment of it! As I sat in the purple velvet armchair staring at the beautiful bone china and the carefully placed cutlery, fond memories of my one-on-one etiquette teachings with my late Grandmother, “Nanny", flooded my mind. As a child I adored my Nanny! Her social graces, her perfectly-styled, flaming red hair and the abundance of sequins, pearls and furs that she often wore. She was glamorous and gorgeous just like an old-time movie star - But she was also the most generous and warm hearted person I’ve ever known. I hold memories of our private moments very close to my heart; her teachings of how to properly eat a dinner roll (by putting the butter on the plate), dining etiquette about the various forks and spoons (working your way from the outside-in towards the plate throughout the various courses) and to always have fresh hand towels on every bathroom vanity matching the decor (that she folded a certain way).
In today’s society many traditions and etiquettes have been forgotten or are simply never passed down, which is a shame. I believe that as our world becomes more and more digital there needs to be a push for and greater significance put on tradition, especially when it comes to personal connections and socialization with others. Sometimes we need to stop our daily hustle and bustle to take a moment to enjoy the company and conversation of others away from our mobile and desktop screens. While I visited the Windsor Arms I was fortunate enough to witness a father and young daughter enjoying afternoon tea for the young girl’s birthday. The father was showing his daughter how to pour the tea, reminding her to keep her elbows off the table and not to *clink* her spoon against the cup as she stirred. It moved me. It was uplifting to see that rite of passage, to know that I witnessed an important moment in her life, as she will carry it with her for all the days of her life. The passing on of good manners, familial traditions and etiquette should be paramount for all families and a great source of pride. Remember Children Learn What They Live (poem by Dorothy Law Nolte). Please view my Afternoon Tea experience below...
~ The Tea Room ~
Click the above image to shop the Polo Ralph Lauren custom-fit striped shirt from Hudson’s Bay
I opted to enjoy the “Tibetan Tiger" tea - Chocolate bits, vanilla, organic rooibos and black tea
Goat cheese and caramelized shallot tart… It was delicious!
~ The Afternoon Tea menu ~
Enjoyed in the following order… Fresh sandwiches: "Cucumber with sun-dried tomato paste and dill cream cheese", "grilled chicken, granny smith apples citrus mayo, greek yogurt & chives" and "smoked salmon and wasabi sour cream with salmon caviar"
Fresh scones with preserves and devon cream
A selection of petits fours
You can find the recipe for the scones here
I will admit that I wished I’d had a refresher etiquette course prior to my Afternoon Tea experience (as I know I committed a few mistakes at the time), so I’d like to share some tips with you so that you may be adequately prepared for your own experience. I find etiquette and old traditions fascinating, so stay tuned for future teachings and tips. I simply cannot wait to get my hands on William Hanson’s book “The Bluffer’s Guide to Etiquette"!
Click the above image to shop the various collections from Royal Albert
~ In memory of my Nanny ~
I’d like to dedicate this blog post to the woman who introduced me to the “Shirley Temple"! One of the strongest, most beautiful and most inspirational women in my life; I carry your fire in me! You are missed… Love you! XoXo
Until next time… Enjoy!