My time in England has been filled with new places, new people, and of course new customs. One custom, which I quite enjoy, is having a cup of tea. I take mine with sugar and milk but everyone has their preference. I’ve discovered over my first week that there is no wrong time to have a cup of tea. In fact, I don’t think there has been a moment along my trip where I haven’t been offered or provided with a cup of tea. I’m drinking a cup of tea right now, and it’s my fourth cup of the day! Although having a cup of tea is a consistency in day to day life there are some traditions which take it to the next level. This is known as High Tea.
We didn’t have any major plans for today so we hopped onto Groupon to see what kind of deals we’d come across. We saw a deal in Nottingham for High Tea which included champagne, finger sandwiches, and desert. For the two of us it was going to be 14 pounds which is a fantastic deal seeing as we were considering do the same activity in London for 29 pounds… each! Obviously things are going to be more expensive and posh in London but we weren’t going to let that bother us. We decided that we should dress to impress before making our way across town.
Since I didn’t pack in preparation for a tradition such as high tea I had to borrow a suit from Sean. Fortunately I was able to squeeze into it, but I didn’t have really have a pair of shoes to fit the part. We looked pretty fly though walking about the streets in our suits with our t-shirts as undershirts, and my flip flops as my footwear.
We had great time, talking extra posh, and making sure our pinkies were out as we sipped our tea. The food was delicious but the portions were a bit small. Of course with that being said, I was pretty full after all was said and done.
We opted to take the scenic way home after our high tea and walked along the Trent River which goes through Nottingham. It reminded me a lot of the Schuylkill River heading into Philadelphia. We saw crew members passing up and down the river, as well as a gander of geese. We also came across a few swans. Sean informed me that the queen owns all the swans throughout England. That’s a hard concept for me to grasp but I’ll take his word for it. I suppose if you’re the queen of England you can really do whatever you’d like. You’ll find her face on all the currency including coins and paper bills. We watched a comedian the other night, Michael Maclntyre, who referenced the currency in one of his bits. He didn’t think her same portrait should show up on each value. He simply suggested that the less of value the currency the less “revealing” the picture of the queen would be. For example, the penny would maybe show the queen with no makeup, wearing her pajamas while the 50 pound bill might show the queen showing a little more and dressed to impress. I couldn’t help but agree, I think it may even drive people to work harder so as to earn higher valued queen bills.
Before heading back to Sean’s home we made a stop at the grocery store to pick up cheese and crackers for the evening. We also had plans to go camping over the weekend and wanted a ham roast for our wood fire.
Friday night we tuned into the first Harry Potter movie while dining on cheese and crackers. Sean’s sisters, Elli and Cassie joined us for the movie. I was legitimately surprised to find out that Cassie hasn’t seen any of the Harry Potter movies! I’m happy so say that we are currently 4 movies deep at this point and Cassie will be a Harry Potter fan when all is said and done. This coming Thursday we have plans to visit Harry Potter World outside of London which has the studios where the series was filmed. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t really excited for that!