I have loved tearooms and the tea experience all my adult life. Sunday high tea in Stirling, Scotland, in the home of an elderly woman after a walk around the village green was high adventure—and a cheery, calming presence—for a young, newly arrived college woman.
J. and I fell in love with almond croissants and scones with jam and whipped cream over English afternoon tea at Caffè Florian in Piazza San Marco, Venice.
Years after my mother introduced me to Hôtel de Crillon on the Place de la Concorde at the foot of the Champs-Élysées in Paris my daughter and I returned there for afternoon tea.
A friend staged the acquaintances of women from many ages and places of life in a room that had been cleared of everything but the grand piano and rearranged with tables set beautifully and artfully for tea.
One of the first gifts our daughter received from her grandparents was a child-sized bistro table. J. and I sat dutifully while she served tea in little porcelain cups to lop-eared rabbits sitting on the table in their miniature wicker chairs. Is it any wonder I hope one day in the future to repeat story time over tea with someone small and doe-eyed?
I would trade Earl Grey for a dry breve cappuccino with a foam heart in the center every day and twice on Sunday. It’s the intimacy of the occasion of tea that creates the beauty marker for me. Sitting near enough to someone to hear and appreciate every word. Sharing the delight of sweet pastries and desserts nearly too exquisite to remove from their original presentation. Tasting something like chilled strawberry soup for the first time.