London Part One: Afternoon Tea at Balthazar
A tradition that my sister and I truly cherish is afternoon tea, and every time she comes to visit me in Copenhagen we go to Perchs and get the whole tasting menu with scones, sandwiches and petit four. Having had quite an adventurous and crazy evening the night before, we decided it was the perfect day for a proper English afternoon tea. Our hotel was in Kensington, so we went for a stroll through Hyde Park in the sunshine and made our way to beautiful Covent Garden. We got a little tip that Balthazar did one of the most extravagant afternoon teas in London, and we were not disappointed.
Feeling slightly underdressed at first, being surrounded by businessmen in expensive and perfectly tailored suits sipping white wine while making important deals (obviously), but we quickly forgot all about it and sat there talking and giggling from pure happiness. Being a tiny bit hung over from the night before, the fresh air did the trick and left us hungry and happy to sit in a comfortable couch bathed in beautiful sunlight. We were presented with a range of sandwiches, two different scones accompanied by beautiful jam and clotted cream (which is far from whipped cream, I was surprised) and six different perfect little cakes. We ordered classical black teas to go with the various treats, and spent the next three hours (seriously!!) laughing and eating our way through the feast we were presented with.
Our happy mood quickly caught the attention from the two men on the table next to us, who asked if we were sisters and said that we looked very Scandinavian. Two right guesses, and we spent at least an hour in between our cakes talking to them about culture, food, education, business strategies and learned that one of them built the Olympic stadium in London (that must be why he could afford the most beautiful suit I have ever seen). When they were about to leave, one of the waiters came down to our table and explained that the men had offered to pay for us and he just wanted to make sure it was okay with us. A little stunned, we accepted and they politely said their goodbyes. The waiter smiled at us as we sat there not understanding what had just happened. It felt weird, and really wonderful, that two strangers with no motive besides wanting to do something nice for us had just done that. There were just first names, polite conversation and laughter.
After what felt like buckets of tea (we both had a refill) we made our way out into the city giggling like little school girls, not quite understanding how this all came to happen. Before we left I just had to ask if our bill was really taken care off, and the waiter confirmed that indeed it was, trying to hide a smile. We had such a wonderful morning and afternoon, even though all we did was walk through Hyde Park and have afternoon tea. I love how my sister and I are when we are together, I love afternoon tea, and now I love London! And to end on something gorgeous: prettiest cheese cake I have ever seen (raspberry makes my heart sing and this was pure perfection).