At the Richmond Tea Rooms

You know facebook? And those fb friends you have that you don’t really know, or whom you’ve never met? One of mine lives locally and she is a Fascinating Aïda fan, just like me. So – obviously – when she recommended a great place for tea, I needed to try it out. Especially as another fb friend happened to mention it soon after.

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I decided to wait until I had company, because whether a new place is lovely, or awful, it’s best shared. Finally, Daughter was here, and we were going into Manchester anyway, so I said we’d go to the Richmond Tea Rooms as a treat.

We went. We saw. We liked. Very much. And that’s not just the amount of cake we consumed. It was our kind of place.

When we’d ordered, I let my eyes rove the room to check it all out. And – obviously – there she was. The fb friend I’d never spoken to. So I popped over and introduced myself and we chatted. She and her companions were having their regular ‘office meeting.’ On the red velvet corner sofa! I want job meetings like that.

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Anyway, I had to pop back to my Earl Grey, which turned out to be Earl Grey with flavour. None of this wishy-washy stuff some places serve. Daughter tried Assam, which she liked. She had Alice’s Rarebit, which surprisingly – for her – did not contain rabbit. I had a very, very freshly made scone with clotted cream and Tiptree jam. And, a little something afterwards. That Pear Frangipane must have seen me coming. It was pear with almost nothing but marzipan..! It was wow!

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Mismatched crockery and lace, table service and generally crazy decorating makes for the perfect place to sit and stare and relax. It’s all pretty Alice-y. They had signs ordering us to Eat and Drink, so we did. One does under such circumstances.

(I did wonder about the lack of hot water, seeing as the tea was leaf tea in pots. But I didn’t wonder for long. Instead of letting the hot water go cold, someone comes round every now and then with fresh hot water, and adds it to your pot.)

And I don’t know if I’d ‘met’ the other guest before. It felt like I had. Almost like old friends. Not facebook ones, but people like me. Only thinner.

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