Monday, January 21, 2008

Cunard's Afternoon Tea: It Had Me At Hello

Seeing as I was gainfully employed before this trip it’s been quite awhile since I dropped everything I was doing to linger over tea and scones on a weekday. Let’s face it – we Americans just aren’t as good at balancing work and play as the Europeans are. Barring Kindergarten, when was the last time your boss suggested you stop your work mid-afternoon to enjoy a drink and a snack? Exactly. Which speaking of Kindergarten begs another question: whatever happened to the afternoon nap? That’s a tradition I wouldn’t mind bringing back as I totally heart the idea of employees passing out on a bunch of carpet squares under their desks after lunch.

Anyways, due to the fact that Cunard is a British company they love to observe all of the usual British customs aboard their ships - like enforcing formality in dress (no shorts allowed in the evening…ever), encouraging passengers to sing along to traditional British pub songs that no one except the British have ever heard of, and facilitating the serving of afternoon tea. Aboard the Queen Victoria this last ritual takes place daily from 3:30 to 4:30 in the Queen’s Room, a double-height ballroom that is at once impressively grand and yet also cozy (or cosy, if you must) enough to encourage hushed conversations and intimate gatherings. Here white-gloved waiters glide across the dance floor carrying silver trays laden with steaming scones, clotted cream and jam, and bite-sized éclairs. Savory finger sandwiches overflowing with egg salad and cucumber are served with silver tongs, hot cups of tea are poured and a harpist (how elegant!) plays standards like “Moon River” and “Someone To Watch Over Me.” It’s enough to make a girl forget herself and start speaking in a fake-British accent just like Madonna. I mean Madge. *Sigh*

With that said, the Brits are on to something good here. The idea of pressing pause mid-day and taking a moment to breathe, to enjoy the company of those you care about, and to take a much needed break from the chaos of the world outside is something we Americans could learn from. Now excuse me while I go eat some bangers and mash.


Brian said...

I had my first chai tea latte the other day. It was pretty good.

Also, Cloverfield is pretty good.

what does this have to do with you? Probably not much.

Rob Domanski said...

Love the writing, keep it coming. Matta, even my parents are reading this!

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