1939 Dinner menu from The Peninsula
Maybe it was the exquisite cheesecake I had for tea this afternoon. At 4.30, to be precise (as you know, formal Afternoon Tea follows strict rules. Five o’clock tea, for example, starts punctually at four).
However, I find this discussion very distressing and it is a great shame that it has spoilt what has otherwise been an extremely good day. A friend of mine has investigated about my position towards the pastries at the Lobby of The Peninsula in Hong Kong. First of all: I have one. Secondly, to give you the scientists answer: it depends. And thirdly: Whenever I stay there I spend days of wandering between the Lobby’s High Teas, Felix, Chesa, The Verandah and Gaddi’s. Despite all this exercise I merciless put on weight. I have spoken to the management, but they appear hopelessly unable to do anything about it. Once I stayed there for three months and after checking out I had to adapt my entire outfit with the exception of my hats, a few pairs of shoes and an old umbrella. At that time I was living at the Raffles in Singapore, and the doorman greeted me upon my return with the dreadful remark "Oh, you have put on weight". This is a compliment among Chinese, I had to learn.
Talking about food. Let me introduce to you the origins of the name Sandwich. The year was 1762. John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, commanded the mighty British Navy. He was a noted explorer, and also a dedicated gambler with a love of day long card games. This led to little time for food. So he came up with the ingenious idea (most of us are convinced it was at the card table) of putting meat between two slices of bread to eat great food without too much fuss and single-handed. Today the current 11th Earl of Sandwich’s family runs a popular fast-food chain by the name of Earl of Sandwich in the USA.
At the front façade of the Pepys Building, the entrance of the Royal Naval College, the bust of the commander finds itself in company of an other hero of the seven seas: Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté. Lord Nelson had lent his name to a hotel in Cape Town. I was there, a little book ( I can’t help it) resulted from that journey:
More like this in I HAD TEA AT THE NELLIE — THE MOUNT NELSON TREASURY.
The Pink Lady of Cape Town — Mount Nelson Hotel
IN THIS LITTLE BOOK YOU FIND -
I HAD TEA AT THE NELLIE 11
WINDSOR TABLE: SAVOURIES AND SWEETS 15
THE MAGIC MOMENTS 17
THE TEAS AT MOUNT NELSON 53
THE ETIQUETTE OF TEA 65
WHO ELSE HAD TEA AT THE NELLIE? 73
THE PLANTS OF THE GARDEN 83
TEA IN QUOTES 91
TEA-OFF IN STYLE
TEA IN POP CULTURE 99
TEA CHIT CHAT 101
MOUNT NELSON RECIPES 103
I wish ayou a spledid day — wherever you are.
yours - as always