Afternoon tea is quintessentially British, and it seems to be a big craze at the moment in London. I’m not particularly keen on it (how in-British of me, I know) as I don’t particularly drink hot drinks and I prefer a big tasty lunch to sandwiches and cake, but when I was came across afternoon tea on the River Thames with a guide that would inform me of Muslim history in London, I thought it would be quite fun. As a cruise linked to Eid I decided to buy myself and my mum a ticket hoping she’d enjoy it too. My sisters, my sister in law and her mum also joined us.
The meeting point was at Tower of London and after we were all checked in we were able to get on the boat. Once we were in our seats we had tea to start with and then the some delicious looking food.
As we enjoyed our food and the view, the guide started telling us about some of the connections of Muslims to the city of London, which was quite interesting. When we reached Westminster Bridge the boat turned around to go back towards the port. By this point I’d had enough to eat so I grabbed my camera and went above deck. The sun was out and with the cool breeze it felt so refreshing. We passed some iconic landmarks that sit on the banks of the River Thames.
After spending some time above deck taking in the sights and some photos we headed back downstairs. The organisers held a competition that my sisters and I (and it seems no one else) entered so we won a big box of chocolates, as the odds were definitely in our favour!
As we docked back into the port we gathered our things and headed for the exit. It was a lovely afternoon that we all really enjoyed, and I thought it was a real treat to actually go on a boat down the River Thames instead of just watching the waves from the shore.
I went to a department store in London recently called Fortnum and Mason. Its known as the Queen’s grocer and has been operating for over 300 years. On the day I visited they had their spiral staircase beautifully decorated in pink, delicate flowers which I just had to capture.
Other wonderful and interesting things I spotted were glacé fruits, colourful candles and delicious looking sweets. I also tried some of the tea that was brewed whilst I wandered.
It was fun walking around and seeing things that I wouldn’t normally see in my every day life. I don’t plan a visit again anytime soon, but if I happen to be in the area I’ll be sure to have another browse.
People in England are known for being big tea drinkers as are people in Pakistan, and being a British Pakistani you’d think that I would be a big tea fan too, but when it comes to hot drinks I just don’t feel that I need them (exception being the odd hot chocolate in Winter). Tea and tea time in London is very popular at the moment. There are so many places that you can go for tea and cake; posh, quaint, in castles, even one with cats to play with in between. And for tea in the comfort of your own home there are even more, including this curious place I came across, selling very pretty china and soothing teas.
Although I’m not really a tea drinker I am a fan of anything that’s quirky, pretty and takes my curiosity, and this being the case I just had to go and explore. There were teapots and teacups beautifully embellished as well as spoons, saucers and anything else tea-related, on colourful inviting displays; all of which together is any photographers delight!
What really took my interest though was the amazing variety of types of tea available, ones I’d never heard of and looked nothing like a typical tea leaf.
I didn’t buy anything on this trip but I’m certain I will pop in again, perhaps to treat some tea-lovers I know and maybe even sample something myself.