Welcome to letter L and to this year’s Theme:
The Glories of Tea With Stepheny
I’ve had tea in Harrod’s Department Store on the 4th floor, near the luggage department if my memory serves me right. It is a place meant for shoppers to tuck into and refresh themselves and then continue their shopping. There is no fine china on hand but plain white pots and cups and saucers selected for their utilitarian purpose.
I have stopped as well in a tea shop across the road from Harrods. Plain and simple, yet it made me feel I was a woman who had come from a Cotswold Village to shop for the day and was having a cuppa before catching the train home.
When it came time to write a third novel, A Garden of Sweet Disorder, all but finished, the main character comes to London with a friend for the weekend. After researching, I selected the Savoy Hotel for the scene where the women have tea. Below are a few lines from a chapter.
When it was time, the two women stood in front of the reservation desk for their 3:00 reservation in the Thames Foyer of The Savoy Hotel. Sarah took in the surroundings with the hope that she would remember every detail of this light and bright Edwardian salon with a garden gazebo at its center, and an ornate glass cupola overhead. She knew the Foyer had been added to the original hotel in the early 1900s.
Following the hostess to their table, Anne said quietly, “Geoffrey brought me here for one of their fashionable ‘Art-Deco’ dinner dances. They hired live orchestras like the legendary Savoy Orpheans that were once the hotel’s resident musicians in the roaring 1920s.”
“It must have been fantastic.” The women were seated.
Anne said with a straight face, “Geoffrey is a terrible dancer.” Sarah stifled a laugh. Here in this rarefied atmosphere, at a great cost, Anne’s memory was of her partner’s ineptitude.
“The Salon Couture High Tea is the best event they have ever held. Guests enjoy afternoon tea and a 1950s style fashion show like the iconic couture shows held at the hotel in that era. Christian Dior debuted their collections then.”