Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Staying at an English Country Hotel

The English collectively suffer from sweet tooth. Stay at a Country Hotel and it's very obvious from the ritual ceremony at tea-time and plans for a stay-in supper meal or dinner will only be finalised after first determining "what's for pudding?".

The beverage is often Earl Grey or a blend of lapsang souchong and Earl Grey. Copius amounts are needed to wash down the cucumber/salmon/cream cheese sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, a selection of biscuits and shortbreads and an even bigger selection of cakes ; small and dainty fairy cakes, butterfly cakes, iced finger buns, mini fondants, medium loaf breads (eggless and best served with fresh butter), to large Victoria Sponge cake, Dundee cake, Devonshire cake, Country fruit cake and Farmhouse fruit cake.

In the evening the main event is the pudding parade of which there must be at least seven. Spotted dick, syrup sponge, sticky toffee pudding, passion fruit charlotte, chocolate mousse , summer pudding and Eton Mess, all served with lashings of custard arrive one by one. Each arrival is greeted with cheers and the aim is to eat all seven.

The following morning a very brisk long walk in rolling hills is the perfect antidote to these excesses.


Blogger Tom P. said...

I have only been to England twice and both times I found the food inedible. But I didn't stay at a country hotel... I only stayed in London. Reading Agatha Christie novels, you would think that everyone in England sits down for a nice cup of tea and some cake in the afternoon. (Everyone except Hercule Poirot who only drinks coffee.) But trying to find a nice place for tea in London was not easy. If I ever make it back I'll have to try a country hotel.

4:38 pm  

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