“…It’s always six o’clock now.”
A bright idea came into Alice’s head. “Is that the reason so many tea-things are put here?” she asked.
“Yes that’s it,” said the Hatter with a sigh: “it’s always tea-time.”
And so the Mad Hatter explains away his tea-party. A continuous tea party and an ingenious solution to the issue of washing up that such a celebration entails. Just keep moving around. It will all be ok.
Tea is a particular favourite beverage of mine, and at one point of my time at University I had amassed a collection of 32 different types of tea. Fruit teas; green teas; normal teas… the list – whilst not infinitesimal, is still rather lengthy. I also make a mean lemon and ginger infusion.
Needless to say, I take my tea very seriously indeed.
This has led me to undertake a quest: to sample all the museum tea I can and report back to you. All the while sporting some exotic head gear, just like the sanity-challenged milliner from whose legendary tea party I take my cue.
Where to begin?
The obvious choice was the Tea and Coffee Museum in London Bridge, but alas that institution is undergoing some lengthy ‘refurbishment’ work and may not reopen any time soon. Instead, I opted for the home of the manuscript of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – in this early incarnation called Alice’s Adventures Underground- The British Library. The manuscript isn’t on display, but you can view it online.
One person does not a party make. My friend Imogen was roped in. Here we are below in our hats.
So, the tea, at £1.30 for a standard size it seemed fairly reasonable. The Peyton and Byrne chain means that the tea was of a good quality. The milk was fresh, which is always a plus. All in all a pleasant tea experience. The staff seemed to not notice the hats. I’m not sure how to take this.
The quest continues.