Yesterday step father, mother and I all went to Ashdown Park Hotel for afternoon tea to celebrate the mother's birthday. I was told days before I was to dress up a little, I wasn't allowed to wear denim, was made to wear a skirt and sensible shoes. I felt like I was going to church.
So the outfit I picked was kind of like a shrunken version of an outfit you'd expect to see a stereotypically upper class, old, British lady in, complete with a string of pearls. However I managed to flick a cigarette onto my tights earlier that day and made a tiny hole right above my knee which turned into a huge ladder, wore the wrong pair of loafers (I have two pairs of the same shoes) and wore the pair that have been worn so much they've expanded two sizes and one kept flying off, and my skirt (a nice tartan blue, green and black tulip skirt with gold buttons on the pockets, a nice little topshop creation) was clearly made for short people. To make matters slightly worse my parents had forgotten about the tattoo on the back of my leg and kept thinking there was something wrong with my tights until they realised.....Oh the shame.
So we pull up to this massive posh looking hotel, deer and rabbits running along the lawns, lots of nice big cars. And all I can think of is "Shit, they're not going to let me through the door" all the way to the door I'm making desperate efforts to hide my wardrobe malfunction and trying to mend my badly straightened hair. We walk into the foyer some nice guys in suits took out coats and didn't bat an eyelid, they just showed us straight through to what looked like a massive living room. I must add the surroundings were pretty magnificent, incredibly high ceilings, fresh flowers everywhere antique furniture wonderful light fittings (although there was one bulb that had gone on the chandelier). So we sit in our arm chairs and choose our teas and I look around and EVERYONE is wearing either jeans or chino's.....I even saw a pair of ugg boots.
After my second cup of Assam with milk and two sugars I recovered from my initial shock and embarrassment and a lovely man called Zoulhan (brilliant name and he sounded like the Asian character off fonejacker when he spoke....I loved him) brought us a three tiered tray with mini sandwiches, scones and wonderful little cakes and pastries.
The sandwiches were so small they were more of a garnish really, although they were lovely, all the usuals, salmon, ham and mustard, quails egg mayo, cucumber etc, oh and the bread was stale so I just ate the fillings.
The scones were MASSIVE there were two each and loads of clotted cream and tiny pots of jam. There was a distinct lack of fruit in the fruit scones but hey they were amazing anyway.
After sandwich filling, clotted cream and jam with scones and 6 cups of Assam (each cup with 2 sugars and milk of course) I had to take a break. I used the excuse that the cakes looked far too beautiful to eat so as not to ruin my amazing eating reputation if I were smarter and had a different bone structure and metabolic rate I could probably give the Gilmore Girls a run for their money.
Half an hour later I made it on to the cakes, although I had to beg Zoulhan for a very large glass of tap water with loads of ice and lemon I managed a little tiramisu sort of thing and a very very lovely fruit tartlet.....and then I gave in, we took the little eclairs home with us.....I was so very close but I did feel physically sick after having consumed a months worth of sugar.
Having drunk about 4 enormous pots of tea I needed to use the facilities, so I went to the loo, it looked ok, molton brown soap and hand cream, nice fluffy white hand towels and then that horrible plasticy embossed sort off wallpaper you get in council flats, it had an orange tinge to it, it was so horrific. I much preferred the toilets at the dorchester (I snuck in their while my parents were picking up friends there to use the loos and they were amazing)
My posh hotel experience was ruined a little by a few superficial factors, however I left happy and full of yummy treats and fancy tea. Most importantly mother had fun and really enjoyed it.
I had a lovely nap when I got home and then went crazy on ebay, I bought a mini diana camera, a bright stripey jumper, bidded on several useless items and nearly won some second hand dr martens.