Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (Vintage Classics)
Dalloway terrace lavender
Wild English flowers by Wild at Heart
On a recent trip to London my eldest son, Mr Tom, surprised me with a visit to the beautiful Dalloway Terrace at the Bloomsbury Hotel. Each season the theme of the terrace changes and this Spring it’s a tribute to the honey bee and its importance to the ecosystem. Named after Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, the walls of terrace are covered in wild English flowers designed by Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart and dotted with bees. The afternoon tea menu is bee-themed too with sweet elements inspired by four key habitats for bees – Forest, Garden, Field and Mountain.
Honey Bee Afternoon Tea at the Dalloway Terrace -menu
A bee buzzing on Nikki Tibbles wild English flowers
More bees buzzing
more buzzy bees in the flowers
The terrace looked so pretty it was hard to concentrate on deciding which tea to drink. We chose herbal infusions – a Lemon Verbena for Mr Tom (apparently a ‘wonderful digestive’ which was useful considering all we ate) and for me a Tregothnan English Peppermint grown in Cornwall. We’d decided to forgo lunch to save some space for our afternoon tea. Our food arrived beautifully presented, so much so that a ravenous Mr Tom became a bit concerned I wouldn’t let him spoil the look by actually eating any of it. But I was hungry too…
Cheeky Honey Bee sitting on honey sponge, honey and jasmine centre, white velvet crust
all the cake!
dark chocolate & pine mousse, cacao sponge candied orange honey, crystallised pine leaves
Lemon shortbread, lavender honey & blueberry cream, blueberry glaze and honey bee
Every bite was melt-in-the-mouth delicious. Our joint favourite in the end was not a sweet cake but the dainty Shropshire Blue and Spinach quiches. We sat and caught up with our news and put the world to rights fuelled by endless refills of our teapots and two hours went by in a flash. Our waiter, Georgi, brought the bill inside a slightly battered copy of Mrs Dalloway which was a lovely touch. He told us that the exquisite little honey bees on our cakes were hand made in Romania by the mother of the food and beverage manager. We also talked with Georgi about the risk of bees becoming extinct and some of the dangers they face from pesticides, parasites, disappearing habitats and climate change. One out of every three bites of food we eat each day relies on pollination, mostly by bees. So a big thank you little honey bees and Mr Tom for a wonderful afternoon tea.
Plant flowers, save the bees and don’t forget World Bee Day on May 20th!
Just before Christmas Mo, Mr Mo and son of Mo left a wet and windy Cornwall and headed to sunny Mallorca. Always on the lookout for new places to try for afternoon tea, Mo discovered the Castillo Hotel Son Vida, set in a thirteenth century castle on a hillside overlooking the Bay of Palma. Continue reading
Day two of my bake-a-thon coincided with our wedding anniversary and I planned a special afternoon tea. Continue reading
It is always nice to find new places to visit for afternoon tea but it’s easy to forget the simple pleasures of baking at home. The satisfying sensation of rubbing fat into flour, of careful measuring, licking the spoon and best of all, the warm, homely smell wafting through the house. Continue reading
The last few months have flown by and Christmas is almost here – and Christmas means mince pies and yule log and mulled wine and much feasting. So when we spotted a Festive Tea on offer at the Headland Hotel in Newquay Mo and I decided it would be rude not to. Continue reading
Mr Mo and I like boats. Mr Mo likes dinghies, going fast and getting wet but I like to take things easy and relax with a nice G&T. So off we sailed from Barcelona for a seven night Mediterranean Islands cruise on board the Star Pride, a small, intimate ship, which can get into ports the larger ships can’t. No formal nights so the wardrobe planning’s a doddle. As we left the port of Barcelona to the first of many of ‘sail-away’ parties the music from 1492 – Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis was playing loudly, a fitting anthem to put everyone in the sailing mood! My fascination with the skills of a ship’s Pilot was to begin here. Continue reading
For our final week in Italy we headed back north to Lake Como and the lovely, unspoilt village of Torno. Set on the hillside overlooking the lake is Villa Matilda (or ‘The Castle” as it’s known locally) which has been restored with infinite care and attention to detail by its American owners, Tony and Shirley, who live there with their young son. On arrival we were invited by our hosts for early evening drinks by the pool and we were still there at midnight having enjoyed fabulous food, wine and company. It was a wonderful start to our week in Lake Como. Continue reading