We were blessed with crisp sunny weather and even crisper Chardonnay. In short, a good time was had by all.
The high point was afternoon tea. It’s an opportunity to sit back, put your shopping down and eat, drink and be merry. Plus, it’s a known fact that any food served on a three-tiered cake stand is extra delicious.
Afternoon tea at the Empress is a luxurious experience.
The shabby chic tea lobby is the closest I’ll come to Downton Abbey and our attentive server was like our very own Canadian Mr. Carson. He explained everything (“curried chicken with mango chutney, smoked salmon pinwheel, egg salad…”) He even gave direction regarding the order of eating–start at the bottom with the sandwiches, move to the middle for the buttery scones and cream and finish on the top with the assortment of decadent sweets.
As if that wasn’t enough, Mr. Carson had a super special tea sense. Every time one of our cups reached the half full mark, he arrived to top it up from the big pot at our table. He even added milk and sugar to D’s. (I’m a purist who drinks my tea straight.)
We were like minor royalty, or at least aristocrats, and while I can’t speak for D, I could learn to live with this level of service. By the end of afternoon tea, I was beginning to believe I deserved to be waited on like Lady Mary. Boy was my sailor in for a surprise!
Turned out he did get quite a surprise. So did I.
This evening, the house got real cold. Cold enough that we could see our breath.
“I don’t understand what could be wrong,” said my sailor, fiddling with the thermostat. “I’ve turned it up, but the heat hasn’t come on.”
Uh oh–I forgot to order oil. No oil–no heat. Even I know that. A quick call to the Co-op yielded the following result: they can’t deliver until tomorrow so we are doing indoor winter camping tonight.
My sailor, who knows about such things, declares it’s not quite cold enough for us to die of hypothermia.
Mr. Carson, where are you? I need a top up!