Royal Opera House

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If you remember back to my Goodbye Summer post, I said I was going to do three B’s this autumn. One of them was ballet at the Royal Opera House.

In fact, I was lucky to be at the Royal Opera House twice in one week.

Earlier on, I saw the Royal Ballet’s production of Manon, which was gloriously tragic. The costumes, the set and the dancers were all very beautiful. I am not a big ballet enthusiast and don’t go often. So, the night out with my friend, the Ex-Ballerina, felt very occasion-like. She told me that the ballet dancers work through a pair of pointe shoes a week when they’re performing! I thought it would be the toe bits that break, when in fact, it’s the sturdy arch support which bites the dust.

Later in the week, I went to a birthday afternoon tea with The Girls. The Royal Opera House started doing afternoon tea in the autumn, and it is a wonderful way to appreciate the building. I love the Paul Hamlyn hall with it’s mix of Victorian and modern architecture, and the oval bar running down the middle of the room. It’s the kind of place you want to stay longer to linger. I enjoyed the tea and the catch-up. The cakes and pastries weren’t overly sweet, which is how I like it. My favourite bits were the scones and plum jam. It’s definitely somewhere to take an out-of-towner.

~ Spotted Cow

IMGP4478Afternoon tea at Royal Opera HouseIMGP4461

 

Teanamu Chaya Teahouse

Spring and afternoon tea with The Girls go together. We set off to the Teanamu Chaya Teahouse in Notting Hill decked out in spring florals, matching the new buds in the trees. It was afternoon tea with a twist of Chinese tea ceremony, where the focus was very much on the ritual of making and infusing tea.

We made our choices from the list of Chinese and Japanese teas. I went with the Organic Golden Monkey tea because I liked the exotic name and I was born in the year of the monkey. It turned out to be a black tea from southern China, dark with flecks of twisted gold. Our host made it for me. He warmed my tiny teapot, before he infused the tea, allowing it to steep for 40 seconds. “In the Chinese way,” he said, “we make multiple infusions, brewing the tea when we are ready to drink it. Not like the Western way where you wait for the tea to brew.” I liked that. The tea was light and aromatic, and I drank it out of the littlest doll-size Chinese tea cup.

Then came the food in succession – the dim sum rice parcels and dumplings, a plate of open face sandwiches with quirky toppings like bamboo shoots in mayonnaise, cucumber and sweet hummus jam (it sounds like a contradiction in terms), and a plate of sweets. I ate the toppings off the bread so as not to get too full, but by the time the pastries turned up I was pretty much at my limit. I needed a digestive stroll afterward on Portobello Road !

~ Spotted Cow
Tea set Teanamu Chaya TeahouseLo mai fan Teanamu Chaya TeahouseOpen faced sandwiches Teanamu Chaya TeahouseSweet platter Teanamu Chaya TeahouseKitchen Teanamu Chaya Teahouse