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London Hot-spots: Afternoon Tea at Number Twelve.....the Ambassador Hotel (London)!

Watching celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal perform one of his famous scientific experiments on the traditional British tea break in the dainty English town of Darwen the other night made me grin. Firstly it reinforced tea drinking as being something quintessentially British, secondly he managed to scientifically prove that the British old preference for dunking biscuits into tea does indeed make it taste more biscuit-y in a delicious sort of way, and most importantly it was a fascinating hour spent seeing the workings of the PG Tips factory that tantalised my undying love for tea even further! Perhaps it is also because of my Chinese heritage that I have a special affinity and fondness of tea, after all tea did begin its journey in China a great many moons ago, but one thing I am sure of.....is the importance of a good cup (or two) of tea in my every day life. In Heston's words, 'we are a nation fueled by tea', and this has certainly been true in the sense of tea being enjoyed as a favourite hot drink in Britain for more than 350 years.....plus tea was considered so important as a daily essential capable of keeping the British fighting spirit high throughout both world wars that the government made efforts to keep tea affordable and available to the whole country. [To find out more about what happened in Heston Blumenthal's Channel 4 programme 'Fantastical Food' on the British tea break in Darwen, please click on the link: www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/darwen/9829592.Heston_brews_up_big_style_in_Darwen] Needless to say I felt like another cup of tea after watching the programme and would have wielded to desire if it was not so close to bedtime, but it also reminded me of my recent Afternoon Tea excursion when Judita came to visit a few weeks ago. [To find out more about the origins and history of tea as well as Afternoon Tea, please click on the UK Tea Council link: www.tea.co.uk/page.php?id=47] There is nothing like a good cup of tea to prepare myself for the day ahead, to help endure a bad day or even make me smile when I feel my worst whilst being plagued by the grotty cold I have at the moment.....then there are those marvellous days where I can sit chatting away with just a cup of tea in my hand. This is why the traditional Afternoon Tea is a particular joy that I could easily accommodate at every opportunity and love sharing with my dearest friends.....you are probably considering why I haven't written much about afternoon teas before or why in this instance I have decided to go to tea with a massive beehive! For you lovely darling who have been following, you might remember my recent mini-beehive post in New York that I was a little disappointed with, so I decided to re-do a 1960s inspired beehive look  and a days out in London with Judita seemed like the perfect excuse......
[To find out why biscuits taste better when dunked into tea and how Heston proved it, please click on the link: www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/heston-blumenthals-fantastical-food-chef-1418472]

Tea, tea, tea! I love a good cup of tea!

Afternoon Tea at Number Twelve, Ambassador Hotel (London).

Mmmm.....which treat should I have first?

Daydreaming in a cup of tea!


Dress: ASOS Peplum Dress
Boots: Chinese Laundry
Cardigan: Zara (past season)
Coat: Matalan (past season)
Accessories: Earrings from Forever 21





Afternoon Tea with Judita at Number Twelve, Ambassador Hotel (London).

Arriving an hour earlier than the traditional four o'clock in the afternoon at Number Twelve, which was almost 5 minutes just down the road from King's Cross Station, the feeling of being in a modern glass caged cafe jumps out at me as soon as we entered the double glass doors of the restaurant adjoining Ambassador Hotel. In the midst of the old strict builds of central London, the Ambassador Hotel seems to blend in with the distinctively beautiful old styled buildings, but indoors at Number Twelve it opened up in the air of modernity with crisp white linen tablecloths, sassy red leather-like chairs and sophisticated dark brown wooden cladding that somehow made me think of the 60s.....and funny enough it was not because I had a massive beehive on my head. We were swiftly seated by the courteous staff, who then brought us a tray with a selection of pretty fabric tea bags to choose from, and shortly after snapping some photos on my camera our toasty warm scones arrived with the rest of the goodies in a rather modern metal and plastic ensemble of a cake stand. As our tea brewed in its invisible glass bath, we started straight on the lovely scones.....I must say the combination of a hot fluffy scone with slightly crispy edges and melting clotted cream with sweet strawberry compote is absolutely, divinely, yummy! The sandwiches from cucumber to pink salmon filling and custard fruit tarts were nice, though nothing out of the ordinary.....but even with some lovely tea the pink frosted cupcakes were disappointingly soggy and tasted like vegetable oil for some strange reason. As the rain tapped on the glass ceiling and our pots of teas were refilled, I felt content to watch the day pass with flowing chatter about all and everything that crossed our minds. Perhaps this is why afternoon tea gained in popularity through the years gone by.....it might have begun as a high society affair where ladies sat in their opulent drawing rooms to receive other ladies clad in their finest gowns for a spot of tea and cake, but the crux of it all really is the opportunity to sit down together for a real face to face conversation with a friend. With the lovely scones and tea as well as the warm waiting staff, Number Twelve respectably gathered ♥♥♥ out of 5 lovely hearts from me for our afternoon tea excursion. 

So next time you happen to stop by in London, do have a pleasant afternoon tea! Just in case you might want to know more.....here is tea specialist Margot from the famous Fortnum and Mason (who have been in the tea business since 1707), briefly explaining the origin as well as importance of the customarily British afternoon tea:
 *Fortnum & Mason afternoon tea video link:
www.fortnumandmason.com/c-380-the-origins-of-afternoon-tea-fortnum-and-mason.aspx

And also Fortnum and Mason's How-To brew the perfect cup of tea video link:
www.fortnumandmason.com/c-46-the-perfect-cup-of-tea-fortnum-and-mason.aspx


Taking a walk near St Pancras Station.......



"London's calling!"

One for the Harry Potter fans; "Welcome on Platform 9 and 3/4!" (King's Cross Station, London)

Judita at King's Cross Station, London.
Hopefully you have enjoyed my little Afternoon Tea excursion with Judita and like my 60s inspired beehive look! There will be more to post about my travels to Portugal as well as an exciting new series of posts I am planning for the Qi Pao (Chinese Cheongsam).......and also an idea or two that might make my blog a little bit different the next time you drop by. Also please, please, please do drop by at the Walking In May Facebook page to find out more, as it is updated almost every day with some Vintage inspiration as well as what I have been up to:
Last but not least.....a massive THANK YOU to all you wonderful darlings for your continued support, beautiful comments and love of 'Walking In May'.....as well as a warm 'Hello' to the new followers. Have a fabulous Sunday my darlings!


Until the next time,
May xx

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Comments

  1. Lovely look and the hair-do looks great on you :) I want to visit London someday, it would be a dream-come-true !:)

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    1. Thank you Sara! I am sure you will find many fun things to do when you visit London in the future.....as we often have lots of exciting vintage fairs! Have a fabulous week sweety!
      May x

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  2. Hi May! A friend just emailed me about a cheongsam exhibit that happened in Singapore earlier this year, and I immediately thought of you. Did you hear about it already? Here's a nice write-up with lots of great photos. And evidently there is a catalog, which is available through Amazon.

    Looking forward to your qipao posts. Cheers!

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    1. Thank you for letting me know Dave! I did find out about this exhibition a few weeks ago but since its past I couldn't find any posts or photos of it. So the write-up with all those beautiful photos is just brilliant! Fascinating stuff! Can't wait to get my hands on the book too! Have a fabulous week Dave! :)
      May

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  3. you look so beautiful May! i love the blue/grey combo and YOUR HAIR!!!! omg, it's gorgeous and ever so long. i wish mine would grow but it's at a snails pace for me i'm afraid ;)

    my bf, Vivian, taught me the importance of a good cup of tea. she too is from Chinese heritage and every few months she turns into my "supplier"....so covert sounding hey?! but seriously, her Mom hooks us up with wonderful blends. there's nothing quite like the serenity in those sips, i hear you loud and clear! but giiiiiirl, the treat tray really sucked me in. what a layered bit of goodness. yums! sorry about the sogged ones but 3 outta 5 ain't bad. cheers to more 5 star outings to come! ♥

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    1. Thank you Lynn! You are ever so sweet my dear and I am always happy to hear from you! I just love colours as I think they can be quite a powerful expression medium, and I am sure your hair will grow lovely and long in a little time...truth be told, I only have my hair trimmed twice a year as I am far too attached to it.
      I am glad that you love tea too, and how lucky that you have a lovely supplier...not many even realise the difference between a simple green tea and Oolong tea in our commercialised tea drinking age. Next time you are in London you must go for a lovely cup of Afternoon Tea!
      May x

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  4. Hiya dear. Loved the hairstyle, it looks really nice on you!
    Oh I don't remember if I already replied to you about this but, I'm glad you enjoyed Portugal. Did you eat the common Pastéis (tarts) de Nata or the real deal Pastéis de Belém that only like 3/4 Chefs in the world know the recipe and they are sold in one place in Lisbon? :D
    They are both similar but there is I guess a some special ingredient in the Belém Tarts :)
    xoxo
    K.

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    1. Thank you my lovely! Portugal was nice and relaxing as we got to spend time resting on the beach. I loved the Nata tarts and found a bakery to have them for breakfast almost every day...even brought home a few for my family to try! :) Didn't get to try the Belem tarts though as they didn't have that many choices in Albufeira I think....but there's always next time!
      May xx

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  5. What a wonderfully lovely looking day - you have the most delightful travel adventures. Those blue shoes are stellar - just gorgeous with your grey outfit and dark locks.


    Have a marvelous weekend, honey!
    ♥ Jessica

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~Thank you so so much! I love hearing from you and appreciate every beautiful comment. Please feel free to follow and walk with me too.....have a fabulously lovely day my darlings!
Until the next time,
♥ May xx

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