One of the downsides of being a blogger is that many of the 1000 thing adventures involve FOOD. I am a big fan of food, and thus am in a constant battle to be thin and beautiful whilst acting as your roving correspondent.
The Orange Pekoe tea room is only two miles from my digs, so I decided to walk there, before going for a run to dump the calories I would be consuming. Thus, I was informally dressed, not quite the full Radcliffe, but not far off. Happily, Orange Pekoe prides itself on catering for everyone: the tea menu makes it clear – no minimum order, wear shorts if you want to, just hang out and enjoy the tea.
Enjoying the tea is one of my greatest gifts, but today I was distracted by tech.
Having ordered a cream tea (£7.50, very reasonable), I set to trying to get my bluetooth pedometer to connect with my phone, and I switched on my iPad writing app, which gave me a message about using the iCloud to back up all my files, which I ignored. The iPad promptly lost two years worth of blog posts. I nearly wept. But coincidentally I had been quietly working my way through the Star Trek Next Generation box set. I thus took a moment. Before I’d set out, I’d watched a Star Trek episode called “Where no one has gone before.” In it, a friendly space alien had taken the Starship Enterprise 2.7million light years away from home by accident. What did Jean Luc do? Did he get peevish? Did he have a hissy fit? Did he sit down on the bridge and sob? No. He was calm. He took a moment, had a conversation with his long dead French mother, then sorted it out. And so it was that I took a moment, read the read me file which was now the only file I had on my iPad, and then adjusted the settings so it could speak to the iCloud, and lo and behold, all my files were back.
Why do I tell you this? Once upon a time I went to the British Museum to see the Way of Tea ceremony (http://1000thingsinlondon.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/thing-2-visit-the-british-museum-and-see-the-way-of-tea-ceremony/). The Japanese used to devote a single room just to tea drinking. No TVs, no iPads, presumably no bluetooth pedometers with syncing problems. By fiddling with tech, I had forgotten to focus on the tea. The same tea I had walked two miles for, and was planning on running off for an hour afterwards. I switched off my tech, and focused on the cream tea. The scones were still warm from the oven, plump and even. There was a fruit one and a plain one, and either one of them would have won a scone round in the Great British Bakeoff. And then the tea.
In a rush I’d randomly asked for the afternoon blend. I took a mouthful. It wasn’t like any tea I’d drunk before. I am an avid, but low maintenance tea drinker. I normally just have PG Tips, or something similar, which does the job, but isn’t a fine blend. The afternoon blend tasted of apple and honey, and danced on the tongue. Its too complex a flavour for everyday (my tea tends to be a welcome interruption to the day rather than the main event). But by gum, when your tongue fancies a workout, Orange Pekoe is a damn fine place to take it for one. Even Jean Luc Picard (famously an Earl Grey aficionado) would want to make it so. So I’ll be back, next time with my own, beloved baldy, Spouse (who is particularly partial to a fruit scone).
Find out all there is to know about Orange Pekoe from their website: http://www.orangepekoeteas.com/at