We are ten days from departure–and needed a spot of practice. My wonderful mom-and-dad-in-law gathered in the grandbabies and sent Alex and I with his sister Elena and hubby Gideon off for afternoon tea at Mrs. Bridge’s Pantry in Woodstock, CT. This place was subtitled “a little slice of Britain”!

We perused a menu of some hundred tea choices, organized into blacks, greens, and tisanes. One of my favorite moments was when Alex, straight-faced,asked the waitress to bring “whatever they drink in Oxford in the afternoons”. (She was uncertain on this point, and he ended up with Earl Grey–which in my opinion has overly floral tints and cannot match English Breakfast for solid tea goodness.) Our accompanying choices were certainly a little slice of Britain–scones with Devonshire cream, crumpets, and tea biscuits. I cheated and had a lemon bar, a personal favorite and a nod to my constant citrus cravings. I did seriously consider the mince pies and jam tartlets because they sounded so British, but in the end the lemons got me. Which reminds me to ask my readership (thinking one of the six of you is bound to know), what exactly is a mince pie? Some sort of spiced meat? If anyone has sampled this delicacy, please be forthcoming. I’d hate to show up in England and have no idea…

It was a delightful afternoon. I’d gladly live it again any day when I happen to be free. And the real question is, was Mrs. Bridge’s Pantry “a little slice of Britain”? I’ll let you know in ten days.

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8 Responses to practice

  1. Alex says:

    Notice the proper pinky form in the picture.

  2. Haley says:

    Mince pies are delicious! Roger’s mom makes them every Christmas and I love them. Mincemeat originally was a combination of fruits, spices, and meat, but now the pies are often made without meat (and so are just filled with fruits and spices). Either way, they’re very good!

  3. Kristin Tabb says:

    Cute picture!

    One of the delights of my life was having a Yorkshire pudding in Yorkshire in 2008. I was surprised to find that Yorkshire pudding isn’t a pudding — it’s the best potpie/dumplingish thing I’ve ever had. I don’t even like dumplings. But I would have Yorkshire pudding again any day.

  4. Ok, I would never have ordered that anywhere–just sounds suspect. I’m so glad you recommended it—I’m trying it ASAP.

  5. Barry Nelson says:

    The photo of Alex and Betsy practicing for “High Tea” in merry old England, I had to chuckle to myself about Mom’s comment… as she attempted to sound so very British…
    Something similar to “Pip, Pip and all that”. When you get to Trafalgar Square, please rinse all the Seagull residue off of our ancestral British relative Lord Horatio’s head for me. Thanks.

  6. Heather Labudde says:

    I grew up with a British mom and she always had mince pies at Christmas. They were
    made from heavily spiced fruit only. Mince meat is something quite different and is
    of course made from finely chopped (“minced” ) meat.
    Going on, high tea is a formal tea and is usually a meal of sorts.
    Do try Yorkshire pudding when you can. Wonderful with roast beef!

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