|New pajamas from Grammy!|
Eventually, we all left to wander through the winding streets to Notting Hill and some window shopping -- although, one of us did succumb to temptation and bought a gorgeous handbag. We stopped at a local cafe and lunch for some -- I abstained, realizing we were due soon enough for tea at the Palace! Soon we were retracing our steps and on our way we paused to pick up my great niece, complete with her scooter, from school! It didn't take long to once again be walking down Bayswater Road and through the gate into Kensington Gardens.
|Beautiful autumnal day in Kensington Gardens|
|Mother with her Bottomless Pit and Kensington Palace Tea Room|
What we wanted was tea for three with some sandwiches and cakes. But the menu described several different combinations but only for one person at getting towards 20 pounds sterling a pop -- which seemed ridiculous to me! At the bottom of the menu it said "plate of sandwiches" at 9 pounds. Plus tea. I asked the waitress if they only had menus for one person and she said yes. So we ordered 3 plates of sandwiches and three pots of tea. The waitress also asked us if we wanted cake, we declined.
Oh my goodness! The plates of sandwiches arrived! Each plate had the equivalent of four different sandwiches all cut into fingers. Even Bottomless Pit was overwhelmed. None of us could finish. The waitress returned and my sister didn't say what she was about to say before she heard the words -- we do not have boxes for left-overs!!! We did, however, have serviettes/napkins -- and a few minutes later the waitress returned with more, saying that we had a good idea! The thing that was so embarrassing, was that everyone else there seemed to know how to go about getting little plates of sandwiches and little tiered plates of cakes and tea. I just felt so stupid -- as you do ... and I soooooo did!!! I do wonder though if part of the problem was that the waitress herself was foreign and not well versed in the intricacies of afternoon tea -- it seems obvious to me that we needed some help and advice -- but perhaps I'm being unfair -- over 30 years in England I should have been able to order a presentable tea for 3, doncha think?
Our handbags stuffed with sandwiches, we left the tea room and headed back to the hotel, this time successfully negotiating the catching of a bus and getting off at the right stop, too! We made reservations for dinner -- for six at 6.00 -- at a charming Italian restaurant called L'Arco. This turned out to be an inspired choice, which my sister got from the website TripAdvisor, which we highly recommend for those not in the know. The six of us present and accounted for, food ingested (again!), we had a two minute walk to the Victoria Palace and Billy Elliot the Musical.
About the show, I can not wax lyrical enough! Recalling it now a few weeks later and there are certain scenes that bring goose bumps. It was thrilling, sad, triumphant and awe inspiring. The role of Billy is so demanding that there are four lads playing the part. (No, not 4 on the night!!) What a night to remember for all of us and a family occasion to boot. In fact, the entire day was all about the family and being together and enjoying the company. A treasure for the memory...
A Footnote: none of us ever had another of those sandwiches! Forgotten and unloved we left them in the hotel room's fridge!