Chic Afternoon Tea at Greyfriars. There’s something extremely opulent and alluring about the beautiful design arrangement and clinking of quality China and crystal coupe champagne glasses.Crisp table cloths and the aroma of freshly baked scones.
Afternoon tea is just not exercised enough in the modern world. In a world where we are all so busy, pre occupied by electronic devices and overcome with commercial coffee shop chains.
I’m privileged to have a step mum who stems from an aristocrat ancestry, so visiting her and my dad is delightful. The tea is served in a China teapot and pored into quaint charming cups on saucers, accompanied by fresh homemade cake. Or sandwiches are made with homemade bread, filled with homemade chutneys and pickles. But should you be visiting for dinner you may get served lamb from the small holding and homegrown vegetables….
I have a great fondness and applause for this lifestyle, and hence I’m filled with a humbling sense of nostalgia when attending similar affairs. I do feel that everyone should have the opportunity to experience such culture and enjoyment.
So what better way to thank my amazing employees for working so hard while I was on holiday, than to treat them to afternoon tea at Greyfriars!
Greyfriars is an exquisite luxury hotel in Colchester, boasting a recent refurbishment of £3.6 million. I’d first heard the name last year in previous conversations, also suggesting it as a place for last years Miss World Classics to stay for the competition. But it was more recently that it came to attention again, when chatting with a good friend, as to places that serve traditional afternoon tea. Now Toni hasn’t been herself yet, but as a high end beautician and officers wife, she was well informed that Greyfriars offered a meriting calibre.
Greyfriars website then closed the deal for me, the photos oozed indulgence, virtue and chastity… Then there is the extremely well written vivification and characterisation of the venue and all it has to offer…. So I booked the champagne afternoon tea for 3 people.
As I got ready for our afternoon tea I felt content and chilled so I opted for a classic cream jumper dress. hair down and loosely curled, a plum lipstick and chocolate toe nail varnish peeping from my flip flops. And not forgetting the aviators to finish….
It was a stunning beautiful sunny day in Septembers heat wave, and after a peculiar twisty drive round a one way street, I pulled into the car park located at the rear of the building, I felt very at home in my Range Rover Sport….The hot sun beating down on the courtyard in the distance, which was adorned with well dressed and well behaved consumers.
I had arrived ahead of schedule so I went ahead and checked ourselves in for our appointment, where I was greeted by well spoken, polite, smart service staff, who escorted me to the location of the ‘rose room’. Not wanting to squander the glorious sunshine, I proceeded foremost to the baroque bar to order myself a still water, opening a tab so I could take great delight in bearing the expenses for my girls once they arrived. The waiters were courteous and their mannerisms impeccable as I absorbed my surroundings, of open fires, solid oak, velvet and granite interior.
I was encouraged outside into the terrace aka courtyard, where they would bring my drink, whilst I waited for the girls to arrive and enjoyed some people watching.
My lovely, hard working ladies had huge smiles on their faces as we greeted, and Immersed ourselves in conversation… Losing track of time, basking in the warmth and chatting away, we were late going indoors for our Tea… But the staff ensured us it was not a problem, escorting us to our window table…. I might add, Diligently picked for us so we could continue the warmth of sun! What true exceptional attention to detail and their customers! The Rose room was divine, silk drapes, Murano chandeliers and stunning Windows, topped with the fine china, crystal glasses and well presented staff.
Firstly, we were offered our champagne, served in their timeless filigree crystal saucers, as we toasted to our great team. This is the only alcoholic beverage I’ve consumed in 6weeks as I’m in training for the Miss World Classic! I’d also been saving my ‘cheat meal’ for this occasion… I haven’t had one yet during competition prep… And I was to allow myself sandwiches today… But no cakes….
A rich flavoured selection of finger sandwiches, pure heaven as I savoured the salmons, mustards and more…. Onto the puddings (which I recently heard is actually the posher way of saying desserts) and Tea…. However I opted for black coffee…. I treated myself to one of the light scones with a thin spread of clotted cream and jam, but mostly I took joy in watching the girls enjoy their food…pleasantly surprised and pleased with my own willpower to not even want one of the delicious looking macaroons or tortes!
One of my girlfriends, also a fellow competitor for the Miss World Classic, accompanied us for the latter of the afternoon, and we gracefully retreated to the terrace, bellies full, and ordering more black coffee.
As Lisa Jayne and I talked training, nutrition, dresses and competition talk, the girls listened in, and I’m humbled to say that we have inspired them to get healthy too! One in particular started the following day, healthy eating and joining a gym! To inspire someone, a young woman, who has the same insecurities that we all go through, whom had a short term mental illness history, which myself and Lisa Jayne have personal experience with, is truly rewarding.
As creator and ambassador of @mentalillnesslucidassociation #mila my goal is to raise awareness of mental illness, and how you can still live a high end, full filling life.
Our afternoon drew to an end, as I settled the tab, again praising my girls for their hard work, as I looked forward to the new working week with my team.
We had a thoroughly delightful afternoon, in a beautiful location, adorned with stunning decor, with delicious food and beverages, exceptional service and great company.
I will most certainly be visiting again and recommending Greyfriars to friends and business associates.
Lisa Jayne and I then retreated to my home, where we continued for many hours, late into the evening, talk on the Miss World and travelling adventures, whilst trying on dresses and coats I was taking off her hands before she leaves for America…. But that will be another blog x