“Luxury isn’t the opposite of poverty. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”
~ Coco Chanel
The quintessential Afternoon Tea is indeed a luxury through and true, and yet so simple, modest and tasteful. Just one woman’s attempt at a snack because she felt peckish between a light lunch and a fashionably late supper. A woman after my own heart, and appetite: Anna – Duchess of Bedford . She asked for some tea and cake and sandwiches (you can thank The Earl of Sandwich for this one – these Brits rock!) to hold her until supper and voila! A star was born! A fun, yummy, luxurious star that has evolved into quite the posh social event over the years. And the perfect meet & eat for a couple of friends looking to catch up, chit chat and luxuriate the day away 🙂 like me and my girl Harpreet last Saturday 🙂
We’d been planning a rendezvous for a while and it turns out we both had been meaning to do an Afternoon Tea tour of Nairobi so it only made sense to have Afternoon Tea together 🙂 We decided Hemingways in Karen was a good idea to start with but I must say I was very shocked and disappointed when their management wouldn’t allow me to use a professional camera for this unless we paid a FIFTY THOUSAND SHILLING fee! 50K! Err, what now? The worst bit was that this info was relayed on the day we were coming, even when I’d called ahead and emailed several times and days in advance. A lot of plans had to change and I wasn’t in the best of moods by the time I survived traffic and got there. But as soon as I saw Harpreet we started chatting away and my mood lifted. And then the tea was set up . . .
It was so cute! Delightful! I was torn between digging in and taking picture but of course, bloggers gon’ blog so yeah, we took the pictures first 🙂 sadly not as good as they would have been as all we could use were our phones. So please bear with the quality of the pictures and just focus on how good it all looks haha. The spread came on a 3 tier chrome cake stand which carried some absolutely delicious freshly baked scones, delicate finger sandwiches, cakes and pastries. There was a tea selection (we both went for the earthy black tea) and some sparkling drinks because bubbles were just the perfect remedy to the heat. However, and it still gets me down even thinking about it now , there was no clotted cream! Can you believe that? No preserve! *gasp* The corner stones of the Afternoon Tea – missing! We got fresh cream and some jelly-like jam in their stead and we made sure to ask and keep asking where these essentials were but all we got in the way of an explanation was “the drought” *sigh*. The missing silver teapots we overlooked. The normal cups instead of the traditional bone china, we bared with. But the clotted cream? Tsk tsk. That was actually the top reason we went to Hemingways. Even their website claims it, but alas!
In any case, the scones were to-die-for, just the right amount of salt in all that sweet! My favourite. And we really tried but we couldn’t finish the entire thing and didn’t even get to the cakes. It was very filling and worth the 1,900 Kenya Shilling ($19) price. Plus the place really is a beauty. So we chatted away and caught up on life and events, shared ideas and hopes for the future . . . We walked around a little marveling at the stunning sunset and the glorious golden hour “filter” cast on it. Ethereal. Hemingways is an unassuming little stunner of a hotel, I must say. Feels old world when it is quite a newbie compared to the actual old timey favourites like Fairmont, The Norfolk. So well done. And thumbs up on getting rid of that awful AstroTurf that really brought down the whole aesthetic of the patio! Once Harpreet spotted the fairylights start to go on in the trees, we knew it was time to leave before night fell. We had a chance to express our displeasure about the photography fee and the manager was cordial about it and hopefully, that will soon change.
We ate, we made merry, we enjoyed the views but that clotted cream story . . . I’m not over it yet lol. On to the next Afternoon Tea experience soon and may the odd be ever in our clotted favour! I can’t wait!