Afternoon high tea is a combination of some of my favorite things: getting all dolled up to go to a well-decorated parlor or sitting room, usually complete with elegant atmosphere and tasteful music, and stuffing your face with various finger sandwiches, scones slathered with Devonshire cream and berry jam, and decadent desserts such as lemon merengue pie, all washed down with hot tea and light conversation. Somehow the experience is a combination of contradictions; there's a part of me that thinks of a child in her mother's heels, five sizes too big, traipsing around pouring tea to her stuffed rabbit, Alfred, while the other half of me imagines fancy, snooty men and women decked in too many baubles and too much perfume or cologne, skirting around small talk, though they know Marian Vanderbilt's husband isn't really away on business and Sir Xavier the Third has lost most of his formerly considerable fortune. Eh, call me overly imaginative. But afternoon tea, though reminiscent of these things, in actuality is so much fun!
In Cape Town, South Africa, an area and a country all greatly influenced by English culture, afternoon tea is a little more commonplace. So when I heard about the high tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel, I jumped on the opportunity and insisted we make the time. I'm very glad I did -- the hotel and its grounds are located in the middle of Cape Town's city center, yet feel worlds apart, and the high tea was exactly as it should be, delicious food and yummy tea (I got the jasmine tea -- so good!) Also, while sitting at tea with my mom and Jessie, our family friend Peggy's eight year old, we spotted a familiar face at the dessert table -- Rebel Wilson! She sat two tables away from us and though I didn't want to be rude and disturb her, I may have stealthily creeped a photo or two. Ah well, I'm sure she won't mind. It was a great way to spend my last day in the southern hemisphere.
(I wore a baby blue ribbed Asos dress, Vince Camuto brown leather espadrille wedges, my Kate Spade envelope purse, Leslie Danzis blue oval earrings, and my favorite Marley Lilly monogram necklace.)
Click to enlarge photos.