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7 October 2013

Into the wild

With my emotions gradually returning to the semblance of normality, ending my self-imposed hiatus from everything and everybody except the Royal Mail delivery man seems timely. It’s been an intense few months – Japan was unique; full of wonder, endless discoveries, blissful moments and complete and utter heartbreak, hence the hiatus. It’s weird; I feel as though the last three years can be summarised as a relentless period of loss in some shape or form and worse still, always when one least expects it. But onwards we go.

And where better to start one’s recovery than Fortnum & Mason. This is my go-to place for presents (and marshmallows). The products are lovely but it is the packaging which steals the show. The ornate biscuit tins and tea canisters are particular favourites. However, on this occasion, I wasn’t there to shop. Being one of the first people I engaged with in the land of social media three years ago and having travelled all the way from New Zealand, there was no way I could miss the opportunity to meet Michelle. So my tears were wiped away, the blusher came out and off I went to Mayfair to indulge in a spot of afternoon tea.

A couple of sandwich servings later, we found ourselves fawning over the presentation of the clotted cream. Details are so important and as I age my affinity for all things (I deem) British increases – the vintage style dish oozes old-school glamour. The lushness of the cream as it covered my scones and welcomed the strawberry jam had me dreaming of daily Fortnum & Mason reservations. Although Michelle spoke of committing the cardinal scone sin – putting the jam before the clotted cream, to which I threatened to have her deported – we spent just over four hours talking, laughing and eating far too much. A little champagne, single-estate Oolong tea and desserts exquisite enough to have us dreaming of Parisian patisseries, afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason was everything I had hoped it would be and more. Not too shabby for my first outing since August.

Although I’m not quite myself yet and am certainly not ready to fully jump back into everything, dipping my red-painted toe into the water felt good. Although endings are sad and surprisingly traumatic, I realised that beginnings, such as new friendships, are worth every moment particularly when accompanied by warm scones and tea.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. 7 October 2013 14:42

    Tears in my eyes as I read this and I dunno exactly why. Um beijinho. J.

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      10 October 2013 14:35

      No crying! I’ve done enough for both of us. Gros bisous xx

  2. 7 October 2013 21:23

    Yes, I know exactly how you feel. Its exactly how I feel after I come back from seeing my parents in America. There is only one word for it: bittersweet. Its emotional and it takes time getting back to “real life.” There is so much comfort to be had in the familiar though… and a bit of pampering never goes amiss. Sometimes when you go through so many emotions it takes time to remember who you are and feel like yourself again, but you will.
    Love, H
    p.s. you should try the F&M rose biscuits, they are divine (they come in a really pretty pink tin).

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      10 October 2013 14:35

      Wise words! Thank you :)

      I may just pop over to the biscuit department after our lunch on Saturday. You really shouldn’t plant these ideas…

      x

  3. 8 October 2013 10:10

    Milla, I’m so happy we met up. I so enjoyed our afternoon together and I’m so pleased that you ended your self-imposed hiatus to meet me. Until we meet again…maybe ‘high tea’ in Welly. xox

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      10 October 2013 14:32

      Michelle, it was an absolute delight! I’m just said your trip was so short. Yes, let’s plan to have ‘high tea’ in NZ whilst I’m young enough to handle such crazy long flights. xx

      PS – loving the Goyard!!

  4. Auscanucksarah permalink
    9 October 2013 10:18

    Mum and I had tea there on her last day in London. I think it was her favourite-we both loved it! Glad to hear things are getting better. I’m heading out in December but perhaps one final afternoon tea, Christmas themed, would be a good farewell. Let me know if you’re up for it. Take care!

    • Not Just Another Milla permalink*
      10 October 2013 14:30

      Let’s put it this way: Fortnum & Mason made it into my top two afternoon teas in London and top five worldwide. Exquisite! I’m happy you both enjoyed it. Funny you should say that, I’ve been dreaming of gingerbread for days and have started the Christmas afternoon tea research. I will get my gingerbread!!

      • Auscanucksarah permalink
        11 October 2013 20:59

        Haha well let me know because I want to get in as many Christmas teas as I can and if they include gingerbread, I’m there!!

  5. 11 October 2013 20:43

    Hello lovely, it’s nice to see you’re back in the game! I missed you, like many others I’m sure :)

  6. 15 October 2013 15:24

    Your posts on afternoon tea and desserts get to me every single time! *grabs ice-cream to satiate sweet tooth*

  7. 23 February 2014 09:24

    Just read this beautiful post of yours again and i wanted to say THANK YOU! Thank you for introducing Fortnum & Mason on your blog because i only took one trip there in London in Dec and i loved it! And i miss it dearly. I gotta agree with you, their packaging really steals the show. I bought the Earl Grey tea biscuits, which comes in a long purple tin, it’s sooo pretty! I have yet to open it and enjoy it while i pour myself a a cup of F&M Earl Grey tea too. Hmm…i might get a earl grey overdose though;) Gotta say, the desserts in the afternoon tea looks so delish! And the holder for the butter and tea pot looks sooo cute!!! Everything is beautiful when it comes to Fortnum & Mason!!! Btw, what is the lemon curd for? Bread spread i’m guessing???

    On a serious note, i really enjoyed reading this post of yours, there’s so much honesty and emotions in it. I’m not sure what you’ve been through throughout the years, but i’m sure they had an impact on you. But it’s good to hear you’re picking yourself up again and not to mention, you still have the humor in you;) I couldn’t help but laugh when you wrote about Michelle being deported because she put jam before clotted cream on her scones. I’m happy to know i’m doing it the proper though!:D And i really agreed and loved your last line…it’s so true. Endings are sad but i always remind myself of new beginnings and how there’ always something better to look forward to in the future, no matter how much bad mishaps have happened in the past.

    Take care, Milla! and have a fab weekend!!!:D

    Cinz
    http://cinzee.wordpress.com

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