(Belfast) Shannon wanted to experience high tea, so she booked a table at Belfast’s Merchant hotel. Shannon, Liz, Suzi, Liam, and I went while Brian and Kevin looked after Elias and Fiona (two on two, almost even odds) and arranged the rental cars for our Belfast leave taking later that afternoon.
The Merchant is a grand old hotel.
After his experience on the Queen Mary 2 Liam was ready for this. The menu was finger cakes, scones with clotted cream, and assorted pastries. There were substitutions for allergies (no salmon for me) and they even had a vegan high tea.
We all forwent the bubbly wine, we were driving later that afternoon. I thought I would be driving but with the manual shift in a smaller car my shoes were too wide, and I could not hit the clutch without hitting the brake. I also didn’t have enough room to maneuver my knees to work the pedals. Kevin couldn’t even fit in the front seat. He got to drive the automatic. Brian drove the van with our luggage.
Liam has developed a taste for tea during this trip but this time he ordered both tea and hot chocolate and the look of sheer delight on his face when the chocolate came…
It was all a very upper-class affair, and a lot of fun for all of us.
I was interested that the background music was jazz and not light classics (what I call Central European café music). It was, in fact, Grover Washington Jr. on sax.
Right outside the hotel was a billboard that read “We always knew who was essential and who kept society going. THE WORKING CLASS.” High tea was not a working-class affair. I was amused when the next track on Grover Washington’s album played. Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues.” Teatime?