By which, of course, I mean afternoon tea!
So first let’s introduce my friend Andrea. I’ve known Andrea since I was a mere 14 years old. We met at summer camp and though we only spent six weeks of our youth together (eventually as roomies as well as friends) we stayed very very close. Because I went to a very very awesome (albeit dorkily named) summer camp.
So, delightfully, we now live in the same place! Which means I can take her out to tea on her birthday!
I arrived a bit early and took it as an opportunity to wander around the highly glamorous Washington Duke Inn taking pictures.
Fun fact: I am clearly terrible at taking selfies. Also, this is a fancy mirror.
Finally, I stopped in this classy room (looking out on classy people eating classy food on a classy verandah) and read the paper for a bit. It’s funny, now that I am an employee (and future student) of UNC, I have a visceral reaction when I read the word “Duke” now. It makes me feel a bit brainwashed.
After a few minutes of reading, I met up with Andrea and then we arrived at the tea department! This was such a lovely, pampering experience from start to finish. I’d had to work the previous day (Saturday 😦 so uncool) so I hadn’t gotten around to calling about the reservation until the day-of. They said they couldn’t accommodate us for the whole fancy tea service with the tray and the mini sandwiches and stuff because they make all that stuff per customer. However, they said we were welcome to come and just drink tea and scones. So we did! In this lovely atmosphere, with a waiter who was just as polite and charming and attentive as he would have been if we were paying for the whole shebang.
Lovvvvvved the tea menu! I got the vanilla and almond, which our waiter said was his favorite. It was indeed fantastic.
With lotsa cream, of course 🙂 I love getting my own little teapot at fancy places like this.
The scones arrived with (swoon) fresh lemon curd, delicious strawberry jam, and Devonshire cream.
Because our waiter had gotten mixed up and thought we could get the whole tea service with the fancy sandwiches and so on and then realized we couldn’t, he atoned by giving us like six scones and charging us for only two 🙂 So nice! The scones were AMAZING. The first was a nutty, crumbly walnut infused scone that was wonderfully cookie reminiscent without reaching a cloying level of sweetness. The second was a orange zest and dried blueberry scone. Totally impossible to pick a favorite.
Of course I went totally condiment crazy and had to try everything!
Andrea and I went on and on about what a nice way this was to celebrate. Though we both have been known to go out and hit the club on occasion, this is much more our speed when given the choice. It still felt special and birthday-y, but it was also really tranquil and relaxing (and since we were both coming off crazy periods at work, that was more than welcome).
As a final surprise, when I thought we were all done with everything, they brought out a surprise (and complimentary!) birthday treat for Andrea. Adorable heart-shaped chocolate cakey with awesome vanilla ice cream and pretty fancily swirled sauces. Note that the Happy Birthday was written on white chocolate, mm.