Fairytale Day

When I was a child, I lived in a happy world of ballet classes, tea parties in the garden, and an insatiable appetite for fantastical fairytale stories. I was sure I would resist the lure of the Royal Wedding, but all of a sudden this week, I couldn’t help but be enormously excited by the decadence and romance of it all. For this was the story of the lovely and handsome (if slightly balding) Prince finding his love – who was neither a titled Royal nor an aristocrat – who would become his Princess. And all the ingredients from those stories I loved so much were there: a grand kingdom (I’ve never seen London looking more spectacular and beautiful than it did yesterday, the streets swept clean and lined with Union Jacks fluttering on the breeze); a gorgeous princess (I gasped when she stepped from her car in her lace McQueen dress) and her adoring Prince (when William stepped out in his red military regalia, I think my heart went aflutter, for he looked just like the Prince from all my fairytale books); a good dose of pomp and fanfare (in the form of a gilded horse-drawn carriage, the Household Cavalry in their dashing dress uniforms and the sounds of the State Trumpeters as the Queen entered the Abbey); and of course, a story of strong and enduring love (the couple’s giggles after their balcony kisses, William’s sweet whispers and stolen winks during the ceremony… these are the symbols of a pair genuinely comfortable together and in love with one another).

So, as this was a day worthy of a fairytale, I decided only the girliest of frou frou tea parties would do. There were vintage pink champagne glasses and elderflower cocktails, English tea and fine china, rose biscuits, tarts and berries, and of course Vogue, jewels and sorbet-coloured porcelain scented candles. Although I love searching for the best afternoon tea at London’s finest establishments, isn’t it always just as fun to throw a fabulous afternoon at home?

And while I’m now old enough to realise that beyond my happy dreamworld there lies a worldly reality, isn’t it wonderful and good for one’s soul to even for the briefest of hours forget all those things and instead just come together to celebrate moments of love, and of happiness, and of all that is beautiful and fun in the world.

Because despite the wars and discontent and sadness that are very much realities for so many in this world of ours, sometimes, just sometimes, those lovely fairytales really do come true.

Did you all watch the Royal Wedding? Did you find it as lovely and romantic as I did?

Love, Miss B xx

London’s Best Afternoon Tea, pt. 3: The Royal Tea at Harvey Nichols

It’s official: England has gone Royal Wedding crazy. And I’m not going to lie… I love it! (Much to the Clever Boyfriend’s horror). Between the Union Jacks currently fluttering above the entire length of Regent Street, the bunting which fills every shop window in the land, the unashamedly kitch souvenirs, being able to see the venue itself (Westminster Abbey) from the window of my office in Parliament, and the prospect of an entire day off work when it will be practically obligatory to eat scones and drink Pimms while planting oneself firmly in front of the BBC’s coverage of the event, it’s impossible for me to resist the lure of the young royals and this modern day fairytale.

And other than standing outside Buckingham Palace (though believe me, there’s nothing glamorous about willingly sleeping in a tent on a public roadway – the measures one would have to take to secure a spot on The Mall on the day), if there’s a more English way to mark a Royal occasion than with Pimms and afternoon tea, I’m yet to find it.* So for the next week, Harvey Nichols are throwing a super fun Royal Afternoon Tea in all their cafes and brasseries. For the princely sum of £30, you will get an assortment of tea, sandwiches, pastries and scones. The only downsides are that it seems to be de rigueur for the Harvey Nicks waiters to be grumpy, and it took several phone calls to successfully book a place (none of the ladies who answered the phone seemed to know what I was talking about and had to go off to investigate – though this could have something to do with the fact I was surely the first person to book a place, such is my wedding excitement). That said, there is an awful lot of bunting (which pleases me greatly, and which somehow compensates for other failings), and taking a seat on the little grassy terrace to have tea is really rather lovely.

And the very best bit? Just look at the fabulously silly souvenir mug which the lovely people at Harvey Nicks will give you to take home a swill Pimms out of? Hurrah indeed!

Love, Miss B xx

* On the actual day, I myself will be eschewing my Parliamentary ticket to watch the wedding live from Parliament Square (in the rain) and instead donning some red lipstick and heels and having a day-long tea party with my girlfriends.

The Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea is available until the end of April in all Harvey Nichols stores. £30 includes tea, sandwiches, cakes and a souvenir mug (normally £20).