Thursday, August 6, 2015

Afternoon Tea at the Brown Palace Hotel

No visit to Denver is complete without enjoying an elegant Afternoon Tea at the legendary Brown Palace Hotel. Luckily, I was able to take part in this long-standing tradition today. 

The festive affair took place in the hotel lobby, an impressive reflection of the Italian Renaissance, a room as beautiful as any I've ever seen. 

The tea featured a variety of finger sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream (shipped directly from England), an exquisite selection of miniature pastries and a variety of teas that would satisfy the most discriminating of palates. And, for those who wanted it, a refreshing glass of Kir Royale was provided too. The clicking of crystal glasses, as celebratory toasts were made with these cocktails, added to the festivities.

Melodic sounds of a pianist floated in the air and added to the ambiance and pure enjoyment of the experience. What a treat to listen to his classic selections, as well as to those requested by others sitting nearby.

Listening to the ancient works of the great composers as I poured hot water from a sterling silver teapot was fitting.

It reminded me of the 19th century and Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who gets credit for being the first to break for Afternoon Tea.

During her time, it was usual for people to have only two main meals each day - breakfast and then dinner at or around 8 o'clock in the evening. Often, the Duchess complained of "having a sinking feeling" in the middle of the afternoon. The solution, of course, was to prepare a pot of tea and a light snack.

I know a lot about that "sinking feeling." Especially bad when one is traveling and trying to see and do it all in a great city like Denver.

And, I agree, breaking for Afternoon Tea is always the perfect pick-me-up!

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