Happy Little Victories | Alice Afternoon Tea at the AMBA & An Evening with Imelda Staunton.

‘Ello Honeybunches (word of the week),

How are we all? I hope you are all doing well.

This week started off on the complete wrong end of the scale. I woke up on Monday with a huge abscess on my face, a mouth full of ulcers and the worst head ache I had experienced in months. All in all, I felt washed out and washed up. I was so run down that I could not bring myself to leave the house. When I’m feeling down, it is very easy to get it into my head that, for whatever reason, I should not leave the house. As soon as I felt a little better and clocked that this feeling was not souly to do with feeling under the weather, I forced myself up and out, and what followed turned out to be an incredible week.

Recently, I’ve been feeling the sudden urge to go on adventures and explore new things, push the boundaries of my comfort zones. So that is what I tried to do this week and I have had a wonderful time doing so! It really was full of little victories.

***

My friend and I toddled off to the sea front to try out a new restaurant that recently opened. It was incredibly clean cut and filled with kitsch seaside decorations such as oars and pictures of crabs. Overwhelmed by the menu I panic ordered BBQ Ribs.

I haven’t eaten meat with a bone in it for about four years… so I was a little lost on how to tackle the half a wrack of ribs when it arrived. I was under the impression it was meant to fall apart but I had to wrestle the gristle ridden bones into submission.

My friend ordered a crab meat burger. Firstly, what? Secondly, you would expect the meat pulled and placed into a burger bun. Nope. Just a whole crab, deep fried, in a bun. It’s legs were hanging out either side. We weren’t particularly impressed, we where laughing hysterically though as we both tried to awkwardly tackle these dishes in public without flinging something at the stranger on table six

Umm, check please.

***

I met up with friends to see a local comedy troupe perform in their Edinburgh Festival warm up show. I had never been out with this particular group of people socially, or been to see a live sketch show for that matter. Yet, the company and the show made me smile so much my cheeks hurt.

Giraffe‘s comedy shenanigans included a few real gems that had us all belly laughing over the beer covered tables, as the well fleshed out audience crammed themselves into the intimate performance space above a well loved local pub. It’s not my local pub and is not somewhere I was familiar with, in fact none of us were familiar with it, but I think that made me enjoy it more.

Everything was new and exciting and fresh. I just enjoyed experiencing something new, getting to know each other better and supporting local talent.

If you fancy a good chuckle and are heading towards the fringe festival, then check these guys out:

https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on#q=%22Giraffe%3A%20Raisin’%20the%20Hoof%22

***

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The jewel in the crown happened in the centre of old London town. I saw my best friend from university for the first time since December and we decided to treat ourselves to a blow out day in London. Retail therapy, good food and maybe even a bit of theatre.

It rained, heavily, all day long.

We wandered around the oddly empty streets, avoiding the packed out shops lining either side of Oxford Street, huddled under the single, travel umbrella muggins here keeps at the bottom of her handbag. You never know with British weather.

Usually when we meet up for a girly day out in London it consists of two things; Pizza Hut and iffy theatre tickets, but not today! Oh no, I was determined to do something different and the perfect thing popped up in my inbox.

I received an email, via Les Enfants Terrible, including a 2 for 1 deal for Alice in Wonderland afternoon tea at a new, four star hotel in Charing Cross. So obviously I booked us in. We were in the mind that it would be a little pricey, even with the deal, but hey, we said treat day. The hotel was beautiful and all the staff we incredibly friendly and helpful. BRAVO AMBA HOTELS!

However, we stuck out like a sore thumb.

Both of us squelched down the marble hallways, sodden pony tails dripping down our backs until we reached the dining hall. A room with the fanciest Goddamn chandeliers I have ever seen. We were shown our table with perfectly matched fine china teacups and polished silverware. So I walked straight into it and made the entire thing shake. You could hear the sound of pound coins ringing in your ears as the tea set wobbled precariously at my clumsiness.

The tea itself was wonderful, we got to select two types of tea from an entire menu, of which we chose berry teas (here’s a secret, neither of us drink tea, so that was a tricky one) and we were also served an ice cold tea pot of ‘Drink Me’ Potion, which was a neon blue, gin based cocktail.

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Then came the food. Tiny finger sandwiches, normal and open, on a selection of breads: Ham and mustard on white bread, egg mayonnaise and cucumber on white, cheese and red onion chutney on wholewheat and smoked salmon and cream cheese on brioche. Four fresh scones with strawberry jam and fresh clotted cream and to finish, a selection of four different, themed bakes: ‘Eat Me’ sponges, Mad Hatter chocolate shortbreads with a chocolate cream filling, a tiny jam tart and a pastry pocket watch filled with chocolate ganache and white chocolate detailing.

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It was all so scrummy (maybe apart from the salmon but that’s an acquired taste I feel) and I was so full afterwards I needed rolling out of the place. The best bit though was that not only was it half the price we thought it was, but we only paid for one person! Result!

Then came the theatre tickets. I do quite a few West End ‘ticket dashes’: the idea being that you simply travel into London and buy a ticket to any show you can on the night. You don’t know what you will see, who will be performing or where you will be sitting. I find that if you can’t build it up in your head, you go in with an open mind and can actually enjoy the experience more.

After wading through a list as long as our arms, we very nearly went with restricted view seats for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but I had a sudden change of heart and randomly asked about tickets for Gypsy, starring Imelda Staunton (Harry Potter, Maleficent). It is a show I have been in love with for years and wanted to see so desperately, but my friend had never heard of it. I knew she would love it, but she’s a little more mainstream in her musical theatre tastes. However, WHAM, BAM, THANK YOU MA’AM… I just found us £90 seats reduced to £44, eight rows from the stage in the centre of the rear stalls. We bought them, we watched it and I was living for Imelda’s performance. That woman is an absolute powerhouse and she can hold an audience captivated by simply just standing there.

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Oh, and my friend absolutely loved it too!

Well that was my week, how was yours?

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2 thoughts on “Happy Little Victories | Alice Afternoon Tea at the AMBA & An Evening with Imelda Staunton.

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