Thursday, April 7, 2016
More Travelling the World from My Own Home
My daughter and her friend spent a couple nights at my house and are off to see other parts of the midwest. R is the lovely girl D met in grad school in London. They joke that they are international twins, and I saw it. They'll be back later in the week before R heads home, taking in more events and activities in the cities. We went out to our favorite Mexican restaurant last night. The food is delicious and they have these cute glasses with dancing jalapeno's on them wearing sombreros. I thought R should have one, and my niece offered to smuggle one out in her bag. Being the honest soul I am, I asked if I could buy one for our English friend, and the manager just said to take one for her.
The sweet girl came with full hands, and UK treats a plenty. For DD#2, a couple bags of jelly babies, a la Doctor Who, and some little piggy gummy's. For DH and I, there was a chocolate bar from Marks and Spencer, and a jute bag with tea and biscuits (cookies to we Americans) from Fortnum and Mason. Now Marks and Spencer I know a little about, but I had to learn more about F&M. I decided to go travelling the web to learn about the company, "the most luxurious store in the world."
This is why I am a complete Anglophile. Everything about their web site sucked me in. First, the Fortnum and Mason site is beautifully photographed and arranged with crisp pictures of baskets, and tea's and canisters of biscuits that scream, "You're in London." Then there are the teacups and saucers. I love tea cups and saucers and have a whole bunch of individual sets, gifts from people, ones from my grandma, the only things I have from her, and from DH's grandmother, so very precious to me. I keep them in my large kitchen window sill, and they help make doing dishes a little less like drudgery.
Then there is the history and story's of the company. F&M was founded in 1707, a three hundred and nine year old company. I live in one of the first settled towns in Minnesota and I doubt we have trees that old. I got caught up reading posts on the journal section, such as the short history of afternoon tea. The sites full of yet more features and fascinating background on the products, and information on the artisans the company works with are included. Visiting their website is not just virtual window shopping, it is a trip to all things Great Britain.
I haven't broken into our gifts yet. I want to savor the pretty packaging for a while. I feel very blessed that my daughter had the opportunity to study abroad, and develop lifelong friendships with such lovely people as R. When I do treat myself, I'll smile in appreciation. I will then sit back at precisely 4:00, having heated the water to exactly 100 degrees celsius, using my finest tea cup and saucer, plate of biscuits along side, and begin my trip across the pond, if only for the afternoon.