It's always so much fun when my Mum comes to visit. She lives up north in Lancashire, so it's a pretty short-ish train ride for her into Euston Station and sometimes she just comes down for the day. We always plan to do something fun, like to go to a museum ora gallery, but half the time we usually just end up wandering the shops and chatting.
Last Friday I took a day off from work to meet her at the Royal Academy where we browsed their current exhibit for a little while and had lunch in their restaurant before heading over to Fortnum & Mason for tea. Whenever anyone comes to London they always seem to want to rush off to Harrods for a bit of British culture and expensive shopping, it seems to me that Fortnum & Mason gets left out a lot of the time, which is a shame. They even claim to have invented the scotch egg, if you can believe it - how much more quintessentially British can you get?
When we got there they had a lovely display of honey from all over the world, I had no idea there were so many different kinds in so many varying colours. Wandering through the displays reminded me why I have such a soft spot for Fortnum's. When I first moved to England when I was 17 I used to come down to London from university to stay with my Grandparents who would always take me out for tea at the department store's famous tea rooms. We would have Darjeeling or Oolong, and a strawberry tart. I would pretend not to be as homesick as I was, and they would talk to me about how happy they were that I had finally moved to England and how it was the right decision. Which it probably was, though it didn't feel like it at the time.
Things are different now, of course. And while having tea with my mum it was nice to be reminded of that time when everything was so new and exciting, but terrifying. And it was nice to remember my grandparents when life was such that it allowed us to go out for tea all together, and my Grandfather would give me a stern lecture - which he still enjoys doing whenever he can.