Saturday, July 03, 2010

Afternoon Tea

Today we went to Cafe Grey at the Upper House for afternoon tea. This is a rather posh restaurant at the top of a shiny new hotel sat on top of the Marriott in Pacific Place. It has a great location, with a wonderful view of the harbour and all the buildings in Kowloon glistening in the sunshine.

On the other hand, perhaps they felt that such a great location meant they didn't need to advertise at all, with the result that their entrance is so minimalist and subdued that we stood outside for ten minutes, trying to figure out whether it was a hotel or the entrance to a particularly rarefied car park.

Inside it was lovely, although I did notice that afternoon tea is not quite as obsequious in Hong Kong as it is in London. The waiter doesn't pour the tea into your cup for you, for example, nor is there a man constantly appearing to brush crumbs from the table and then back away. These are both positives, I think; nice though it is to be waited on hand and foot, I'm quite particular about the ratio of tea and milk in my cup, and I'd rather do that myself. Plus, the idea that the waiter should never turn their back on you is a bit odd; are they secretly scared that their customers are all vampires who'll batten upon their neck if they drop their guard for even one moment?

I didn't realise all the sandwiches would be made of meat (apart from the egg) so I had to confine myself to eating scones, although that's not much of a hardship.

A mother and baby arrived, and another of our party confessed that he was a bit scared of babies. I have to say that babyphobia is quite common amongst men that I know, including myself. It's not that we object to babies per se, so much as the fear we might do something absentminded and very bad.

I just have this nagging worry that the baby will have caught on fire, or turned into a goose or been possessed by the devil. You can't be sure with babies. They look innocent and calm and mild, and then they start projectile vomitting or screaming or eating your face.

Am I being irrational? I mean, knowing my childrearing strategies as evinced yesterday, it's quite possible one of those things would happen and I wouldn't even notice, but even so, think of the embarrassment. Best just to avoid babies at every opportunity.


statusviatoris said...

Oooo! High tea! How very Enid Blyton. I wouldn't worry about the babyphobia, even childless women suffer from it. If I'm handed one, especially a new version with the wobbly head, I feel instantly transformed into the most clumsy creature alive who might easily drop said child, or trip whilst carrying it, or allow it's enormous head to wobble clean off its neck.

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