A Travellerspoint blog

Day 75 – High Tea

6th December 2011

sunny 33 °C

Laura loves her tea, but she especially loves 'taking tea'. Accordingly she has a nose for these things and she had discovered that one could take High Tea at The Royal Livingstone Hotel between three and five. What better way could there be to satiate that peckishness one gets between lunch and dinner?

The black, deep treaded wheels of a sparklingly clean Redvers crunched along the long bush lined driveway and across the not inconsiderable grounds of the Royal Livingstone Hotel. I adjusted my shirt and looked down at the shoes I’d polished with pot pourri scented furniture polish the week before. They’d have to do. Somers was looking as lovely as ever in a pretty top, trousers and a pair of designer sunglasses. As we approached the front of the hotel a small grassy roundabout lay ahead of us. In its centre stood a marble sundial, its metal shaft winking at us in the afternoon sun. Towards the roundabout edge lay a circumference of palm trees gently rolling in the mild, humid air, amongst these a zebra grazed. My God, this place was so fancy they employed Zebra as part of a welcoming party. We slowed to check it wasn’t chained there, we paid particular attention to its hooves to see if they were nailed down. They weren’t, apparently even Zebra like a touch of class and the Royal is the place to be. We parked our own car and as we reached the reception, circumventing the Zebra, we were greeted by the uniformed porters, khakis and safari helmets and smiles so wide and white that Somers had to keep her sunglasses on. We were shown through a large marble reception with huge heavy luxurious wooden furnishings, wooden fans hanging from the ceiling gently folded the thick air. I looked myself up and down again wishing my shoes smelt of proper polish, I took another glance at Somers, sublime. The reception led out onto a perfectly kept lawn, to our right, the pool and the spa that lay at the waters’ edge. To our left was a lawn with swing benches hanging from the trees and vervet monkeys playing among the leaves, beyond the lawn there was a bar on the river bank. We were shown to our immediate right onto a covered veranda. A selection of armchairs and rich leather covered benches and stools lay in pairs, each pair accompanied by a small table, dressed with an ornate embroidered cloth. We looked at each with restraint, trying hard to hold back beaming grins. Our wide eyes and pressed lips betrayed our true feelings. Inside we were shown silver racks of quiches, pastries and cakes; each tier holding something sweeter and more scrumptious than the one before. Bright colours, rich chocolate browns and delicate icing set our mouths watering. Cocoa, lemon and sugar scents filled our nostrils. We were Hansel and Gretel in the house of sweets and we didn’t know where to begin. We looked at each other no longer able to hide our huge grins. We should do this more often.

Outside, two pots of tea arrived, delicate fine bone china with tea cups that forced you to raise a little finger as you drank. Green tea for me and blackcurrant for the lady. Our plates were stacked with éclairs, wild berry coulis, chocolate fudge, lemon tart, miniature quiches and black cherry gateau. And that was just the first helping. After an hour and a half of sweet grazing we waddled across the lawn and sat on a swing bench, the chains strained as we lowered ourselves into them. Another hour passed before we could squeeze in another drink as the sun set once more on the Zambezi. Mr Livingstone never had it this good.

Posted by ibeamish 00:08 Archived in Zambia

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