Afternoon Tea

I am hooked on this British tradition of teatime. I think it’s the scones and the clotted cream more than the tea itself. But it is only after we went it to this really charming teahouse, Candella on Church St. in Kensington where I truly became a fan. Previously it was just a fascination, something to try once in a while but not something one craves.

I think it was because at Candella’s, they had more than the usual darjeeling or earl grey. At Candella’s, I tried cinnamon tea for the first time. And I realized there are nuances to the different tea blends. It plays in your mouth, lingers and delights the tastebuds. We tried several other dark teas and I must say I got hooked on the flowers. It helped too that the owner was this quirky very interesting lady who was never harried despite having just one assistant to serve 8 tables and doing all the sandwiches themselves. We did not mind the wait. The place was charming and cozy. And their scones! When we had tea at Wolseley, I took it for granted that all scones tasted the same but after Candella’s followed by another tourist tea house, I realized that there are really bad scones, flat scones, tasteless scones. And clotted creams are also not created equal. For this newbie, it was a revelation.

tea at charming Candella's

tea at charming Candella’s

And we went back to Candella’s for a second time, and it did not disappoint. Heavenly scones, charming teas – and well, I don’t know about the sandwiches because my boys gobbled them all up. I had a bite. And a bite is not enough to really form an attachment.

Back home, I chose a tea place as a venue to meet with a prospective biz partner. It was ok. But after Candella, it paled in comparison. The tea lost its hotness midway. But the place was nice enough. I could go back for lack of a better alternative.

The other night I had a craving for tea and scones. We had to make do with available resources at home, so we had rosquillos (a local biscuit) and O’s homemade butter to replace the clotted cream. Craving satisfied.

early evening tea at home

early evening tea at home

our tea and chocolate (tablea) stash.

our tea and chocolate (tablea) stash.


I logged into WordPress and was surprised by the rainbow on the top line. “Wha…” and I remembered the recent ruling of the US Supreme Court. Ok, got it. Very colorful.

And some of my very religious friends on Facebook has posted sayings about the disintegration of the family, and so forth and so on. Some of my liberal friends changed their profile photo to rainbow shades.

Personally, I did not feel anything. No elation nor distress. It is as it is. Times change.

Some people are just not open to change, finding comfort in what they have known for the longest time. Some people are too open to new ideas, ready to change the status quo.

Either way, just don’t expect me to be passionate about both sides. I can not summon the emotion to feel strongly about the landmark ruling.

Last Photo

My mother had a special pass from the hospital to come home for the Moon Festival a day or two before she passed on. Her sisters were here, all her grandchildren were present, and of course us, kids. My sister in law wanted a family picture. My mom said no. She said she looked horrible and she did not want that captured in a photograph.

Several days ago during Father’s Day, I saw on Facebook, a friend had posted a photo of her family with her dad. Her dad had passed on already and this friend was saying how she misses her dad. The photo was taken with the immediate family posed surrounding the dad who was lying on the hospital bed. The dad looked despondent and very frail while the rest of the family surrounding him were smiling for the camera. I did not think it was a good photo.

I stared at the photo and remembered my mom that last time she was home. I am glad she did not agree to that last photo. I would hate to forever remember her gaunt and hooked to IVs. That is a not a good last memory.

I remember when my brother-in-law passed away a month after we visited him in California for Christmas. My husband’s family was complete for the first time in a long time and I know my husband had a wonderful time reconnecting with his family. When we got the news that brother-in-law was in a coma and unresponsive a month later, my husband did not feel the urge to visit. Not even when brother-in-law died a few days later. Husband did not attend the funeral but he did schedule a visit on the 40th day after the death. Philippine death customs give importance to the 40days after the death. It is supposed to be the time when the soul finally leaves earth or purgatory.

My point is, we had lovely photos with brother-in-law when he has happy and looking good. My husband did not want to spoil that image. We should remember the good times more than the sad times. Allow the dying loved one dignity, let him live in your memory as he was in his best days.