I forgot how much I love a tea. Not so much the beverages (even though they are comforting and delicious), but more the scones, piled with dollops of jam and cream, the dainty little sandwiches and the miniature pies that ooze deliciousness. There’s something very civilised about sitting down for tea and piling in the treats. Especially now that the kids are a bit older and they aren’t breaking everything and knocking over cups.
Anyway, I was reminded of my love of pastry and all things carbs when I was invited on Friday to a high tea at the Belmond Mount Nelson to celebrate the launch by Ster Kinekor of the Paddington 2 movie. Having never been to the Mount Nelson before (I know!) and being a big fan of the Paddington books, I jumped at the chance for a little spoil.
On arrival I spent time admiring the gorgeous conservatory that has recently been refurbished, along with other interiors in the public spaces. I loved the botanical wallpaper, the gorgeous bright orchids + greenery everywhere and the beautiful chequered floor. Everything opens out on to the Nellie’s expansive gardens and as a result, it feels very airy and like you are actually sitting under a tree as you sip on your tea.
And tea is the name of the game here. So much so, that the hotel has even trained two special tea sommeliers! They will take you through the entire tea drinking experience which for us included sampling Strawberry & Vanilla Rooibos, Earl Grey Blue Flower and Vanilla Black Tea, among others.
We were there to enjoy the special Paddington tea menu they have got running at the moment (until Sunday 17 December) which includes five of these special teas as well as mini sandwiches, raspberry profiteroles, chocolate + marmalade delice, corn dogs, mini chicken pies, pain au chocolate, the most INCREDIBLE scones and choc chip biscuits. ALL OF THIS costs R155 per person – and kids are encouraged to join (in fact, the menu has been designed with them in mind;).
And if you can’t make it this time, and want to enjoy a high tea at the Mount Nelson another day, it’s worth knowing that they have a dedicated kids’ area with minders. So your kids can have a blast and then you can meet a friend or take your husband/boyfriend/girlfriend etc and pretend to be all civilised;)
So what about the movie? Well, I heard so many good things about it at the tea that I sent my husband and kids off yesterday to watch it. And they gave glowing reviews! Husband said: “It was very sweet and it’s very realistic. And there was a heap of really good actors in it. Great casting.” He also reported that the entire cinema was filled with the sound of kids giggling and that everyone started clapping when the credits rolled. This is what my kids had to say:
What did you think of the movie?
Rachel: I thought that Paddington was very funny but some of the parts were quite sad. And when the bad person stole in and got a treasure book and it was magical. And he dressed up so no one noticed that he was the person.
Ben: It’s not a treasure book, it’s a pop up book! That guy was very funny and he said “remember you are a dustbin”(?!)
What was your favourite part?
Rachel: When Paddington got out of jail because the police thought he was the thief but it wasn’t him and he was very happy with his family. And when it was Aunt Lucy’s birthday he was going to buy that book and then the thief stole it of course.
Ben: Um…Paddington bear was pretending to be a doctor and he measured a thing on the man’s head and then he sticked marmalade on his head. (Rachel says that this is incorrect and it was actually a hairdresser, not a doctor)
Who was your favourite actor?
Rachel: Paddington because he’s very funny and he’s quite cute and I like him.
Ben: I don’t want to do mine any more. Okay fine! My favourite character that’s Paddington Bear on the guy’s roof and then the poo fell down and landed on the man’s head (apparently it was not poo, it was dirt from the gutter).
And if you can’t decipher any of that, because who can (?!), here is more on the plot from the Ster Kinekor press release: “With Aunt Lucy’s big 100th birthday around the corner, Paddington sets out on a mission to get her the perfect gift fit for a queen. Paddington decides that the gift is a unique ‘pop-up’ book from Mr Gruber’s antique shop.
With a plan in pocket Paddington takes on several jobs to raise enough money to buy this book – only to discover it has been viciously stolen. It is now up to Paddington to expose the thief, and retrieve the book”.
Hugh Grant completely steals the show as the villain and you will also hear from Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters and Michael Gambon, among other talented actors. Anyway, take your kids to watch Paddington 2 if you’re looking for something fun to do these holidays – it was a huge hit with mine!