“’Yes, that’s it,’ said the Hatter with a sigh, ‘it’s always tea time.’”

To me, Wales is the modern version of Alice in Wonderland. I visited a stunning estate just outside of Wrexham with a horse stable, flower beds and a life size chess board. I didn’t see any white rabbits running around but I did manage to attend a tea party!

Seeing as I was in Queen’s country, it seemed fitting to enjoy a high tea for lunch. I had just eaten breakfast so to avoid the early onset of a food coma, I decided to delay lunch and explore the Welsh countryside first to work up an appetite.

I eagerly strolled along the pebble-speckled pathway and stepped outside to something that can only be described as a gardener’s wet dream. Local Welsh wildflowers swarmed the garden beds and the lush green hills in the distance had cottages planted on them like the roses in the flower patch before me. As I picked a citrus-coloured lily and took a seat on the vintage outdoor furniture, I took a second to admire how quintessentially British the whole setting was.

I made my way across the perfectly pruned lawn and paced through the interior, staring at the bespoke plasterwork on the ceiling. I attentively examined the elaborate moulds of the plastering, astonished at the details. The rest of the ceiling was decorated with elegant pendants and chandeliers which served as the perfect backdrop for the tea party. Alice would have adored it.

It was finally time for the long awaited nibbles. And by nibbles, I mean I stuffed my face! There were roast beef butties cut with the crusts cut off, freshly baked warm scones with a selection of fresh cream and jam alongside. It was as if they knew all of my favourite things and put them on a platter in front of me. As I broke the scone in half a small tailwind of steam rose and I salivated in delight. All you could hear from the table was mmms and aghhhs.

As I dove into the next round of warm and inviting crumpets, I spotted two old ladies sitting by the window. I watched them casually chatting as if they met for a high tea every week. As I eyed up another scone and dolloped a fair serving of clotted cream on top of it, I thought to myself how this place oozed old lady goals. I could definitely see myself retiring here, eating baked goods, getting day drunk and talking shit about my old lady friends from bingo.

A cup of tea in Welsh is a ‘panad’
Yes, that’s a real life squirrel mounting a sheep statue. For once it’s not the Welsh locals 😉

As the lady’s gaze turned to me I gave her a nod as the waitress topped up my bottomless champagne. It was at that point that I made a promise to myself that I would come back here as a mature, poised, older lady for a sophisticated retirement plan. Until then, it’s VB beer and vegemite sangas for me!

-Jen Antipodean.

Antipodean [ anˌtɪpəˈdiːən ]
adj. n.
1. Those who dwell on the opposite side of the globe
2. An inhabitant of Australia or New Zealand