I remember when I was three, my mom came into the living room one afternoon and asked if any of us wanted to go boating with her. While my other siblings mumbled out “nah,” I looked around with horror and jumped at the opportunity. About ten minutes later, I was soon confused as to why we were standing under the yellow lamps of the nearby high school in a long line to reach a table of old women with highlighters and paperwork. When I asked her when we would actually be getting to get to the boats, she laughed and said, “No, we are going VOTING. Not boating.” I was, as you can imagine, let down at the miscommunication. However, I remember feeling really special that I got to go on this special trip out with my mom in the early evening hours. Just me and her- which, as the middle child, rarely happened. I saw her transcend her normal role as “mom” into a normal, everyday human doing something that was totally outside my normal realm of her duties. It’s funny that I remember that, but it was just the first time I remember her in a different role other than “mom."
This week, Viola & I were invited for a special date at The Dorchester Hotel to have afternoon tea. Now, I love afternoon tea and I love the Dorchester, so I was really excited, but what made me even more excited was the chance to do it during their special half-term afternoon tea for little girls. The tea features all the wonderful goodness of their classic afternoon teas, but with the added bonus of REAL ballerinas from the English National Ballet coming to dance and perform a modified version of Sleeping Beauty for them. As if getting to socialise and swan around with real dancers wasn’t enough, they also had a pianist playing all the best songs (A Million Dreams, Disney classics and the like) and face painting. It was both a five-year-old’s dream…. and her mother’s.
But the best part for moms? The amazing staff didn’t bat an eye at the overcharged excitement of the junior guests. Instead, they were being totally kind and welcoming to them. (Which is not always the case in fine hotels, if you know what I mean.) It felt so indulgent and, yet, so unstuffy.
I’ve always loved the themed teas that the Dorchester offers- their Wimbledon tea in the summer is especially cute- but this was definitely a special treat. I mean, let’s be honest, it doesn’t have to be a fancy day out in London to make your children feel special. It could honestly just be a coffee date or a walk through the park with a sandwich on a bench... but this definitely is a great memory to be saved for a later day. One I know I’ll cherish, and I hope she will, too.
*image original to Aspiring Kennedy
*this afternoon tea was gifted to us by the Dorchester