TALES OF MY FATHER
My Father ……. Jack-of-all-Trades, Master-of-None ……. an enigma
TALE FIVE: HOW TO MAKE
THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA
A Nice Cup of Tea sung by Binnie Hale (1899-1984)
PAGE ONE: INTRODUCTION
People used to laugh at the English over their love of a cup of tea. Today, most Londoners and many of those living in the South of England also find this to be amusing.
Tea in a Bone China Tea Cup
The mighty English cup of tea is now an endangered brew and is risking extinction especially in London and in much of The South of England. Finding a cup of tea in London – and I mean a REAL cup of tea and not the concoction that is served up consisting of a cup of tepid warm water and tea bag at the side of cup is now virtually impossible! I can only think of one small Transport Cafe-style establishment hidden away just past Victoria Arcade and close by the main entrance of Victoria Station where it may be had along with hot buttered toast, egg-‘n’-bacon sandwiches or a full-English (i.e. breakfast).
This wonderful place, which I recently discovered is called Victoria Cafe, funnily enough, doesn’t seem to be run by anyone born in England, but they are to me more English than most native-born since they are continuing an English Tradition which is rapidly being lost. The staff consists of two buxom Polish women who smile and josh with the customers as they take their orders and a silent kindly man perhaps from The Middle East who is constantly busy with his cooking. Perhaps there are other such establishments tucked away elsewhere in London, but sadly, I know them not!
Victoria Cafe at 11 Terminus Place, London S.W.1
This photograph is reproduced from Shopfront Elegy (awaiting permission)
Despite my woes at not being able to get a decent cup-of-tea in London and most of The South of England, I have been able to obtain very good brews in The Midlands, The North of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
Readers may find my next comment to be ludicrous, but I can attest to its truth. My father made the best cup-of-tea in the world!!! This may sound like a small child bragging about what his Dad could do better than any other Dad! However, allow me assure all readers that his brew was remarkable! Its taste was superb! And I was not alone in heaping accolades on him for producing such a delicious elixir for anyone who was lucky enough to taste a cup of tea made by him never failed to say that it was without doubt the best cup that they had ever tasted.
Sadly, in this day and age, where a real cup of English Tea is a disappearing species and perhaps on the very verge of extinction, such accolade might well be dismissed with a mere shrug of the shoulders.