Time for tea, pass the cake

I’ve lived in South Africa for well over 30 years now, and I love it there.   I arrived when apartheid was alive, I lived through it’s end, and I now live in the aftermath.  Sure it’s been good and it’s been bad, but putting that aside, it is an amazing country that everybody should visit at least once.

Nelson Mandela London
Nelson Mandela London

Now that said, I love the UK as much, if not more so… and I say that with no malice.  It’s a bit like Capetonians who worship Table Mountain and have sea in their veins.  Mine have no sea, but I’m pretty sure they are flowing with English Tea.

Big Ben
Big Ben

It’s funny actually, because no sooner had I booked my flight than my English accent became broader, something I only realised when I tried to buy a piece of winter clothing.  A very apologetic sales assistant advised me that said item was only available  during the South African winter.  I bit my lip and tried not to giggle at being mistaken for a tourist.

Westminster Tube London
Westminster Tube London

So here I am then, loving the underground, the bus and all the walking.  I’ve embraced my new piece of plastic, the Oyster card.  And I’m as familiar with the District Line as I am with the newly named Nelson Mandela Boulevard, even if I will keep reverting back to it’s old name  – the Eastern Boulevard.

Tube Escalator
Tube Escalator

But what’s really funny to me is my relationship with food.  I’m gradually eating my way round the bakery section of Sainsbury’s … and several museums cafes…and many department store cafes too.  I’m like a demented fool, I hone in on the counter and struggle to decide what to have.  It’s torture, and then unadulterated pleasure within minutes of each other. Thank goodness for all the walking.

Pies - Borough Market London
Pies – Borough Market London

Yesterday was really fun though, we were at the Imperial War Museum and stopped for lunch…as one does…and had a macaroni and cheese served in war time style tin dishes.  I think I smiled the whole way through it, and then I shared a carrot cake with my daughter, who was lucky I didn’t polish it all off.

National Gallery Trafalgar Square
National Gallery Trafalgar Square

Only a week left, and who knows how many Chelsea Buns I will consume before I leave.  If it’s too many I’ll be back to Kew Gardens for a major walk, without a return trip to the cafe for a sandwich and err, um, figgy roll.

Kew Gardens London
Kew Gardens London

For those visiting London, the Imperial War Museum, the National Gallery and the Natural Science museum are all free, and well worth the visit.  I know there are others, but those three I’ve visited this time.


22 thoughts on “Time for tea, pass the cake

  1. I shall shortly be back in the UK and very close to London. Not looking forward to it much, but your post has given me encouragement. London on the doorstep is not to be sneered at.

  2. As a South African with friends and family in the UK I have come to love the country as much as SA. Our weakness in the tea department is toasted tea cakes slathered with butter. We have been to the National Art Gallery and Kew Gardens, also did the Chelsea Flower Show one year, but not the War or Science Museums, perhaps on another visit …
    We have never spent more than 3 days at a time in London itself and my feet are always wrecked from all the walking by then but it is without doubt the best way to experience the city.
    Enjoy the rest of your stay 🙂

  3. No matter how long we’ve been away from “home” we always long for the foodstuff. I can imagine doing exactly the same if I were to go back to Holland for a holiday (or longer) One thing, though, we always want to take Mrs Ball’s chutney with us 😉

    1. Ruth2Day

      LOL! yes, I believe that. At the Wimbledon Train Station there is a South African food shop, right on the platform, just goes to show how many SA’s there are over here still looking for familiar goodies 🙂

    1. Ruth2Day

      oh yes! but only for family reasons. I miss them so much, even after so many years here. The only family I have here is my husband and children

  4. Travelling would not be half as fun without all the eating.
    I basically lived on baklava while I was in Istanbul 😉
    It seems that even London has not escaped the everlasting road name changes!! SA really is quite insidious…

  5. I also find England and London really great. I don’t know how they manage it, but it doesn’t seem any more crowded than it does here in SA, and that goes for town and country.
    An Oyster Card is a new one on me ….

    1. the oyster card is the swipe card you use for London transport – train and bus. You top-up with any value you want and then travel. It’s so easy especially on the tube where you swipe when you enter and only swipe once you leave, you can ride as many lines as you need for your journey and the value is calculated based on entrance and exit. I think our BLT is trying to do this, the problem being though the top-up points are not at all stations, or card purchasing.
      Did I get that BLT right? somehow I keep thinking of a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich! 🙂

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