Thursday, January 25, 2018

Day 5: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Tea & National Gallery

Two whole days have passed so it’s time for another tea! This time we check out the One Aldywich Hotel’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tea. The sweets include chocolate caramel milk, lemon meringue pie in glasses, and gold dusted chocolate eggs filled with cheesecake and mango. One highlight of the experience is candy floss, which is what the English call cotton candy. They have you try to guess the flavor of the candy floss, and we are unsuccessful in our (many) guesses. Our server reveals that 70% of Brits get it right and 0% of Americans. (I don’t want to give it away lest someone decides to go here - Do it! It’s awesome! - so I’ll obscure it at the bottom of this post.)
Julia and candy floss

James and candy floss

Kathy and cake pop

The trip has really made Julia obsessed with tea (and salmon sandwiches and - believe it or not - CAVIAR since the first place for tea served it on top of their salmon), and she declares that she wants to go for tea with just me and Gaga one day. Mark assures James that they will go for a See’s lunch. The concierge at our tea hotel asks if we enjoyed our tea. We tell him we did, and he responds not with “very good” (or even “jolly good”), but with a “tip top!” which is my new favorite British-ism.
Kathy and Julia
Julia and James come from the future to ride the elevator to have tea.

We explore the Covent Garden Piazza, and since it’s sweltering we walk to the air conditioned

National Gallery. I am blown away at how close I am to famous paintings, and Julia studiously
takes lots of photos of her favorite ones, prompting many visitors to smile. James is bored but
then asks Julia to take pictures of the dogs that often show up in the corners of paintings for
him. Then they take pictures of naked butts in paintings and laugh and laugh. I’m so proud.

Julia, Mark, and James view "The Ambassadors." I wanted to go to the National Gallery just for the moment where they see the skull pop out of the painting from this angle.

Julia is very serious about her photos.

"Photos of butts are HILARIOUS!"

Julia breaks out her British accent on the subway, telling one woman she almost stumbles on, “If I fall on you, don’t be cross.” She responds, “I won’t be cross but I may have to take you home with me.”

Julia's still raising her fist at the British the day after July 4th.

Julia and a Peter Rabbit British 50 pence coin. (She loves rabbits.)

Julia’s favorite thing of the day: Tea (Which part? All of it.)
James’s favorite: Tea (again, all of it)

Spoiler alert. The answer to the flavor of the candy floss can be seen here. Incidentally,
just after tea we see that flavor in a candy display in the Covent Garden Piazza. You
Brits and your wacky flavors.

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