You may have heard me say before that I am one of the luckiest people alive and experiences like last Friday prove it, to me. In my friend list, which isn’t exhaustive because I am what my parents called “a home bird”. I work at JGC and then on the farm and once in a blue moon, we stop and socially raise a glass or cup of something.
When you have a 23-hour slot with one of the most affable and jolly people you know, who just happens to be a renowned tea expert, you have to get up to some fun. After a high-speed catch-up with the J.G team, I whisked Indi away to Abergavenny. After a number of weeks away from the Blue Mountains of Southern India, (traveling the US and most of Europe)I got the feeling that he probably would have been as happy to spend time at the roastery and then some time on the farm, with the dogs. This was until we entered The Angel Hotel’s Wellington Suite for Afternoon tea.
As we went into the suite, we were greeted by Patrick. It felt like we were being greeted by an old friend. He exuded genuine warmth. Indi responded to Patrick with “Jambo!” (a Swahili hello) and then the fun began. Who knew the hakuna matata meant no worries and was borrowed by The Lion King? There is an art to looking after people in hospitality and the team absolutely “nailed it” in every sense. There was the perfect balance of engagement.
The pyramid of food for a High Tea at the Angel Hotel is really something. The quality of ingredients and the sheer variety is a feast for the eyes. So good. Food is such an important part of an afternoon tea experience, as is tea. The tea list at The Angel reads a little like a wine list and is extensive, curated by Ana. The Nilgiri Tea Company has a few of Indi’s teas on the list there. Connecting Indi (the producer) with the team delivering the fabulous teas there was such a lovely experience and I learned some new things about brewing tea, that I hope to find the right place to share. Ana, Patrick, Hania, William, Ross, and, the whole team, thank you for an amazing experience.