Saturday, January 8, 2011

Going To a Tea Room: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Earlier this week, my wife Ramona and I spent a few days vacationing in Cambria, a cute coastal town about 35 miles past San Luis Obispo, California's, wine country. Ramona has long been the "cultured" one in the relationship. Anything we do that goes beyond paper napkins and sports is her idea 99% of the time.

As such, it was Ramona's idea that she and I take a visit one afternoon to our good friends at The Tea Cozy, a quaint little tea room in Cambria's downtown area.

Here's my thing about tea: I hate it. I mean, I really do. Every tea I've ever tasted tastes like hot water to me. Blueberry tea? Hot water. Strawberry tea? Hot water. Tea with honey? Hot water with honey. Passion fruit tea? Passion fruit hot water...sans the taste of passion fruit.

Nonetheless, the wife twisted my arm because, as she said, it wasn't just about the tea, it was about the experience.

And here were some highlights of the experience:

1) Everyone talks with British accents. Now this wouldn't be that big of a deal were it not for the fact that everybody in the establishment was American. Seriously, what is it about tea rooms that summons up people's union jack? Everywhere I looked, I saw people go from "that's awesome" to "cheerio" once the tea was set on the table. Even Ramona was trying to speak like the queen. It was like being in an episode of "The Twilight Zone."

2) They cut the crusts off of their sandwiches. Now this, I got to say, is kind of cool. Bread crusts really are useless and tasteless. The British are lagging the Americans in lots of ways -- the Revolutionary War started that trend, in my opinion -- but they got the making of sandwiches down pretty good. They cut off the crust, have the food in nice little squares, and they put the sandwiches on this circle-y thing that spins so that you don't have to reach for food.

That's class. :-)

3) All the ordering of food and drink is done by women.

Including Ramona and myself, there were four tables filled with couples. Without exception, all of the "British tea and food stuff" was ordered by the woman. This, we came to find out from our waitress, was normal. Men have no clue what to do when it comes to tea rooms. I, personally, was lost. There's too many teas to choose from, the sandwiches all have ingredients I can't pronounce, and nowhere could I find anything that contained "burgers" or "fries."

Or "chips" as the British call it.

Ramona ordered us three fancy sandwiches and a pot of blackcurrant tea.

I ordered us a Diet Shasta.

And you know what our waitress said?

"All of the Diet Shasta is ordered by men."

My reply?

"That's because it's the only thing on the menu we can understand."


And now for this week's:


The wife of a prison inmate is suing A&E, claiming the network falsely made it appear that she was smuggling drugs to her husband via her vagina.

Marlorita Battle claims she was minding her own business -- visiting her hubby at the Riverbend State Prison in Tennessee -- when, unbeknownst to her, a crew for the show "The Squad: Prison Police" was secretly filming her.

Though she says nothing untoward happened during her visit, when A&E aired the show, they made her look like a drug smuggler. Specifically, Battle claims the episode featured a member of the prison police squad describing how outsiders smuggle drugs by carrying them inside their body cavities.

Battle says her images were plastered all over the screen as the squad member described how women often hide the drugs in their vaginas. And then Battle is featured walking toward the bathroom, then returning to kiss her husband goodbye. Battle says it was clear ... A&E was suggesting she had passed drugs to her hubby through "oral contact."

I pity the lawyers who will be taking this case.


Marie said...

Oooh I love tea rooms!!! Did you have any scones?

Nev said...

Actually, we did have a scone. I forgot about that while I was writing. It was actually pretty good

Marie said...

Scones are great. I want to learn how to make them

Sarah said...

Did you like the tea, Nev? Did you have any of it?

Nev said...

I tried it. Tasted like hot water. :-)

Janna said...

If you really want to experience tea time, you have to go to Britain. It's really more of the cultural experience than anything else. When I lived there, it was strange at first how big of a thing it was.

The Brit Guy said...


Ramona said...

What Nev didn't tell you is by the end of it, he was trying out the British accent and sipping the blackcurrent tea... I believe he said it was a "lovely experience"