The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

It’s a dis­mal day out­side on Syd­ney Har­bour so there’s no place bet­ter to be than the Queens Room of the art-deco won­der Queen Mary 2 for after­noon tea, the Bri­tish in­sti­tu­tion first served for Anna Maria Rus­sell, the Sev­enth Duchess of Bed­ford, in the 1840s and a daily event on Cu­nard ships for 150 years. It was a 4pm tide-me-over served for the duchess to curb her “sink­ing feel­ing” be­tween the aris­toc­racy’s two main meals — break­fast mid­morn­ing and a late din­ner. High tea was a 6pm meal for the work­ers so they could get to bed then back down the mines in the morn­ing. Let’s leave that to so­cial his­to­ri­ans as here come the white-gloved QM2 waiters with sil­ver trays. There is a se­lec­tion of fin­ger sand­wiches — egg may­on­naise, tomato, ham and mus­tard, and the es­sen­tial cu­cum­ber. Fol­low­ing are fresh scones with clot­ted cream and straw­berry jam. And the cakes, what a vis­ual joy and taste sen­sa­tion. The tea, Twin­ings Tra­di­tional After­noon, is a blend of As­sam, Kenyan and Cey­lon leaves. Mu­si­cians en­ter­tain in this el­e­gant ball­room and two pro­fes­sional dancers take to the floor. I want to stay for­ever. More: cu­nard­


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