Which conveniently coincided with my rendez-vous at Le Cardinal with R, my British import friend (who comes complete with the accent and the devotion to BBC4 documentaries).
Le Cardinal, although a tea room at first glance, seduces with its aristocratic flavor reminiscent of a gentlemen’s club. With fox hunting journeys gracing the paintings on the walls and deep velvet couches scattered across the floor, the establishment invites its guests to spend long afternoons of escaping in the company of Sir Walter Raleigh.
Longing for something quintessentially English, R opened the menu and immediately pointed to the cucumber sandwich. Laugh all you want, the snack was quite a delight. Well peppered and layered with a generous portion of cream cheese, it was but the opposite of bland. As for myself, I opted for the blueberry scone. A proud student of the school of fluffy moist dough, I was a bit disappointed by the rather cak-ey texture of the treat. But hey, where there’s clotted cream, there’s hope.
Tea-wise, I discovered a white tea, while he tried the Japanese Genmaicha Yamasaki. The former, which goes by the name of Pai mu tan, was very subtle in taste (not my usual earl grey, double bags) and had a delicate flowery taste. The latter, blended with fire-toasted rice, surprised with a sweet finish.
Losing track of time in the bubble of Le Cardinal, we spent hours reminiscing about the beloved old island until the last drop of tea reminded us of reality.