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Devonshire tea

Devonshire tea

June 29th

Mackay, QLD

I am writing this in a notepad I bought in my boredom yesterday, as I am sitting in the most decadent teashop I have been in outside of the UK.

Devonshire Tea seems to be something rather popular here, although I often wonder if the Australians understand the meaning of such a delight. One in Bacchus Marsh (VIC) I delightedly pulled my hire car into a parking place outside a cafe offering just the same, hoping for a taste of England. Not knowing that ‘Devonshire Tea’ was a generic name for scones, jam and tea, I had asked excitedly where the proprietors were from, thinking I could bring up the Devon/Cornwall cream tea debate (jam the cream, or cream then jam). I was so pleased to see this taste of home – I had pangs of desire to sit on a sunny patio in a beautiful garden to enjoy what I was about to eat. Anyway – that particular ‘Devonshire Tea’ disappointed me tastewise and more so that the guy who served it had never been to England, let alone Devon, so had no idea what I was chirping on about.

This time, however, in this delicate setting, I feel quite at home and quite quite sure I won’t be disappointed. A Deja Vu Experience is the name of the tea shop/ boutique.

I am sipping Lady Grey tea out of vintage English bone china. My scones are fluffy and light ( unlike the rocks I manage to bake) and are complemented with crystal glasses of jam and cream. The cream, of course, is not clotted – I was told that that level of pasteurisation is not allowed anywhere outside of the UK!

The setting is idyllic. A shop draped in china, lace, glassware, floral crockery and lavender, rose and orchid products. I am sitting at a table with silk roses, a lace table cloth and listening to soft jazz. The other clients are also ladies, sitting here enjoying their scones and jam too. We are offered 15 different teas and 5 different types of scones, all for $11:50, which is very reasonable, considering that you might pay that in pounds at home.

Sitting in a place like this often makes me dream of the house I may one day have. Part of me would love to have a really English country garden cottage with cream floorboards, wooden furniture, white lace and flowers, and somewhere to sit and write. Who knows where I’ll go next though…