I just have to share... the gang at work just treated me to a delightful afternoon tea at Lovejoy's Tea Room. I've been hearing about this place for ages, and had never been. It's marvelous. If you live anywhere near SF, you must go. They actually get the British tea thing right -- the menu has chutney-and-cheese sandwiches, Ribena, and real live Devon scones that TASTE like Devon scones, not these weird dry triangular things you get at Starbuck's. The china is all charmingly mix-and-match, there are knitted tea cozies everywhere, and crocheted doilies. The two men in our party were very skeptical at first, but were totally won over by the sausage rolls and the generally congenial atmosphere. In fact, John said, "Wow, I should have brought my knitting" -- he was being facetious, but he was right -- it would be the PERFECT place to knit! Nobody there was knitting, but they all should have been.
I had a delicious Vanilla Rooibus, which you may know if you are also a tea nerd like myself, is not actually tea but an African legume. It is naturally caffeine free and quite robust. Then there were the flaky, scrumptious scones, the clotted cream, the raspberry preserves, and the Stilton-and-pear sandwiches. They also serve a nice selection of fresh fruit, including lots of things you probably wouldn't see at Harrod's, like kiwi, pineapple, and grapefruit. Real cream and sugar, not a hint of half-and-half or sweet n'low in the entire place.
It was dreamy. We talked about Belize and weddings and parking in San Francisco (if you're ever in a lulling conversation in SF, bring up parking tickets.) I can't wait to go back. Only this time, I'm bringing my knitting.