I don't have many places I dream of. Its my nature to be an explorer; discover new things, random finds and odd little hideaways.
Yet there is one place in London that I have longed to go for years and years. I've called it my London dream now for too long.
Yet on Thursday, I made my dream come true.
I sat down for Afternoon Team at Claridge's.
My parents and friends often asked me what I found so appealing about Claridge's. For me, Claridge's is a magical place, almost stuck in time. The professional service, 'ma'am, can I help you?', not to mention the glamour and classic feel around, is something we've lost now.
I sometimes say I was born in the wrong era, and so for one night, Claridge's would let me play out that fantasy.
Having dreamed of Afternoon Tea at Claridge's for so long, I wondered what I would feel walking in. Well, I felt what I hoped I would. Elated, breathless all with a hint of butterflies. It was beautiful.
For this special occasion I couldn't have thought of anyone better to join me than my amazing friend Caroline.
And I met the gorgeous Lou.
Having taken our seats, we let the dream commence.
Starting with that award winning tea and service.
After a few moments to relax, soak in the atmosphere with our hot drinks, we were presented with an array of classic crust-less sandwiches, and a couple of delightfully gooey, hot cheese choux's.
Its not often I would bother using anything but my fingers for sandwiches, but I thought I'd make the effort.
Of course, we all know what everyone really wants on a Afternoon Tea selection. The scones, and cakes. And Claridge's certainly didn't disappoint.
Warm, soft, raison and plain scones, with thick clotted cream and Marco Polo jam, I slathered it on until they bulged at the seams. These may be the only scones to rival my Nana's, and I never say that.
The cakes were the most luxuriously little creations I have ever witnessed. Blueberry shortbread pastry with a crumble topping. Salted chocolate praline topped brownies. Tart strawberry and champagne bombs, and perfectly rich Dundee cake. Utterly indulgent, utterly extravagant, but utterly divine.
Feeling like I was in heaven, we all feasted until we could feel out skirts pinching and pulling around the seams, yet that wasn't the only thing pulling at the seams. Our smiles could have burst at the corners, they were so big.
Claridge's was everything I dreamed off. Attentive staff, gorgeous atmosphere, we even had a pianist to lull us into a euphoric haze.
Feeling on cloud nine, we bundled ourselves into our carriages and like Cinderella, slipped from the dream and into the night.
If you have a dream place you want to visit, my advice, just go for it, and see where the day takes you.
Claridge's, I raise my glass to you.
49 Brook St