Last Tuesday it was my mum’s fiftieth birthday (I’m sure she appreciates my informing the Internet of this fact). Because she is Mum, and a secret Mrs. Bucket, my immediate family plus one grandmother took a trip to London. To The Ritz Hotel. For afternoon tea… At half seven in the evening. Apparently you have to book a while in advance to actually get an afternoon cuppa.
Yeah, that’s Mum. Anyway, because I’m too lazy to think of descriptive words, here is what I wrote in my diary while sat on a posh sofa, in The Ritz:
9:00pm, The Ritz Hotel, London
I’m writing from the freaking Ritz!!! There’s gold edging on the picture rails, it’s not considered the doing thing to clap the live band and the food was served on a triple-tiered tray. The toilets are called ‘powder rooms’, with SILVER TOPPED SANITARY TOWEL BINS, painted walls and flannels which you dry your hands on before disposing into a large wicker basket. There must be fifteen types of tea on offer, my glass of water wasn’t from the tap and there are lions on the teapots. Proper silver teapots. There are tissues with ‘The Ritz’ printed on them. I stole one as a souvenir.
Mum kept saying I wouldn’t be allowed in because of my bloodstained biker-style boots, but I decided that if the porter tried anything I would simply say, “These were bought in Paris, don’t you know.” (They actually were.) Or, failing that, “Don’t you know who I am?” He didn’t even blink though.
All the waiters are foreign, but I’m pretty sure their immigration status was checked when they applied for the job. We stopped at Covent Garden earlier, and everyone who served us was of the non-English variety, one of the waitresses at an overpriced coffee shop said “Shit!” when she dropped a fork loading a tray. In a Polish accent.
By the way, I walked in here earlier and the ‘push’ sign on the revolving door was above my head. As the average height for a woman in the fifties was five foot one (my height), and this hotel was established in 1906, I can only say that the management discriminates against short people. [I have since found out that the average woman's height in 1951 was five two. Wikipedia does not shed light on the height of man circa 1900. Lets assume that the bloke who built The Ritz knew that we would get taller, or invent platform heels.]
Part Two of ‘In the Last Week Frank Has Left the House’ will appear on Wednesday, 1st September, to commemorate the end of the summer holidays.