A terribly British and the most romantic film I have ever seen
From the moment of kindness when the unsuspecting Laura Jesson (the quite perfect Celia Johnson) has a speck of coal removed from her eye by the charming and very capable Dr Alex Havey (Trevor Howard), to the last scene, where their final precious moments are interrupted by an acquaintance of Laura’s. It is an accidental love, and all the more tragic for that – neither was seeking it in their married situations.
We never see but have to imagine the delicate Madeline, Alex’s wife. We do meet Fred though, Laura’s solid and understanding husband. In the opening scene of the film, Laura is speaking to us, as she starts to tell us the story from her arm chair by the fire with Fred, an insight into her life with him. He loves her – and she him, but not in the way that we come to see she has loved Dr Harvey.
Noel Coward’s film is an emotional journey
It is of innocent kindness, unconscious love, passion, and then guilt, with a dreadful, painful separation that neither will probably ever totally recover from. On the train journey to return home, Laura imagines the life that could have been with Alex, had they met earlier without their current commitments – the image fades as she arrives nearer home, and in the most depressing scene of the film, you witness her utter desperation and sorrow.
The Brief Encounter Afternoon Tea is a tea for a rainy day
With Rachmaninov’s Piano concerto No 2 the perfect music which plays throughout this amazing film. Include time for a viewing of the film in your afternoon tea. China is vintage, old fashioned and plain white, do include sugar in the spoon as there was in the film. For an authentic touch, add Bath Buns to your menu – although they never eat them while they sit at their tea table. Fare is simple and very traditional to echo the time when the film is set in 1945 when there would have been rationing from the war still.
Brief Encounter Afternoon Tea
Egg mayonnaise sandwiches on white bread
Victoria Sponge with strawberry jam
Bath Buns with lashing of butter
A strong Leaf Tea – like Henritta Lovells Royal Air Force tea
Filmed in 1945 at Camforth Station, the tea rooms have now been restored. Tea with Mary Kate hopes your brief encounter at your Afternoon Tea is a memorable one.