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Brief Encounter - Afternoon Tea at the refreshment Room

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

Brief Encounter afternoon tea - Victoria sponge - BBC recipe

A strong Leaf Tea –  like Henritta Lovells Royal Air Force tea

Old fashioned Afternoon Tea Henrietta Lovell’s Royal Air Force Tea –

Rare 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.

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Tea with Mary Kate is delighted to hear that Ginger and Pickles tea rooms in Nantwich have been listed in the top ten British tea rooms in Britain.

Tea Rooms at Ginger and Pickles

It is an accolade that is well deserved.

Naturally, the tea served is leaf tea from Northern Tea merchants. What makes the tea rooms so special though are lovely touches like the extra hot boiling water that is served from beautiful Burleigh crockery by the staff in their black waistcoats, not to mention that large slices of gorgeous home made cakes. I have yet to finish one of their amazing afternoons teas!

Nantwich is a place that takes you back in time. Tea with Mary Kate adores Ginger and Pickles tea room – it feels like you are in a gentler place, a quite perfect atmosphere for a quite perfect tea room.

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