Photograph courtesy of ‘The Spectator’.
The Great Scotland Yard Hotel – which is not paying me to plug its attractions – is offering a Jubilee special.
Sunday afternoon tea for your dog.
This building used to be the HQ of the Metropolitan Police, a fine body of mostly men dedicated to the pursuit of vice and crime…the propagation thereof rather than prevention…to the extent that the man appointed to clean up the organisation, Robert Mark, stated that his aim was to ‘arrest more criminals than we employ’. He succeeded in that respect, and also in refusing to accept any part of London as a ‘no go’ area.
But that was back in the seventies…..now the Met Police rejoice in a shiny new HQ, have under cover officers infiltrating protest groups to the extent of impregnating members thereof and uniformed officers who run away from gangs of black men while their colleagues are dancing with environmental activists blocking the main arteries of the capital.
The force has gone to the dogs – indeed is currently in ‘special measures’ after the disastrous reign of the latest Commissioner, Cressida Dick, who clung on to her post until bribed to leave with a spectacular pension pot.
But, as every dog must have his day it is not inappropriate that their old building is offering afternoon tea for pooches.
According to Lara King’s article in ‘The Spectator’ the canine guest will enjoy a bowl of iced water, a ‘dogestive’ biscuit in the shape of a corgi, a fairy cake, a sponge cake with buttercream and added protein in the form of powdered insects, with, to finish, a bowl of organic meat and veg, and all for only twenty five quid.
I can feed my lot for a few weeks for that, thanks to the meat from casualties at the pig farm on the other side of the bridge, delivered by the young man from across the road.
Not surprisingly, you cannot just put your dog in a taxi and send him off for his treat. Each dog needs a human companion and here, courtesy of Lara King, for forty nine quid is what that companion will get.
‘Three tiers of savoury treats include mini quiches of king prawn, courgette, rocket and Montgomery cheddar; smoked salmon, asparagus, horseradish and avruga caviar on pain de mie; coronation chicken finger sandwiches; truffle duck egg mayo on briochette; and garden pea, lemon and mint gougères. Next comes three tiers of the sweet stuff: miniature scones warm from the oven and topped with Cornish clotted cream and a summery rhubarb and elderflower jam; vast globes of blackcurrant and tonka mousse decorated with sugar flowers; oat, honey and apricot primrose ‘hats’; chunks of violet battenberg; and ‘Imperial State Crown lime cookies’, which are like a luxurious lime-flavoured take on Jaffa Cakes. Created in partnership with the Queen’s perfumier, Floris London, the menu has apparently been inspired by the notes of the brand’s Platinum 22 Eau de Parfum, but it’s the presentation that really stands out, with edible masterpieces so intricate they have to be seen to be believed. We wash it all down with glasses of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut and pots of Breakfast Blend and Earl Grey teas.’
And you get a doggy bag for any leftovers.
Would I be tempted were I living in the U.K.? Probably not….I can almost feel the Scots soul slamming the catch on the purse as I write….but would any of my lot enjoy the experience?
They are all hearty eaters, though not averse to filling up the corners with more dainty fare if available, and I suspect they would feel that the meal was lacking in one important aspect.
Bones. They like bones. No meal is complete without a bone.
And being adventurous and confident dogs they would have gone in search of bones….right through the hotel, skirmishers Zuniga, Tinkerbelle and Tigerlily in the lead, the light brigade of Plush, Napoleon and Aunty behind, the heavy division of Einstein and Bunter following, the vertically challenged staff officers, Scruffy, Podge and Mr. Darcy beetling along to snap up any unconsidered trifles and Black Tot bringing up the rear at a pace suitable to her age and condition
Never mind not wishing to meet them on a dark night, I imagine that they would be a far from welcome sight in full cry in a hotel corridor in broad daylight, all lolling tongues, white teeth and scything tails. Pushed to the ground by the skirmishers, any unwary person would then be sniffed by Napoleon, slobbered on by Podge and walked on by Black Tot who has the same temperament as the Peninsular general Robert Crauford who believed in marching forward nomatter what the obstacle.
No….I don’t think it would be a good idea, on the whole. Quite apart from the risk that the hotel management would call the police who, after checking that there were no diversity issues and that the dogs were unarmed, would probably send out a firearms team, a sight of the afternoon tea offerings might give Mr. Darcy ideas.
He is not called Mr. Darcy for nothing. He feels himself to be entitled. He might feel that he is entitled to some of the dainties he had observed and, despite having been issued with a specialist pastry oven by Higher Authority – by which hangs a tale for another time – I am jiggered if I am going to bake ‘Imperial State Crown lime cookies’ for a short arsed French bulldog.