Afternoon Tea With Your Dog

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… 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.


43 thoughts on “Afternoon Tea With Your Dog”

  1. Well, even if I fancied a spot of posh nosh, the pension doesn’t allow! And, of course, the travel time is a major factor.
    But a jolly good giggle at what some silly people would pay for.

  2. If you’ll pardon me please I have fixed in my mind the image of Cressida Dick, cap, court shoes, and yard-stick akimbo, being thrown to a pack of hungry, baying hounds as some sort of “bar snack”. It’s not that I can’t remove the image; it’s that I don’t want to remove it. Cressida never really was given the credit she deserved though – in the field of renewable energy sources (her behaviour made Robert Peel rotate at high speed in his grave, allowing him to be hooked up by the ankles to an electricity generator supplying most of the Home Counties).

    One of my sister’s rescue hounds – she knows which one – if presented with such a meal in such an environment, would have eaten the meal, eaten the table, pocketed the silverware, emptied her bowels at the fireplace, de-bagged a waiter, pilfered from the till at reception, and then stood at the entrance – smoking a cigar – waiting to hijack the first Bentley to roll up with unlocked doors.

    1. Entirely with you on the proposed fate of Cressida Dick….failed operational officer promoted for box ticking credentials, who royally let down the people of London.
      I think I would pay money to see that dog in action…..there are many sites she could visit with a salutary effect on the occupants.

  3. I can just imagine that lot in a posh hotel with snob customers grabbing their beloved pooches and heading for the door. What sort of person pays so much for their dog? I know trendy folks in some places, Hebden Bridge was one, had cat and I think dog cafés, but not at that price! As for the owners fare! I could not pronounce half of that let alone eat it. £49 a go! A week’s food including beer there.
    I suppose the dogs would love the fuss and the meal, but I suspect the snob dogs would also love a tasty bone and peace to chew it alone.
    I understand Mr Percy accepting the oven was brought for him, who else could benefit?

    1. It brings home just how much squandering money the exploitative class have available to them……while the people who keep the country running are supposed to take the hit for runaway inflation.
      As to the oven, well, he would thnk that, wouldn’t he, to paraphrase Mady Rice Davies.

    1. I think the dogs are the hook to rake in the customers at forty nine quid a head! As for Cressida Dick……the name might be striking, but she ruined the confidence of the people of London in their police force.

      1. Perhaps they are wooing elite dogs only at that price? Although I have had if of such prices being charged for high tea in Sydney.
        You are right the name of the Police Chief is Striking. I found it hard not to smirk when I read it.
        She sounds like a Dick by name and nature!

  4. I don’t want to sound curmudgeonly, but when people are in such dire circumstances in Britain, wondering how to pay their fuel bills and resorting to food banks, it is disgraceful that others are happy to spaff that kind of money on stuffing themselves and their dogs on luxury items. 49 euros fed both our dogs on quality food for a month. What I would like to do is to turn up there with Tommy and Daisy and slip their leads. Anybody else fancy coming along?

  5. That parade of canine comradery made my heart smile. Why is it everyone has a Mr. Darcy in their pack? While Norman would eat anything served, Miss Picky (aka the Ninja) has now turned her nose up to all manner of ways to disguise her meds. That Stinker is giving me a run for my money…still I indulge her after having such a dreadful beginning in the puppy mill factory. She deserves it (well most days anyway). Thanks for providing a visual of the whole affair of your pack enjoying some over-indulgence by no doubt a Gen Z’er who probably got the idea off Instagram. 😈

    1. There’s always a picky one, isn’t there? His lordship has decided he will not eat from a bowl…he requires a plate. I made the mistake of sipping my fingerin some sweet vermouth and letting his lick it…great enthusiasm…I suppose the blighter will soon be wanting a glass of wine with his meals.

      1. Bwahahaha! So long as he doesn’t get too hoity toity about it. When Elsa had her stomach issues recently, she got to the point where she wouldn’t even eat when feed by hand. All she wanted was grass. I had just sprayed the few clumps of grass with vinegar but did she care? Heck no. No wonder she barfed several times despite my best efforts to keep her out of it. Some days I think she must have been a goat in a former life.

  6. Thanks for the laugh I needed it at the moment. Frustrating times here from one thing and another.
    I cannot understand anyone wasting money like that but …….. Haha, I do love Mr Darcy, and I am sure he would enjoy that glass of wine. We had one dog in RSA that we got from the SPCA. I am convinced he belonged to an alcoholic who was carried away in an ambulance. We called him Bruce and he loved all alcohol, if he heard a police car or an ambulance siren, his nose went in the air and he would yowl until the sound had disappeared. He was such a darling though.
    Very best wishes to you both, Diane

    1. Good to hear from you.
      Right, so you had to take a sock off to get to the total….yes, it is indeed twelve.
      The refuge project is in discussion which in effect means that as the land lies on the boundary of two villages, each with its development committee, the Neighbour has had to divide his efforts between the two. So far committee members have heard that we are Gringos -therefore it must be dodgy…we will be making money which is a commercial activity in the rural area – what cattle farms count as is beyond me ….the barking will disturb the peace of the area – we already have a steady barkathon group of dogs in the houses leading up to town….again, we are Gringos….there will be increased traffic on the roads which will pose a danger and make said roads worse than they already are…we are, in case anyone had missed it, Gringos….you get the tone of it. The local mover and dhaker is currently occupied with bullying the government to repair the road to the coast but has promised to attend each committee’s final meeting which should settle the Neighbour’s hash. Then we go to the cantonal council, the health ministry, agriculture ministry, environmental ministry, electricity board, the college of architects, the national registry, the taxman….and Uncle Tom Cobley and all…
      It may take a little time…

  7. Bizarre – of course. I do worry about the world sometimes, until I remember that ridiculous is not a new concept. And that people will always find ways to make a buck. I often used to drink at The Clarence, on the corner of Old Scotland Yard and Whitehall; it had a fine selection of different ales, amusing staff, and I really hope it hasn’t gone to the dogs.

    1. I don’t remember that one…but there were a number where we used to foregather before going to meetings in the Houses of Parliament – in the days when you could just go in on invitation only.

  8. Surely Mr Darcy is intelligent enough to be trained to create patisserie for you? Really, I don’t know what dog trainers do these days. More and more shops these days offer dog ice cream. It seems a loathesome concept doesn’t it?

    1. Mr. Darcy has firm views on what is and what is not within his job descriotion. He would have made an fine understudy for Red Rob of British Leyland.
      Just think of the flavours a dog would prefer….canlt see Haagen Daz offering ‘putrified squirrel carcase’ flavour somehow…..

  9. Rolling on the floor as we speak, Helen! Such wit! Bones, Mr Darcy, policeman checking for diversity issues and Corgi shaped biscuits. It’s all too much! Love it!

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