But there is such a thing as a free tea. Four of us (the mister, the now rent arrears free Aunty M, a family friend and yours truly) had ours yesterday, courtesy of the Boy's Christmas present to us all.
If you've been visiting here a while, you'll know that I'm rather partial to a proper afternoon tea, preferably one I haven't had any part in preparing or serving. This one at Crathorne Hall was as delicious as when we last visited, from the welcoming glass of champagne to the warm fruit scones with buttery clotted cream via plates of assorted finger sandwiches, perfectly teeny tangy lemon meringue tartlets and other sweet treats. All savoured under the watchful eye of the delightful Lady Somebodyorother.
(Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady)