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Monday, 28 March 2011

Things to do in Manchester for the Royal Wedding...Tea at Harvey Nicks

Now, I hadn't planned to write about the Royal Wedding at all. I am very far from being a monarchist; indeed, the last wedding involving a future King of England, that of Charles and Diana in 1981, left an irreparable scar on my soul. As a very young child, in control of neither my destiny nor my wardrobe, I was bought an outfit for this most special of occasions that included a pink embroidered sweater with a high, frilled collar that frankly did nothing for a child carrying a little puppy fat. I was also the proud possessor of an obliging wedge of dark blonde hair that was cruelly coiffed into a Lady Di flick round the edges, prompting all and sundry to say "aah, just like a little Diana." I have seen photographic evidence, and I do not look like a little Diana. There are indeed no actual words to describe what exactly I do look like; think the very worst of the eighties levered into one small, grinning package.

So as you can see, a Royal Wedding is nothing to get excited about. Except for the following reasons:

- I am an adult now, and can therefore choose my own outfit to celebrate the happy event.

- I am an adult now, and can therefore claim an extra day off work to celebrate the happy event.

- I am an adult now, and can therefore spend my extra day off work drinking wine and eating a selection of party foods, to celebrate the happy event.

Much better all round, in fact. I quite like the idea of a street party, but have left it too late to apply to have the road closed, and as I don't fancy taking my chances with a succession of fast-moving vehicles (apart from those slowing down to admire my pink embroidered sweater, obviously) I may have to make do with knocking back a wine box on the pavement instead, perhaps whilst waving a small flag.

Most of the pubs in the area seem to be gearing themselves up for an onslaught of patriotic drinkers, demonstrating their royal fervour by sinking a variety of cut-price alcoholic beverages. More civilised-sounding by far is the Royal Afternoon Tea at Harvey Nichols Second Floor Restaurant, which runs throughout April. Afternoon tea is a marvellous tradition at ANY time, permitting as it does the consumption of tiny sandwiches with the crusts cut off and an array of dainty cakes made, perhaps, for a passing dolly to take to her tea party; not real food, in other words.

For £30, Harvey Nichols promises a selection of savoury snacks and a "fun collection of desserts with a royal theme", begging the questions: a/ whoever heard of a dessert that WASN'T fun (tapioca, maybe), and b/ what exactly is the royal theme? Some sickly sweet confections with Kate's face on? Ones full of booze with Harry's face on? The mind boggles. Even better, you also get a special commemorative mug which, this being Harvey Nicks, is actually very tasteful (disappointingly so, in fact; never mind) and is included in the price of the afternoon tea. Full details are on the website, or call 0161 8288898 to book.

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