A traditional afternoon tea is probably as quintessentially-British as you can get: crumbly sweet treats, pots filled to the spout with hot liquid gold, and the charming “Englishness” of feeling a necessity to point one’s pinky to the ceiling when pulling a cup to your lips. Add to this a Sherlock Holmes twist with the promise of “a mystifying selection of culinary rarities”, and you essentially have an amalgamation of James Bond, cricket, and Her Majesty the Queen.
The Sherlock Holmes Afternoon Tea is just one of the three English Classics, Reinvented experiences now offered by St James’ Court, A Taj Hotel, London – launched alongside a bespoke, limited edition cover design of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic.
Season two of Emmy-winning show, Master of None hit Netflix last Friday, and like a shameless superfan I managed to get through all ten episodes in just three days – relieved that season one’s follow-up had not just met, but exceeded my expectations a bucket load.
Master of None tells the story of Dev (played by Parks & Rec’s Aziz Ansari), an Indian-American actor who lives in New York. And like any single-and-ready-to-mingle human living in 2017, we see Dev regularly getting screwed over by the complexity and horrors of 21st century dating – from the agony of guessing how many emojis to put in a flirty text, to the dread of being “ghosted” by someone you really like. Add to this friendship debacles, work drama, odd and embarrassing parents, the stunning NY location and a brilliant script, and you’ve got yourself a pretty great show.
If you’re new to Master of None but fancy giving it a watch, I’d recommend that you exit this post sharpish until you’re at least up to speed with at least the first season. I really wouldn’t want to ruin it for you, but (in spite of my attempts) I can’t guarantee that this post is completely spoiler-free (sorry).
If you’re already a fan, or just don’t care that much, then obviously read away! I’d love to get your thoughts and opinions, too – just leave me a comment on social media or in the little box below.
So, why IS Master of None the best show on Netflix at the moment?
My mum told me last night that she thinks I’m becoming a grumpier person, and it struck me as I laid awake in bed this morning that she might actually be right.
I think it’s since I started commuting to London that I’ve become far less tolerant of the general public and their incredibly annoying behaviour, such as taking phone calls on silent trains, sniffing, incessant coughing, bag rustling, dawdling, getting in the way, or just being loud and generally irritating. (Tourists with suitcases and small children: I hate you the most).
I have become a constant complainer. I pick things apart when they don’t need picking, and even whinge people who are probably just being nice and trying to help me. In my 25th year I have become the grumpy old woman I expected to be at 85. I despair at whatever the next 6 decades have in store.
Magazine journalists are sent free stuff all the time, but working in education publishing means you usually only end up with stacks upon stacks of children’s books. Don’t get me wrong – most of them are lovely (and especially useful when you have an eight-year-old godson), but they’re not exactly the sort of thing I can stick on Instagram and brag about my hot-shot #workperks.
This said, a few weeks ago I received two samples of bath oil from a company called Olverum. I’m usually less than convinced by the hype around baths – not that I’m opposed to maintaining good personal hygiene, of course, but I do often think they’re overrated. I just don’t have time to sit there and wallow in a big tub of water. Give me a short and sweet ten-minute shower any day.
And it’s not just lack of time that’s an issue – I actually find baths pretty boring. It doesn’t seem to matter how many fancy bath bomb things I throw in or which music I put on to get me in the mood; five minutes in and I’m ready to get out again. Sometimes I even clock-watch to make sure that a decent amount of time has passed in said bath, so I don’t feel bad for wasting all that water.
Me in London’s Hyde Park last autumn
My day today began with a thrilling trip to the local dentist, which meant I could stay in bed a little longer than usual this morning (bliss). My small lie-in meant I could leave the house a little later than usual, too – thrown back into the madness of my family’s morning routine when everyone is always in each other’s way, and the sound of the kettle boiling and the news blaring is supplemented with a constant banging on the bathroom door “to get a bloody move on.”
I usually leave the house as my family is waking up, at a merry 6.40am when the sun has just about risen and the day is brewing nicely. I’ve only been commuting to London for four months, having left my local job to work at a publishing company in Chelsea – which has meant that since January, I’ve been getting up at 5.45am every weekday to make the 7.02am train. I can’t say I’m getting used to it because I don’t think waking up early ever gets any easier, but with summer on the way it certainly feels a little less cruel.
Before I got this job, my morning routine consisted of waking up at 7.30am, hopping in the car at 8.20 and arriving at my snug little office by half past – a mere 10-minute journey, sometimes even less than that if the roads were clear, and a stark contrast from my just-under-two-hours commute into work these days.