So I found a bit of a guide, to help me out. The 'total guide to Bath' seems just the thing to set the SconeLady on her path toward the tastiest, finest tea sandwiches, scones, and cakes. But - and here is a quandary - many of the afternoon tea places seem to expect tea for two, rather than just this lonely little one. Here is how it is put:
"Please be advised that all our Afternoon Teas are designed to be ordered for Two for you to share and enjoy." Hmm. They are trying to be kind, of course, and say ever so discreetly that if only one hapless American turns up, she will nevertheless be expected to pay for two. Some things just aren't all that fair.
(But I'm sure I will find a solution. Somehow.)
There are a total of 9 suggested tea rooms according to the Total Guide to Bath, and I will look into each. Here they are:
The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa
This is world famous, truly it is. Even I have heard of it, seen it on TV, been told of its awesomeness. Some even say it is Bath's 'most iconic and famous location'. The website does not list the price of their Afternoon Tea, which probably means it is substantial. It will almost certainly be delicious, though, and worth the cost with each taste and sip.
Booking ahead is 'advised, to avoid disappointment'.
Ston Easton Park
The cost of the Ston Gourmet Afternoon Tea comes in at £29.00, and you are gently asked to 'dress in your finest attire'. I'd better make space in my bag for a descent dress, then, just in case. Because I don't want to embarrass myself in front of the Brits.
Booking ahead is 'essential'.
The Allium Restaurant
This lovely spot is perfect for the lady who is looking for 'an effortlessly chic experience' of Afternoon Tea, costing just £21.50. These delicious bits of food are placed on beautiful 'bespoke hanging cake stands'. Ok. That could be interesting.
Booking ahead is 'advised but not essential'.
The Indulgence Cafe and Patisserie
The Indulgence is a 'feel good venue', and promises not to break the bank. I can dig that. The cost is £13.50, and although booking ahead is not required, it is recommended. I do not think you need to wear your finest, here.
The Pump Room
I think I have heard of the Pump Room. Their Champagne Tea is £30.00, and booking ahead is 'advised'. Oh - and it is located at the Abbey Churchyard in Bath! No wonder I thought I recognized it - the lovely daughter and I had been amazed by Bath Abbey, and must have seen or heard of the Pump Room then. They even have musical accompaniment as you eat your 'light bite' of afternoon tea (it isn't sounding too substantial here). Their Pump Room Trio plays for you and soothes you as you fill yourself with deliciousness.
Booking ahead is, once again, 'advised to avoid disappointment'.
My dear Readers, there are four more recommendations from the Total Guide To Bath - but I am sort of tired of talking about it, and you can look it all up! It is lovely fun thinking about this, and planning what to wear. Although that is a poser. There isn't very much room left in my bag, which is an entirely different conversation we must soon have. The bag is upstairs, partially filled, and isn't holding even half of what I think I will need. Yikes!
Not long now to wonder about it, though. Sooner or later I shall just have to close the bag, zip it up, and head for the airport.
See you along the way!
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/104327456@N07/12766787484">Afternoon tea with the Sydney Opera House</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/71738633@N02/6481652151">yellow rose floral china teaset</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>