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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Real Men Drink Tea

The Mandeville Hotel in London is now offering an Afternoon Tea especially for men! From their website:

Perfect for today's man about town, Men's Afternoon Tea at The Mandeville Hotel is the only Afternoon Tea for men in London, and promises to be a relaxing and masculine affair. Offering a range of whiskies as well as champagne, tea with the boys is available with a selection of games available at the bar. Unwind over a round of backgammon and a feast of roast sirloin sandwiches and chicken satays followed by hearty chocolate brownies, washed down with your Earl Grey and a selection of finest whiskies. Served on fabulous Tiffany blue china.

So ... who'll be mother father???

Brief Encounter

Yesterday's blog post mentioned Noel Coward, which immediately set me thinking about one of my all-time favorite movies, "Brief Encounter", which was based on Coward's one-act play, "Still Life".

"Brief Encounter" (c.1946) is the quintessential English romantic drama - filmed in black & white and very atmospheric (thanks to the well-known and talented director David Lean). What makes it absolutely brilliant, of course, is the fact that a large part of the film's action takes place in the refreshment room (i.e., tea room) of a train station. It is a bittersweet love story, amply enhanced by the haunting melody of Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto.

The Brief Encounter Refreshment Room today

"Brief Encounter" was filmed in the North of England, during the war, at Carnforth railway station. This particular location was chosen partly because it was far enough from Southeast England that, should there be one, it would receive sufficient warning of an air-raid attack and there would be time to turn out the filming lights to comply with wartime blackout restrictions.

Here are Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard in the final scene:

So popular and well-loved is this film that in 2000, a £1.5 million project restored the then derelict "Brief Encounter Refreshment Room". Today it is known as the only tea room worldwide to have been designed with the aid of a black and white film!

Click here for more interesting information on "Brief Encounter".
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