In celebration of the official birthday of Her Majesty the Queen of England, we saluted good ol’ Blighty by hosting a special worldwide afternoon tea at some of our galleries – in true British style naturally.
Although the Queen’s actual birthday is in April, she has always celebrated her official birthday in June so that her birthday parade can be enjoyed by all under (hopefully) blue skies in the warmth of the summer sunshine (for us Brits, the weather is always a hot topic of conversation as you may well know). As jubilant crowds lined the streets of London last Saturday to watch the spectacular Trooping the Colour parade, at Timothy Oulton galleries across the globe we were proud to host our own homage to Her Majesty and celebrate our British heritage.
From Hong Kong to India, the Netherlands, England and the US, we dusted off our best vintage china, hung out the Union flags and stacked the tables full of authentic – and incredibly delicious – British treats (we’re getting hungry just thinking it). It was time for our annual afternoon tea in honour of the Queen to begin, so let’s take you back to the day in question…
Saturday 17 June.
8am London, 3pm Hong Kong.
The parade starts in two hours. While the Queen is picking out her best hat and getting ready to leave Buckingham Palace in the royal carriage, our galleries in Hong Kong are filled with the smell of delicious buttered scones and traditional British cakes. Our signature Bowler hats are at the ready – who doesn’t love to drink tea from a vintage teacup wearing a bowler hat after all?
10.30am London, 3pm New Delhi.
The table is laid with Union flag cupcakes and an array of other mouth-watering morsels at our New Delhi gallery. Vintage Babycham glasses are stacked on silver trays and the champers is on ice ready to be popped at any moment. Here we go…
2pm London, 3pm Amsterdam.
In London, the Royal Air Force have completed their famous fly-past while the Royal Family wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Over in the Netherlands, our own British guards stand to attention outside the Amsterdam gallery dressed in their red suits and bearskin hats, welcoming people in quintessentially British style. Inside, the table is covered with finger sandwiches, scones and clotted cream, all the tastes of an authentic British afternoon tea. Tourists and locals alike are intrigued to discover more about the celebrations.
It’s a scorching 29 degrees in London – one of the hottest days of the year – and the capital is abuzz following the pomp and ceremony of the Trooping the Colour parade. In the gallery at Heal’s people are cooling down with a cup of tea and a slice of cake, while up north in Manchester the gallery at Stocktons is busy serving up Victoria sponge – namesake of another great British monarch.
8pm London, 3pm New York.
Across the pond in the New York gallery at ABC Carpet & Home, the team is putting on a brew and getting ready to toast the royal day. Champagne buckets brimming with fresh red roses sit side by side with a bevy of British flags – from the napkins to the artfully iced cupcakes (looking almost too good to eat).
11pm London, 3pm L.A. and San Francisco.
The sun has set over England and the Queen is probably now fast asleep, but the party is just beginning on the West Coast of the US. Teacups are clinking in L.A. and San Francisco as our galleries at HD Buttercup fly the flag with a fresh stack of cakes for the final birthday feast. After 15 hours, several gallons of tea and copious amounts of cake our worldwide afternoon tea in honour of the Queen draws to a close.
Cheers Ma’am! We had a ball, here’s to doing it all again next year.