Tea and Sympathy

A cup of tea and a good lie down seemed the best remedy for the latest chocolate news to hit NYC. Winter storms may come and go ( or not ) but chocolate withdrawal can do permanent damage. As of now all Cadbury confections made in Britain will no longer be available in the US. It seems that Hersheys has flexed it’s trademark muscle to ensure only Cadbury made under the US umbrella will be available on this side of the pond. Apart from the slap of stolen identity in a cultural sense, the contents are counterfeit. The local recipe has sugar at the top of the list of ingredients ( as opposed to milk on the English recipe ) and adds various ingredients to increase the shelf life of the soon to be not-so-much-in-demand sweet.

Queen of the bastion of Britishness on Greenwich Street, Nicky Perry, says that life is hard enough without losing our chocolate. Her cafe was politely packed when I called in yesterday, as the fish and chip shop would later be. But her Carry On grocery was starting to see gaps in the shelves as patriots and connoisseurs stock pile the genuine article. Crunchies, Flakes and Kit Kats were still available, but will soon become the bounty of mail order merchants.

The good news is that high tea as an institution and practice looks safe forever.  Tea and Sympathy, with thin-lipped cups and perfectly pouring tea pots was rich with the sight of cream cakes, scones and cucumber sandwiches. There was not a cell phone in sight as people talked and took tea. Ah the delight of a sanctum of civilization. Just as the name of the cafe serves the sentiment within, maybe the name of the fish and chip shop, A Salt and Battery, will deter any further infringement on British tradition…


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5 Responses to Tea and Sympathy

  1. technanna says:

    So much for “free” trade. Free for whom?
    Re A Salt and Battery – we have had a fish ‘n chip shop of the same name here in St Lucia, Brisbane, for many years. You can’t keep a catchy name down!

  2. Terry Lee says:

    A delightful essay! The photographs are a treat too.

    Seeing the Fish n Chips shop (never imagined NY to have such a shop) brought back fond memories of Saturday evenings in my childhood where Dad would treat us to Fish n’ Chips (fried falt-head fish, potato cakes, dim-sims as well as the chips with heaps of salt and vinegar – and a can of soft drink). He’d also have the ‘Sporting Globe’ a pink tabloid newspaper that was produced on Saturdays that had all the Aussie Rules results, which as a child I avidly read in between munchies. Fortunately, the Fish n’ Chips shops still exist, though the days of 20 cents of chips being a ‘feed’ are long gone and the Food Police would disavow of such gourmet delights as a regularly as I did when I was knee high to grasshopper!

    Love the Shop name, ‘Tea & Sympathy’. I recall a store that had the moniker of ‘Coffee & Sanity’, in one of the regional towns in Victoria.

    Terry Lee
    Kerang : Victoria

    • Thank you for these delightful images Terry – yes, fish and chips and a childhood on the beach are fantastic memories. The Ritz Cafe in Tumby Bay, South Australia, was the spot for fish and chips in our family. We would either share them on the ‘family’ swing in front of the playground, or sit on the picnic tables by the small jetty. The jetty has gone now and I’m not sure about The Ritz – but with a name like that it should have been registered with the National Trust!

  3. Fen says:

    What a ridiculous decision, but as you say, the mail will be full of chocolate now! Love your pics of the tea shop

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