Wise Woman Travel

Exploring the world from a female perspective

As a woman of mostly British heritage, drinking tea has been part of my life since I was a little girl.

My mom never strayed too far from Red Rose, and it was more often an after dinner drink than a mid-afternoon refreshment. But as I grew up, I experienced a wide variety of teas at different times in different places- the Empress Hotel,  in Victoria, BC; the MacDonald Hotel, in Edmonton, Alberta; with my friend Claire, in and around Hebden Bridge, UK; and last summer, with a tea ceremony master in Wakayama, Japan. 

So, when I found out that my Montevideo hotel, Cala di Volpe, offered a tea saloon (I  assumed an “o” had snuck in during the English translation), I was happy to give it a try. High tea fits right in with the Uruguayan tradition of noshing in the late afternoon because dinner won’t be until around 10. So ten minutes after its 5:00 start, I went downstairs to find a table. 

The dining room was already alive with the energy of women’s voices and laughter. The dining room host pointed out two tables for two where I  could sit – having tea here, like most activities, is clearly a collective experience. 

The waiter quickly arrived at my table. “Would you like orange juice and a toasted ham and cheese sandwich to start?”

Um- si?

“Coffee or tea?”

Um- tea?

He brandished a glass coffee pot in which the tea had already been brewed- no personal pot or choice of teas in a fancy box. 

” Help yourself to the buffet as you wish.” 

I ate my toasted sandwich while the cheese was still hot, then browsed what else was on offer: Egg salad on white, salmon and cream cheese on brown mini torpedoes , salami on rosemary buns.

But it’s clear who the stars of this tea service were. While the little sandwiches occupied a small corner of the buffet, the desserts took up both ends and the entire other side.

I helped myself to one slice of a chocolate and dulce con leche (caramel) mousse but my fellow tea service participants were not so shy: women were returning to their tables with three and four desserts at a time. One server was kept hopping just to ensure the plates of sweets were always replenished.

I had a couple more cups of tea, but I was  done in for sweets when I finished my mousse. As I looked around the room, I noticed the other women were not only finishing their desserts but going back for more. 

I  wonder if there’s such a thing as a dessert consumption boot camp in Montevideo for those of us interested in, er, punching above our weight class. If so, I’ll be the first in line.

5 thoughts on “Monteavideo

  1. Deb says:

    Today I’ve having tea with egg nog in honour of the season…London Fog! No fog where you are. What are those things that look like Nanaimo bars except with a chocolate under the topping?


  2. Linds says:

    How is the graffschpe?
    Graffschpe rather
    Says Clive?


    1. Pamela Young says:

      Lorne says “wet and rusty.”


  3. Amy Weaver says:

    Well that made me laugh! But as someone who punches “above your weight class” on a regular basis, I can tell you it’s all in the training – you start out with one dessert, then two, and so on. You can do it Pam – I believe in you! ; )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pamela Young says:

      With Christmas coming, I’ll have the perfect chance to try out your training plan!


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