It is going to reach a whole five degrees in London today and I am head to toe in black again. There's only one thing for it - more warm weather photos! I thought I'd share the unusual experience of having a very British afternoon tea in the tropics during our visit to Penang.
Since the 1920's there has been a funicular cable railway that runs all the way to the top of Penang Hill. It was built by British colonial settlers who were hoping to escape the hot, humid lowlands of the island by travelling up to the higher, cooler air. Ever since, the popular thing to do amongst the locals was to go up to the top of Penang Hill on the railway and take afternoon tea while cooling off. Right at the very top of the hill there stands a lovely tea house built in the old colonial style with a large veranda, surrounded by beautiful tranquil gardens.
The British certainly left their influence here. Even in the middle of a hilltop covered in dense jungle they managed to create something of the English country garden.
It is generally so hot and sticky down in the lowlands that all you feel like wearing is the lightest of materials. This is one of my favourite printed silk dresses for summer, worn previously on holiday here. I was very grateful to have packed it as it helped me to endure the humidity whilst walking around. However up the top of the hill the air was noticeably much fresher and cooler.
These days the railway is powered electrically with sleek modern air-conditioned carriages and the journey up the hill takes a matter of minutes, but I remember as a child taking the railway up when it was the ride was a far more rickety affair and the carriages were open air.
People have also historically come up here to enjoy the splendid panoramic view of Penang from the top.
On the menu for afternoon tea was the answer to every homesick Englishman's prayers - petit fours, scones with jam and cream, and Earl Grey and English Breakfast tea.
Not quite as good as the afternoon tea served up at the British Museum but lovely and refreshing on a hot day all the same.
Hope you are having a great week!
Printed Silk Dress: Mango
Mr V's patterned straw hat on table: Zara; Tee shirt: gift from my brother