Ridley: When you go on holiday, there comes a point when, despite enjoying your time away, you eventually start to want a few home comforts and familiars. Whether its a television programme, a particular shop, a type of food, a drink, or your own comfortable bed. You start thinking about how great it is.
For us, it was tea. We just wanted a good cup of tea, so when we discovered there was a tea café in the Ginza district, we were a little too excited.
The number of teas available was confounding. Sometimes you can have too much choice! I wanted a normal cup of tea, but that felt a bit boring with all the fancy blends, added to that, the prices had our eyebrows shooting upwards. (9 euro for a pot of tea- each!) So the pressure was on to make the experience ‘worthwhile’. In the end, I said feck it and I stuck with the breakfast blends, going for something that basically was like Lyon’s tea. I didn’t want anything fruity!
The presentation was gorgeous. China plates. It was the type of place where my pinky could have tried to stick out, in an attempt at some sort of misguided grace. It also had quite a French feel, though on the way there we’d been expecting an English tea shop.
We decided to splash out so we also had crème brulee. Very tasty!
Ginza is definitely an expensive district, where people with money flutter around. On every corner and street there was a large brand shop, whether it was Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, YSL, all the sort of places that I basically have a security guard dogging my steps as I wander round with an open mouth, releasing various gasps at the prices and the words ‘I could buy ten handbags for that!’
(Without a doubt, it’s a place where the rich and famous hang out. We (well Latimer did) spotted Sean Lennon strolling down the street.)
The tea shop definitely cater to them, less so to the tourists. Its a type of fantasy dining for the Japanese in a way. For an hour or two they can drink fruity concoctions and pretend they’ve step out to a place in Paris. Except for the all male cast of servers in white suits, there were just women eating there.
The ladies were all extremely well dressed with branded handbags, I like to think that they were the wives of hard working rich business men. As with everyone we saw, Latimer and I sipped our tea and we people watched while wondering ‘cad é an scéal?’-literally, what’s the story, or rather what we mean is, what is their story, where are they from, what do they do, what are their lives like? This happens all the time, you see someone unusual, someone normal, someone with a strange hair cut, it doesn’t matter, we’re fascinated by their background. I’ve always wondered, isn’t everyone like this? The more you see the world though, the more you realised there are more people not like you than you ever could have imagined.
Before we left we popped in to their bathroom (its a long standing belief of mine that you can tell a lot of how the way a place is run and its cleanliness by the state of this room!) It had a normal toilet too. There was no fancy stuff with a controller, numerous buttons, heated seat and automatic flushing. It was nice to know where you stood with it! (I’m a sad individual, I know.)
While definitely an experience, if you love tea and are up for a once off visit, you should try here. Especially if you’re gasping for a good cuppa! Just be prepared to pay a little (read, a lot) more than you normally would at home