A cup of tea that is forever England
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So everything that was expensive had to do with the aristocracy.
You can find fancy tea events in Portugal too, but even there, the link to Queen Catherine is not well known. In the historic municipality of Sintra, though, one hotel is trying to change that. The area of Sintra, spread across lush green mountains about 30 minutes outside Lisbon, is a Unesco World Heritage Site , noted for its concentrated displays of European romantic architecture. The Seteais Palace, built in the s by Dutch consul Daniel Gildemeester, is just one of several ornate, whimsical estate homes that dot the Sintra landscape; wedding-cake follies overlooking intricate, sprawling gardens and parks.
Queen Catherine never lived here, but the concentration of old wealth and must-see mansions makes it the perfect place to reflect on what the lives of Portuguese nobility used to be like. You can easily imagine opulently dressed noblewomen gathering in opulently draped drawing rooms, clinking teacups and swapping news and gossip.
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The daily tea service open only to hotel guests , will highlight aspects of the Portuguese connection to this genteel tradition. The tale goes that, since some of the best oranges in the world come from Portugal, Catherine had them shipped over to her new English home regularly. The spread at the Seteais Palace will come with no such judgments. Travel Menu. Share on Facebook. Share on Twitter.
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A cup of tea that is forever England: Lighthearted tales of working class life in 1960s London
So, what exactly are your wishes when you shuffle off this mortal coil? Are you, like Lord Nelson to be shipped home sloshing in a cask of rum? Before Brooke were the expats Shelley who drowned, and whose body lies in Rome's Protestant cemetery, as does that of Keats interred nearby. Their compatriot Byron did travel home to be buried at his ancestral home of Newstead Abbey, near his beloved Newfoundland dog Bosun for whom he penned a touching tribute. Italy, however, was a popular final destination for several scribbling notables besides Shelley and Keats.
Several years ago I ventured among crazy traffic to visit their grave. Life after being widowed: bloom where you're planted. Faithful friends in France. Everyone's cup of tea in New Mexico.
A later expat who also chose to remain where he died was Robert Louis Stevenson who is interred on Samoa, the South Sea paradise he loved. Novelist Letitia Elizabeth Landon l , the Barbara Cartland of her day, was bundled with suspicious haste into her grave below the sea-washed ramparts of Cape Coast Castle in what was then the Gold Coast and is now Ghana only a few hours after she was found dying, a broken bottle of a medicine containing cyanide which she took for "palpitations" lying nearby.
Landon had arrived in West Africa barely eight weeks earlier as the bride of saturnine, sinister Governor George Maclean.
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Many famous friends, including Bulwer Lytton, forever after suspected him in her death, aided possibly by his black mistress by whom he had several children already. Then there is that expat author of the rollicking picaresque novel Tom Jones , Henry Fielding , who is buried in Portugal where, ironically, he had gone for his health. Anyway, as an expat, you surely are at least registered with the local British consul or other official and perhaps had a word about your last wishes.
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If not, face it — more so if, like me, you have no family. And, importantly, if you have pets, what is to become of them? What of those of you expats who have written about adopting llamas, donkeys, goats? What is to happen to them? Here, in Las Cruces, New Mexico, we have animal shelters as good as they get but even they cannot take the scores they are offered.
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Good friend and fellow Yorkshirewoman Lorna H runs Safe Haven No-Kill Shelter, which has an office and thrift shop in town and wonderful, donated acreage to the north. Lorna agonises over the endless requests she gets from relatives of deceased pet owners who made no provision. Some, of course, are aged animals, often sick and needing expensive medication. They are not candidates for new homes Another chum, Pat D, who runs a fine cats-only rescue ranch in Deming, a small town about 60 miles from Las Cruces, faces the same wrenching situation.
Like Safe Haven, she does get bequests and funds from owners to let their cats live out their lives, but always has a shortfall. And, nobly, she takes in felines with bad attitudes and names like Jacqueline the Ripper and Godzilla. I myself have toiled in those trenches, mostly with terribly-abused Cavalier and King Charles spaniels — though how anyone could abuse any critter, let alone "the spaniel gentle" as someone described these classic little dogs, boggles my mind. My will, made years ago and kept updated, states firmly that any animals I leave are not to be re-homed but euthanised by my longtime vet, Dr P, who has agreed and who will be reimbursed.
Some have criticised me for this, saying my pets should be re-homed. My reply was that by that time they also will be aged and perhaps needing expensive care. Who will want them?