You say it’s time to celebrate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II? I say, BRILLIANT!!
This past weekend we were invited to do just that.
No, we were not among the throngs in London, lining the streets to share the special weekend with Her Majesty.
We were in St. Augustine, Florida, at a birthday celebration and tea reception to mark the occasion. It was held at the King’s Head British Pub.
If you haven’t been to the pub, but are in the area, take US1 north out of St Augustine and look for the double-decker bus! It’ll be on your right (or the east side of the road).
Inside, it’s a quite lovely restaurant and pub with wood furnishings, a fireplace, a friendly atmosphere and a fantastic menu. I highly recommend the cottage pie. But that’s not the reason we were here this day.
We were at the pub to kick off a US observance of the Queen’s birthday celebration. Our invitation came from Elaine, a pastry chef from the UK, who also just so happens to be the daughter of the pub’s owner. Since she was going to be on this side of the pond, and miss out on the celebrations for the Queen’s birthday back home, she wanted to do something special, and asked us to kick it off with a bang
To do that, we rolled out a 4-pounder, Maria.
Let’s Get This Party Started!
At precisely 2 PM, Ann Dyke, the owner of the pub, brought out champagne for the guests and gave a lovely toast to Queen Elizabeth II.
Then it was our turn.
The Duchess and Red Coat Sandi were on the cannon, with The Viceroy calling commands…
Once the gun was ready, he gave a shout of ‘God Save the Queen’, set the linstock to the fuse and let her roar.
After we secured the cannon, Elaine excitedly came over for a quick photo, with a tear in her eye, because she so loved the cannon fire.
Now it was time to head inside for a lovely tea reception.
Were we in for a treat!
As I mentioned earlier, Elaine is a pastry chef, visiting the US from the UK. She made the various cakes and pastries you see, which were all divine. However, the thing we were most excited about was the tray of homemade scones and homemade clotted cream.
What you see here is what I call ‘love on a plate’!
I had read about clotted cream. I’d seen it in shows on the BBC, but I’d never tried it. Now it was in a bowl in front of me!
In case you are wondering, clotted cream is an exceptionally thick cream made from a heavy milk cream which is slowly cooked over 12 hours. That lets the already thick cream and milk separate, leaving an even thicker cream, with thicker areas, or clots. That’s what ends up on the plate. It is also sometimes called scalded or Devonshire cream. Call it what you will, it was quite tasty with the scones.
While etiquette dictates that one should not hold one’s pinky finger up while sipping tea, The Viceroy insisted that the pinky be raised when eating scones with clotted cream.
It seems someone did not get that memo.
But, pinky finger or not, we all agreed this treat was delicious!
Before I go, a few more pictures.
First, what good is a birthday without a cake???
Here’s a picture of Ann, the pub’s owner with the cake that was specially made for the occasion!
And while not everyone was in their historic attire, the staff was sparkling in these Union Jack dresses!
Finally a couple cute pictures from outside.
First, we were asked to pose around the cannon. So, we ended up with this picture where it looks like The Viceroy is the authority figure.
Then there was a thought that we should perhaps pose more appropriately, showing how the authority really plays out around here.
I think this is one of my new favorite pictures!
I would like to once again say thank you to Elaine, Ann, and everyone at the King’s Head British Pub in St. Augustine for inviting us to be a part of such a wonderful afternoon!
Not only are they a pub that holds special events like this, they are also unbelievably community-minded. They open themselves up as a venue for for numerous fundraisers and help charities year round. They should be commended for not only being a wonderful place to visit to grab a meal and a pint, but also for being such an asset to the area!
For everyone else, If you haven’t been to the pub, GO!
Meet the fantastic staff, try the cottage pie (which is my favorite) and if you’re lucky, they just may have some scones and clotted cream for you to delight in!