corey says…I love Posh Day. After freshening up in my marvelously appointed room at the Morrison, I wandered around the block to Bloom’s Lane…a new trendy pedestrian street just across the Ha’ Penny Bridge linking to Henry Street and its cluster of department stores and shops. Oh, this place was perfect for Posh Day… Most folks would spend Posh Day on Grafton Street, but why walk across town when there was so much here?
It took a developer with some vision to turn an old alley into Bloom’s lane. It’s all new and shiny and the outdoor seating at the cafes and restaurants makes it quite popular. The area has a heavy Italian flare with multiple Italian restaurants and even an Italian grocery. It’s also decorated with a Dublin photographic version of the Last Supper…it’s definitely something you stop and look at…it kind of plays a “Where’s Waldo” game with your head.
TEA FOR ONE
Then it was time for High Tea… a sure-to-be staple of Posh Day. I marched over to the Gresham Hotel and sat in the lobby. It was after 5 and high tea was served until six, but there were many people already ordering dinner.
When I asked for the tea, the waitress warned, “It will take about fifteen minutes to prepare. Afternoon tea takes some time.”
I told her, “I’m in no hurry.” As I waited, I looked around the room. It was a mix of people. From stylish white haired women sipping white wine to twenty-somethings with dreadlocks… also enjoying glasses of white wine. There were several older men in sports coats paired at tables and leaning their heads close together as they spoke quietly.
As I looked around, I noticed no one else was partaking of high tea. I was hoping there would be at least one other person… just in case there were some etiquette details I needed to mimic. I mean, what if there was some strange utensil I didn’t know how to use… or what if there were high tea no-nos?
On cue, a tower of food arrived with a pot of tea. The service was three plates high with the bottom ringed with sandwiches on bread with the crusts cut off…ham & mustard, salmon and salad. The second tier displayed a warm scone and three breads…a pound cake and two types of barm brack. The final tier held three bite-sized desserts.
The whole display was quite showy and for a moment I felt a self-conscious… high tea seemed like something women do as break from their shopping… not something for a thirty-something guy going solo in the city at 5:30pm. Then I remembered Posh Day. It was all about me, and who cared what anybody thought… at that moment I decided to take in every morsel in complete confidence. That attitude got me over any concerns over etiquette as well.
When I poured my first cup of tea, I forgot to use the strainer provided to filter the tea leaves. No worries, it’s Posh Day, and I said, “I never use the strainer on my first cup… only on my second and third”
Also, because it was Posh Day, I didn’t spit my tea across the table when the bill for €25 ( $40 – 2008 exchange rate) arrived.
A NIGHT AT THE THEATRE
After tea, I thought about how to next celebrate Posh Day. The Theatre…with an “re” at the end. I walked over to the Abbey Theatre box office and inquired about tickets to the new play by Irish playwright Conor McPherson. Unfortunately, they were sold out, but there were tickets for another show in the Peacock Theatre below the Abbey.
It was an exotic play from the faraway land of the United States. It was based around two African-American brothers and seemed to get good reviews. I bought my ticket on the spot, and then wandered around O’Connell Street.
I returned to the Peacock before the show and sat at a table in the lobby watching the other theatre patrons. One man caught my eye. He was in his fifties, but probably looked the same for the last thirty years. He had a waist that circled around him like a small hula-hoop. He was not obese, just thick-waisted.
His suit jacket wasn’t big enough to wrap around his stomach, and his neatly-combed head of thick grey and black hair had a colic sticking up in the back just out of sight of any mirror he’d look into. He looked fussy and disheveled at the same time. It was quite a combination that made him look as though his mother had picked his clothes for him, and as though he required a strict dressing regiment to achieve his look.
He stepped away from the bar with a soda and a plate of two cookies and made his way directly to my table. He sat next to me, and we both nodded at each other, but didn’t say a word. He arranged his serviette (napkin) on his stomach and put a cookie to his mouth and bit off a piece. An avalanche of crumbs tumbled down the napkin into his lap, onto the table and across the floor. Then, as he chewed, his lips made the loudest smacking noise I had ever heard. It was like listening to an irregularly-paced clock keeping uneven time. Smack, chew, chew, smack, chew, chew, chew, chew, smack, chew, smack…
Between smacks, he would bring his napkin to his face and instead of moving the napkin across his mouth, he would bury his lips in the napkin and shake his head from side to side. It was an unusual scene, and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Then I realized, it was Posh Day for him too. This was his evening out of the house…probably away from his mum and the rest of the world. He and I were both celebrating!
Inside the theatre we went. The programs cost an extra €4 ( $6.30 ), but I didn’t mind digging into my posh billfold. The show was called The Brothers Size, and I have to say, I enjoyed it very much. In the middle of the performance, however, a ripping snore could be heard. All eyes looked over at the fussy man. His head was thrown back and he snorted once more. This time the sound was loud enough that he woke himself up. Then the attention returned to the show.
After the performance, I decided to have a posh cocktail. In the swanky bar at the Morrison I sipped a €14 ( $22 ) mojito…the enormous sprig of mint that decorated the glass put a big, green exclamation point on my evening. Then, I was off to a night of posh sleeping.