On Saturday, Jamie and I were invited to Memsahib Gin & Tea Bar in Cheltenham,to try out their Afternoon Chai. Of course, both of us jumped at the opportunity, as this meant some precious toddler free time to catch up properly. We were excited to visit a new establishment, where we would hopefully be able to relax and take some time for our friendship, rather than our usual meet ups that require us to constantly stop start our conversations whilst running after/wrangling our girls! We were not disappointed…
Saturday was the day that Storm Deirdre hit, and my goodness didn’t we know it. I walked to the Gin & Tea Bar with the pushchair (yes, I wasn’t completely child free- but Odette was a dream and hardly required any attention!!!) By the time I arrived, I was frozen solid, wet through and had been beaten pretty hard by the winds. After a quick phone call and some navigational support, Jamie joined me and we began to thaw out with a warm cup of spiced tea that was offered to us on arrival. As we warmed up, we took time to appreciate the cosy lounge feeling that has been re-created to represent the *Memsahib and the feasts they would host in India.
Shortly after, and once we were both a little warmer and more settled, we were served an amuse bouche of popadum with chutney. It was absolutely delicious and just as the the name suggests it definitely teased us into wanting more.
Following this, we were served a Chai Tea with honey and milk. We both took a moment to appreciate just how stunning the tea sets were, then we sat back and enjoyed a much needed toddler free natter whilst sipping our delicious aromatic tea, in beautiful surroundings and feeling rather smug, knowing that we were very lucky to be having this time to ourselves.
As if that wasn’t enough, we were then brought a selection of savoury and sweet snacks. I say snacks, as that’s what the menu states, but the selection was plenty as a lunch and both of us felt full and satisfied. The food was absolutely delicious, and we both noted how we would absolutely have to visit again for our husbands sake, as they would have both very much enjoyed the food in particular. When we had finished our food we were then served an earl grey tea to finish.
I am very happy to report that the afternoon was exactly what both myself and Jamie had hoped for. We talked non-stop, and about important things that help to strengthen our friendship, not just our kids!! By the time we looked at our watches and realised we had been chatting for 3 hours we were both feeling pretty empowered as women, supporting each other and understanding how we became ‘us’ shaped by the many interesting events and hurdles in our lives. It is so important to take this time for our friendship and I’m so glad that we did. It is often very easy to just be ‘Mum’ in all aspects of our lives- including friendships. But I am more than just mum, and It’s vital for a healthy well-being to acknowledge this and make time for being ‘Me’. And of course, we got some baby cuddles in too.
Thank you to Ella, the Manager, who looked after us during our visit and put up with our constant chatter, we even joked at one point that our conversation must seem very strange as she lent over the table to remove our tea. We very much enjoyed ourselves and will definitely be returning again- but perhaps next time we will be able to be completely child free and participate in the gin tasting too!
*Interestingly the word ‘Memsahib‘ is defined as a European woman in India during the British Raj period, and these Anglo-Indian women are recognised for empowering women in India. Pretty fitting for our visit wouldn’t you say? On the menu you can find out a little information about some of these women and what they did to earn their recognition.
This experience was kindly gifted for the sake of this review, however all opinions are honest and my own.