On Saturday I celebrated my 24th Birthday having High Tea with special friends and sweet delicacies; sipping on hot tea in stately fashion at The Rand Club in the heart of Johannesburg.
I was led through the grand teak doors of The Rand Club, passing through the glass-misted doors with the iconic RC beveled into the glass. I walked on the soft red branded carpet to the elevators and stepped in with the manager who is leading me to the tea room. The gate closed across the elevator entrance and we began moving upwards propelled by the gears above. I watched the other floors pass us through the gate. “This lift is 100 years old” the manager tells, “but I am not,” he laughs. Once we step out of the elevator doors, I was guided around the corner to the entrance of the Mvela room where the sign “Lauren’s High Tea” stood.
The Rand Club is not a foreign or distant place, but it has become somewhat of an inspiration to me. It holds some of Johannesburg’s oldest secrets in the depths of its elite bourgeois walls. Every time I visit this exquisite space, I am introduced to something more that I never knew existed. Legend has it, that the Queen Elizabeth herself celebrated her 21st within its very walls.
I walked into a grand room where two waiters are ready to offer tea and coffee. My friends sat below the massive windows of bright light beaming between the perfectly draped curtains. At a specially prepared table chatting and sipping on hot tea, we exchanged greetings. The towering buildings that surround created a perfect inner city ambience as we sat behind the comfort of high windows. The setting was simply beautiful, something from a New York high society club.
Standing in the centre of the big dinning table was a three-tiered cake stand lavishly filled with raspberry scones, bruschetta, pastries and mini pound cakes–the essentials of any tea party. Tea was flowing. Literally endless pots of hot tea were on brew, topped up by our waitrons of the occasion. We were not very demanding guests, as we sat pretty around white tables lazily talking about the things we love inspired by sweet treats and earl grey. This is pretty much what I long for most days.
We took in some fresh air on the Loveday street balcony, taking in all the surrounding sights that we don’t often get to enjoy. This City is beautiful. I wish I could have stayed in that moment longer. The moment of satisfactory romantic imaginings that became completely real in the helms of the club’s historic walls.
Besides all the aesthetics, the day was special because I got to share it with special friends that inspire and encourage me to follow my creative ambitions regardless of how far fetched they are. But most importantly, they are present and supportive in all moments, which somehow happens to mostly include a cup of tea.
Pictures taken by me, Pictures of me taken by Emma.