Morning tea at the Midland Hotel, Manchester

The rain poured onto the cold cobbles of Manchester

So I retired to a hotel for tea

Not just any hotel but the Midland

Famous in Manchester for its tea.

The concierge so kind, showed me where to sit

To imbibe the layers and textures of said tea.

A man sat at a table to my left

He ate a hot buttered tea cake from my youth

And drank, according to his moustache

A creamy cappuccino with chocolate

A man sat at a table to my right

Eating a sandwich most undignified

I couldn’t see what it contained

But I wondered was it crumbly Lancashire cheese

With obligatory pickle.

Front and centre to me were two ladies

A large and portly one on the right

Sucked in piece after piece of croissant

Whilst sharing, dare I say over sharing

Her mother’s hip and bathroom frailty

The lady on the left said little

Smiling copiously and nodding

Like a dog in the back window of a car.

Time passed, I read the meno over and over

Delightful snippets of my northern childhood

And the tea blends I wanted three.

British mint and caramel without the caramel

Cleanse with hints of cinnamon

And northern black tea that as I recall

Granny could stand a spoon in.

However this day was not the moment

For a tea revelation for me

As the good staff at the Midland chose to ignore

My pleas for service and tea.

After half an hour of listening to

Portly mother’s woes and how young

Lewis looked so much like Uncle Bendedict Twist

At seventeen and starting university.

I got up, gathered my scant belongings

And like any poet knows, stored up

The occasion for a passive

Aggressive rant.

Dear Midland Hotel

I would like to try your tea

Perhaps you could bring me some

If I deign to enter your door once more.