I met up with fellow book lover Laura before the afternoon tea outing for a visit to the Wallace Collection (which was extraordinarily beautiful – I will write a separate blog about this soon), before we strolled along Hyde Park to the venue.
While meeting the guest of honour, Leigh Russell, the lovely team at No Exit Press, fellow book lovers and fans of Leigh, we enjoyed some delicious champagne (it honestly was, I don't always like bubbles, but this was a very tasty variety!), which on my empty stomach made the conversation flow easily.
I admit I was very happy when the first course of our afternoon tea arrived, the above pictured fruit cocktail, as it meant I was able to get something in my stomach of the non-alcohol variety! The fruit was delicious, after which I spiked the juice with the remainder of my champagne – as you do.
While enjoying cakes, sandwiches and scones we spoke to Leigh about her work and writing, and although we didn't get to talk to her an awful lot (everyone wanted a chance to chat with her, of course!) we did sit right next to someone who'd been very helpful in the research of her book, which was particularly intriguing, even though he wasn't allowed to say much about it (ohhhh the mystery!).
We also played a bit of musical chairs (well, the people around me did – after all the champers I was feeling a bit too lazy to move), which meant we had the chance to chat to different people about mid-way through the afternoon, though pretty much all conversations were a variety on 'what is on your to-read pile?' and 'what is the best book you've recently read?' – ahh the joys of getting a bunch of book geeks in one place!
All in all, an ace afternoon with a lovely author and a bunch of great bookish people, not to mention a delicious spread of afternoon tea in a gorgeous setting. Thank you very much to Leigh Russell and the No Exit Press team for the invite!