Falmouth, England 4/14/2022

Everyday we get the Viking Daily which tells us what is going on for the day. According to the Viking Daily Falmouth is the gateway to the county of Cornwall which is the southwest corner of England. Its location made it a good site to aid the launch of the D-Day fleets. Most of the buildings are made of gray granite and Henry VIII built his Pendennis Castle here to defend England from France and the Holy Roman Empire.

Sarah has chosen a different excursion from ours and is taking a 4 mile hike on the Lizard Peninsula. I am concerned she will not see much since it is very foggy this morning. Why am I surprised!? It’s England! But as it turns out the fog burns off and she has a wonderful time.

View from Sarah’s hike on the Lizard Peninsula
Sarah on Sarah’s hike on the Lizard Peninsula

John and I have a leisurely morning reading our books and fighting with the recalcitrant internet. We take a walk outside to look at the Falmouth harbor.

Falmouth as seen from the portside of the ship
A closer look at Falmouth

After lunch John and I start our excursion. We are going to the Tregothnan Tea Estate. Interesting fact, tea did not arrive in England until 1660 as part of a dowery to King Charles II. I try to take pictures out the bus windows but am not very successful.

Attached row houses with exuberant foliage along the way

Upon arriving we learn that this area of England is unique in climate. Its micro-climate is never too hot or too cold and as long as it never has a spell of windy cold, dry air it is perfect for growing tea. We embark upon a mile hike to where the tea is grown. I am limping around today due to my knee and take my cane along which causes the guides to be over-solicitous.

There is abundant plant life along the trail. We see wild garlic, ferns, and a special kind of plum that only grows on the estate. It is quite a pretty walk although fairly strenuous especially when we have to climb over a steep stile.

Allium ursinum, known as wild garlic

View along our walk, a tributary to the River Fal

We finally reach the the area where the tea plants grow. Our tea guide tells us that there are three chemicals that make tea so special, caffeine, thiamine, and L-bromine. The caffeine is the first to be noticed and it picks you up, the thiamine makes you say ahhhh, and the L-bromine keeps you functioning at a high level. Sounds like a bit of tea propaganda to me but I am happy to swallow it since I love tea!

Tea plants
Our tea guide explains about tea

We pick some tea. You only use the leaves at the very tip of the branches.
Tea pickers, Mary and John

Later after hiking back we get to sit down and have some tea. I like the classic best and buy a box of loose tea for Sarah. (I hope she will share it with me and make some of those yummy little tea sandwiches!)

Classic loose tea from Tregothnan Tea Estate

After driving back and getting cleaned up John and I have our special negroni sbagliato in the Living Room before dinner. John has made several copies of the recipe for the bartenders since our negroni has sparkling wine instead of gin (ugh), olives, and a twist of orange. Later we all have dinner at Chef’s Table where they are serving the Xiang tasting menu. The dinner and wine pairings are mostly good and the service is excellent.

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