Blog, Romantic Novelists' Association

Romance, Cake and Tea…

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Dancers—with world-famous Betty’s in the background!)

…what more could anyone want?

Last weekend DD and I went to the RNA’s York Tea. We got to the city on Friday, a day early. That gave us time to do some shopping and sightseeing. DD did a lot of her archaeological training with the York Archeological Trust, so we enjoy the sites as well as the sights!

On Saturday morning the city was extra busy, with teams of traditional dancers from all over the country parading and displaying in the rainy streets.

I managed to get some Christmas shopping done. It’s far too early to think about that, of course, but my excuse is that I live a  long way from the shops, so I grab any chance to pick up presents when I see them. DD did even better than I did. She found a dress she liked better than the one she’d brought with her to wear at the party!

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A really warm welcome!

The RNA York tea was held at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall, a medieval guildhall. It’s very grand, filled with beams, stained glass and coats of arms. The building itself is so close to York’s ancient city walls, you can look up through the high side windows and see people walking along the ramparts.

I had a lovely time putting faces to online names, and catching up with friends I hadn’t seen since the RNA conference in July. I don’t need to worry about DD on these occasions as there are always plenty of historically-minded people around. Her speciality is Neanderthal culture, which is about as far removed from the Regency ton as you can get, although on Saturday afternoon everyone seemed to get on very well!

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This was one of several beautiful cake stands on our table

We were served a traditional English afternoon tea in front of a wonderful and fragrant log fire. It was the  perfect antidote to the grey skies outside.  There were sandwiches in several varieties, scones with cream and jam, fresh strawberries, slices of cake and individual tartlets filed with fresh fruit and cream. An unexpected treat was the arrival of individual cones of pretend newspaper, each holding a small piece of fish in batter and a large chip! It was all delicious. A glass of prosecco each, with endless tea and coffee refills added the perfect touch.

Jean Fullerton’s great speech inspired us all to speak up for the cause of Romance writing. Our genre is usually rubbished in the media by people too lazy to find out the truth behind the art and craft.

I was so convinced by Jean’s argument, it almost made me wish my next book was going to be a romance, rather than a work of non-fiction!