Like putting up the Christmas tree whilst listening to my favourite festive album.
Or watching It’s A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve whilst chomping on a brick of stilton.
Yesterday, I think I may found a new ritual, Festive High Tea at the Angel Hotel in Abergavenny.
This gorgeous hotel with pretty nooks and roaring fireplaces has won heaps of plaudits for their afternoon teas including the The Tea Guild's most prestigious award, the Top City and Country Hotel Tea Award.
I can understand why.
The Wedgewood Room, where afternoon tea is taken, is a classy affair that balances classic and contemporary design. We had the best seats in the house sat next to the fire.
For £30 a head, the high tea includes three tiers of savouries, sandwiches, scones and patisserie. You also get as many pots of tea or coffee from their extensive selection as you can drink.
Mrs G and her mum both kicked off with a glass of Bollinger (£12) before moving on to excellent loose leaf fruit infusions.
I glugged down a couple of pots of lovely Assam tea.
The cake stands arrived in procession and took over what little space remained on our table.
Sandwiches were very good but a bit less exciting that what was to follow. First rate egg and cress and poached salmon with dill were the standouts whilst wafer-thin turkey and cranberry and cucumber and cream cheese were a bit more run-of-the-mill.
Savouries were a bunch of bobbydazzlers - a puff pastry tart filled with apricot flecked coronation chicken; an unctuous ham hock terrine and onion chutney crostini; a filo basket filled with shreds of duck and hoisin sauce; a sweet and savoury devil on horseback; a mustard glazed chipolata; and an enjoyably meaty quiche.
Pastries were just as good. Highlights included a delicate custard filled choux bun topped with an intense coffee glaze; warm mince pies capped with brandy cream; a crisp strawberry meringue with a floaty light interior. A wobbly custard slice and slice of Christmas cake were tasty but less remarkable.
A lush pot of trifle contained just the right balance of vanilla-infused custard, toasted almonds, whipped cream, proper sponge and strawberry jelly.
Last but by no means least were warm scones served with thick jam and a choice of clotted cream or whipped cream. I tried both and the clotted cream won hands down.
Whilst I managed to demolish everything put in front of me, Mrs G and her mum boxed up their leftovers for later.
High tea at the Angel is brilliant. If you’re looking for a special treat (or an early Christmas present from your mother-in-law in my case) with great food, service and atmosphere then get involved.
Address - The Angel Hotel, 15 Cross Street, Abergavenny NP7 5EN
Web - https://www.angelabergavenny.com
Telephone - 01873 857121