Nell: Don’t wake David. He needs to rest.
Nell: He found the sandwich tasting completely exhausting yesterday.
Me: How did he get on the Tasting Panel?
Nell: He wasn’t supposed to be on there but we judges were only taking a few bites so he thought he would help by finishing them up.
Me: He must have eaten a lot of sandwiches.
Nell: Yes. I believe Harriet joined in as well.
Me: Did you reach a decision?
Nell: Yes. Egg and cress came high on the list.
Me: And chicken salad?
Nell: Salad was a contentious issue. Sogginess is a problem. Greg felt wholemeal bread can cope but John wasn’t sure. There was a lot of chat about texture. I’m afraid I switched off.
Me: And Nigella?
Nell: She is all about the ciabatta. Waxing lyrical about fresh home grown tomatoes and creamy buffalo mozzarella with a cascade of freshly torn up basil.
Me: That does sound delicious.
Nell: Well, I was forced to remind her that Poppy simply doesn’t do cascades. It’s not her style.
Me: So what did you decide?
Nell: Mutley pointed out that it is hard to beat a good ham sandwich with, or without mustard. David voted for without, because it burnt his tongue.
Me: It’s like the beef with or without horseradish dilemma.
Nell: My motto is: When in doubt go without.
Me: What about prawns, or crab? They are so fresh here.
Nell: Yes. We felt they could be included, although tuna mayonnaise was right up there with the favourites.
Nell: Personally I think cucumber has to be part of an afternoon tea but would never be a stand-alone choice like cheese and pickle.
Me: You are right.
Nell: The Cat’s sequinned napkins were judged pretty but impractical. Greg got one stuck on his chin.
Me: It sounds like a successful tasting.
Nell: Yes. Pastries and cakes are next.
Me: Poppy’s scones should pass the test.
Nell: Poppy’s scones aren’t up for debate. They are on the menu. Afternoon tea without Poppy’s scones? That’s like going for a walk without the dog. Unthinkable.
Me: Yes. Sorry.