Sunday, 13 July 2008

Tashi and the Phoenix

Book reading and children's afternoon tea

Occassionally the Four Seasons Hotel has afternoon tea and book readings for children. This Saturday it was Tashi with Anna Fienberg, promoting Tashi and the Phoenix.

It is incredible the patience of the children as they queued up afterwards for a book signing. It took us an hour and a half to get our book signed. However saying this, Anna was really good with the kids and took time to chat with everyone. My daugher really enjoyed the outing.

As for the afternoon tea concept, great but it felt totally random. The hotel has a side room set up with a kid's afternoon tea, cute little jelly cups, swan cakes, fairybread, sausage rolls etc.

However, if you arrived just a little before the advertised start time of 2pm, it was extremely chaotic, the tables were practically all taken and I had to work really hard to get two seats together at a table. It wasn't particularly clear that this ws the children's afternoon tea and that there were cushions on the floor for the kids to listen to the book reading, with the adults having tea outside.

I have to wonder if the Four Seasons staff have any real understanding of children as there definitely didn't seem to be enough table seating for everyone in the room, or maybe parents weren't supposed to sit down. This probably being a little unrealistic for some of the younger children. You can't imagine a parent wanting to wander off to another part of the hotel for afternoon tea to leave behind a five year old!

As for the adult's afternoon tea, not sure why this just didn't happen with clockwork precision, as they had catering numbers beforehand and it was after all a set meal. Whilst a very pleasant concept there was a bit of waiting around and I know that the tea couldn't have been prepared fresh (hence the waiting time) as the bread on two of my sandwiches was hard. However on the bright side I did get to read the Saturday papers and the staff were very friendly.

Would I do it again, perhaps, now that I know the procedure.

Joanne Kee

Tashi and the Phoenix
ISBN 9781741754742
Allen & Unwin
Suitable for Age Group 5-8 years
Four Seasons Hotel
Childrens StoryTelling Afternoon Tea

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