Sam had chosen the perfect day for driving off and exploring the local area. She had only recently moved into her new home in the Cornish countryside and was looking forward to getting to know all the local little villages.
The sun was beating down brightly after what had felt like a week of constant rain. Same was relieved to be out with the roof down driving along with he hair blowing in the wind, clearing the cobwebs.
She had driven along half a dozen country lanes and just arrived in one of the smallest and most picturesque villages she had ever seen. It didn’t even appear on her GPS, she noted as she turned it off. She looked out the windscreen as she parked thinking how magical the place looked, especially the small tea-room in front of which she had parked.
She got out the car and locked the door, a reflex action for her, and lacking in security today as she left the roof down. She was hoping she’d be able to keep an eye on the car from inside the tea-room. The cake display in the window had her mouth watering. She had spied quite a few that she would like to try. Looking past the cakes she thought the whole place had a welcoming and magical feel to it and she headed for the door.
Sam found a seat just to the side of one of the windows with a good view of the street and her car and sat down. Pulling her phone out of her bag she checked to see if she had missed any calls or messages whilst she had been driving, only to note that her phone showed the ‘Emergency calls only’ notice. She dropped her phone back in her bag and looked around the quaint little shop as she waited to be served.
On the walls there were shelves with local nick-nacks and old pictures of people Sam assumed must have been previous inhabitants of the village. The walls had a quaint old style wallpaper on them, which brought back memories of Sam’s Nan’s house and her long-forgotten childhood.
Sam was brought out of her daydreaming when the waiter arrived at her table. He was an elderly gentleman who would have looked more at home in an armchair in a generic old people’s home Sam thought as she looked up. He had trousers belted up high a white shirt and a baggy old cardigan.
“Hello dear. Haven’t seen you in he before, you must be new in town. What can I get you this morning?” His voice was so similar to her old granddad’s that she had to do a double check of his face to clear the image of the past from her mind.
“Yes, we’ve just moved in to the old house in Capstan’s lane,” Sam explained. “I’d love a pot of tea, and one of your best buns.”
“Which type of bun takes your fancy, miss?” the granddad waiter asked her.
“OH, they all look so scrumptious. Surprise me. Give me one that you’d have with a cuppa.”
“Edward’s surprise, coming up,” Edward said as he tottered off to fulfill Sam’s order.
Sam carried on looking around. There were so many interesting things to look at. It was truly an Aladdin’s cave, a cornucopia of oddities and kitsch ornaments and objects.
Once again Sam was dragged out of her reverie by Edward’s arrival back at her table. He set down the porcelain teapot and a cup and saucer, making sure it was all set up correctly. He then went off again, returning a few minutes later with a cake stand with half a dozen cakes on them.
“Wow,” Sam said looking at the selection of buns, pastries an cakes set out before her. “I only wanted one.”
“You just have whichever ones you want, my dear,” Edward told her. “This fancy one here is Mabel’s favourite. I call it the director.”
“The director?” Sam asked.
“Yes,” Edward chuckled, “Chose that one and it’ll direct you to another, or even decide your fate in other ways.”
“Sounds interesting.” Sam could hardly take her eyes off the delicious morsels that had been set before her.
“Full of special ingredients, all family secrets.” Edward said enigmatically winking at her as he walked away.
“Diet be damned,” Sam said as she picked up the teapot and poured her first cup. “Let’s see what this director is all about.”
She moved the fancy cake from the cake-stand to her plate using the tongs provided. SA she did so she almost felt the tongs vibrating and told herself to calm down. after all it was just a cake.
Picking up her desert fork she cut into the cake and forked a small piece into her mouth. As the morsel hit her tongue her taste-buds burst into life sending messages of ecstasy to her brain. Wiping her mouth with her serviette Sam felt sure she had moaned out loud and was relieved that she as the tea-room’s only customer. She felt a shiver run through her body as she leaned forward to take another mouthful. It proved to be every bit as delicious as the first mouthful.
Little by little she polished off the cake and suddenly understood why it was called the director. She was sure that it was the only cake she wanted to eat that afternoon, the others would never be able to compare to what she had just experienced.
Sam finished off her pot of tea and sat back in her chair to take in the ambiance of the place a little more. She felt a little sleepy and very content.
“Are you done miss?” Edward was back at her side.
“I am,” Sam smiled at him. “That director cake I’ve just eaten was so delicious, the bees knees my old granddad would have called it.”
“And he would have been right, miss. Let me clear your table. Why don’t you have a look around. almost everything you see can be yours for the asking,” Edward chuckled to himself again.
“Almost everything?” Sam asked, flirting lightly with Edward.
“Everything except me, miss. Mable says i’m all hers an apparently indispensable to her and the place,” Edward winked at Sam again as he started to clear the table.
Sam got up and moved towards an item she had spotted on one of the shelves. It was something that reminded her of her grandparents and Sunday afternoons spent there and the teas her Nan had prepared. She picked it up and was transported back in time in her mind. There was no way she could leave the shop without it so she took it to the counter and had Edward put it in a bag as she paid for her tea and cake.
At home later she took it out of the bag and showed Jeff. “This is what I bought today, along with a cup of tea and the most delicious cake I have ever eaten, all from a strange little tea room in a village that didn’t appear on the GPS,” She told him.
“Sounds like you had a good day,” Jeff said as he took the pot from Sam’s hand.
“It was beautiful,” Sam said, “And the man that sold me this said it was magic too.”
“Magic, Okay,” Jeff said skeptically. “So how does it work?”
“I’ve no idea and I don’t know why it’s magic, but I know it feels special” Sam said remembering the cake, Edward and the special tea room where she had spent one of the best afternoon’s she had had in a long time.