toasted currant teacake

Memories of a Toasted Currant Teacake

Isn’t it intriguing how a seemingly insignificant item can act as a catalyst, unravelling memories from the recesses of our minds, and vividly resurrecting experiences as though we are reliving them in the present moment? This enchanting phenomenon unfolds for me each time I savour a toasted currant teacake.

Gazing at my breakfast, a toasted currant teacake, I find myself transported back to the nostalgic setting of Blackpool in the early 1990s. Our summer holidays were a consistent Saturday-to-Saturday affair, spent at the Rol-Mar, a half-board hotel on Barton Avenue, under the ownership of Dave and Maureen. Remarkably, my mother maintained a Christmas card exchange with the retired hoteliers until her passing in 2022. Occasionally, we would extend our visits to include the October half-term or even venture there during Easter.

However, my recollections don’t revolve around indulging in the delectable toasted currant teacakes with generous slathers of real butter in the Rol-Mar’s dining room. No, my cherished memories unfold in a quaint café further down the avenue, closer to the promenade.

Each morning, my mother would rise early to visit this café, indulging in one of those delightful currant teacakes. There, she would relish her solitude, accompanied by a cup of coffee, the Daily Mirror, and the faint aroma of a Lambert & Butler cigarette. The purpose behind this ritual, seemingly incongruent with the hotel’s pre-paid full English breakfast, only became apparent to me years later.

In those days, my mission was clear: rise early and either join her or discreetly trail behind her.

It was always a toasted currant teacake. Nothing else. A simple pleasure of life.

Now, as an adult with children of my own, the profound significance of her morning ritual dawns on me. It wasn’t just about the teacake; it was a quest for respite. A precious half-hour of solitude amidst the responsibilities of being a wife and a mother of four. To seize that fleeting moment of bliss during a holiday was undoubtedly worth waking up for.

I cherish this memory, and each time the buttery goodness of a toasted currant teacake graces my palate, I am reminded of those precious moments with my mother—even if she might have preferred a quiet morning at the hotel.

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