Lord Humbug of Suffolk has a Note for Lady Middlesex

My Dearest Lady Middlesex,

As an avid devourer of your epistles (few and far between as they have been in recent months), I feel compelled to place before you a few morsels of information, some of which you may wish to share with the enlightened connoisseurs with whom you correspond.  You had very kindly edified the select and highly honored recipients of your missive of November 29th, with the news of the imminent hosting by the Bees Knees of their “annual Holiday Open House”.  My goodness, what an extravaganza it was!  The blandishments of Lady Humbug had prevailed over yours truly’s natural inclinations, and her ladyship and I made the formidable expedition from the Bostonian suburbs to (known by some as that other Athens) West Acton.  The West Acton Stroll provided the perfect setting for such a special occasion and, while the crowds were temporarily dazzled by the effulgence of the Town Tree, Lady Humbug and I were able to peruse the fine articles and comestibles of that majestic emporium.


Of course, the first impression one has is of Christmas thrown wide, high and deep in the most tastefully flamboyant manner.  A wreath on the front door has thoughtfully been provided with an Emma Bridgewater mug where one can drop one’s sixpences on entering. 


Wafts of Christmas perfume delight one’s olfactory senses.  Hand-embroidered cushions and pillows by Jan Constantine bespeak Christmas comfort.  Sophie Allport and Alison Gardiner are ready, willing, and able to further embellish the boughs of holly hanging in the halls of the Bees Knees esteemed clientele.  The expansive shelves of Lord Tony’s “Tuck Shoppe” were positively groaning under the weight of Christmas puddings, cakes, candies, sauces, chutneys, conserves, jams, and innumerable other festive treats.  As you are aware, the Honorable Wilfred Humbug has just moved into his own “digs”, so Lady Humbug was even able to find the perfect bar of soap (used by guests for non-decorative purposes) for his new bath-chamber.  The enlightened proprietors of The Bees Knees have ensured that the superior cleansing properties of Whisky and Honey are available to their customers in soap form, and this benefit will now be available to at least one resident (or rather guests) of the town of Somerville. 

Coronation Baubles

The recent coronation of His Majesty is still fondly remembered and, along with the long and glorious reign of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II, can be commemorated in fittingly tasteful and elegant style with a wide variety of items.  Every nook and cranny is filled.  Whole branches of nobility can rest assured, when hosting even the most unrefined Duke or Duchess, that the Louis Quatorze furniture will be protected from scrapes by artistically designed festive (or otherwise) placemats.  Teas can be served on tea-trays of said Duke and Duchess’s county, stirred with spoons expressing love for the same Duke and Duchess, and any unfortunate spillages can be discreetly mopped up with sweet pea napkins (unless, of course, the hostess feels that lemons are more appropriate).  Where stronger libations may be called for, these can be served in a variety of elegant stemware.  Mysterious openings descend into cavernous vaults where innumerable variations of merchandise are kept for the convenience of the Bees Knees cognoscente.  I was astonished to learn the number of breeds of dogs which exist in mug form.  My dear lady Middlesex, I must however prevail upon you to advise your esteemed correspondents that they should not rely on the voluminous storage capacity of the Bees Knees vaults.  Lady Lucinda, Lady Trish and Lady Donna’s passion to bring their English heritage across the pond is immense, and I know they find it quite dreadful to even contemplate anyone having to forego the exquisite pleasure that a Bees Knees treasure brings.

 Christmas Hamper

I must congratulate you on the inspiration of the glorious and wonderfully tasteful lady Middlesex Haute Holiday hampers!  Of course, anything which bears the Lady Middlesex name is going to be the last word – dare I say the “bee’s knees”! – in good taste, and you have excelled yourself this time.  I am quite sure that there are venerable establishments in London that will be “green” with envy should they ever get wind of these.  They had better watch very carefully for their Royal Warrants, as it is certain that they are in imminent danger of these being transferred in a trans-Atlantic direction – if you get my drift.   Between you and me, they have only themselves to blame.  Good taste is something that must always be strived for and improved on, and they do not have Lady Middlesex to provide the warm encouragement and exacting standards that are required to achieve this.

I am sure that the gaiety and festivity of the Lord and Lady Middlesex household and the “Bon Ton” is now well begun.  Lady Lucinda, Lady Trish and Lady Donna’s selfless striving, and your sound advice will ensure it is unrivalled and memorable.  I remain,

Yours truly,

Lord Humbug of Suffolk.




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