Then in the middle of the second afternoon a letter arrived for Joshua. He tore it open as they were having tea in the withdrawing room, the fire roaring halfway up the chimney, rain beating on the window in the dark as heavy clouds obscured even the shreds of winter light. There was hot tea on a silver tray and toasted crumpets with butter melted into them and golden syrup on top. Cook had made a particularly good Madeira cake and drop scones accompanied by butter, raspberry jam, and cream so thick one could have eaten it with a fork.
Anne Perry A Christmas Guest Ballantine Books 2005