The vanishing liquids of Mrs Lords.
It was an unusually warm October afternoon as I left London and pootled down to Mrs Lord’s country estate. One of the smaller stately piles, it must be said, but set in one of the most picturesque parts of this green and pleasant land.
Arriving a little before dusk I parked up and was greeted by Smythe, I feel I must confess I have never really taken to their man, nor he to me, but maintaining an air of civility he showed upstairs to the east wing.
“The pink suite sir” he said with a hint of a smirk and I suppose that’s where it all started really, upon mature recollection. “Thank you Smythe” I replied barely managing to keep the snap out of my voice, “that will be all”.
“Dinner at 8 sir, cocktails at 7.30 in the Rangoon room.” responded Smythe
I unpacked, took a leisurely bath and then joined the rest of the guests for an aperitif.
It was the usual crowd you meet at country houses the length and breadth of Britain on any given weekend, the city types desperate to escape the hustle and bustle, a relative or two, the inevitable wild bore and our hostess, the darling Mrs Lord.
Dinner was uneventful except for the wild bores incessant drone about Westminister politics and Smythe’s determination to spill a variety of foodstuffs and fine wines about my person.
After dinner whilst enjoying a brandy in the library, Mr Lord directed the insufferable Smythe to produce a small bottle of the most marvellous elixir from a locked mahogany box, Smythe then proceeded to fill our tanks as our host urged us all to try a puff or two and so we did, after all… it would have been rude not too.
“Well”, said our convivial host “what do you think?”
“Top notch” said I with a practiced wink and a nod, while cousin Rupert agreed, “not bad at all old boy” chimed his brother Freddy draining his glass and gazing hopefully towards Smythe for another snifter, “Splendid” blathered the bore, “reminds me of the time I shared a cigar from Mountbatten’s private reserve with the Duke of Edinburgh and Fidel Castro whilst fishing with the Earl of Glenbegly.”
Well he may have been a world class lick and a dreadful bore to boot, but the man had a point, it was simply superb this Navy Cut eliquid was better then any tobacco I had ever had occasion to puff. It tasted of the West Indies, coconutty with notes of a dark cocoa and perhaps a bit of spiced rum that paired rather well with the brandy, it warmed the very cockles. Plenty of tobacco too, best with a strong spirit.
“Indeed” said the host, motioning to the lurking butler, “bring us the Rough Shag and the decanter of the reserve, what the hell chaps, one only lives once… what?”
Amidst the hear hears, what whats and the well dones, Smythe returned with a silver salver laden with brimming brandies and yet another rather special e liquid. The old trout filled our tanks yet again. This time the taste was a milder tobacco, a drier more mellow vape almost reminiscent of a good pipe but with a zing, ginger but more of the root than the stem if I’m not mistaken. I’m afraid to say I may have been slightly distracted as the butler did his utmost to redecorate my evening jacket once more. Were it not for an adroit manoeuvre to the right, the brandy spilt on the antimacassar might have been all over me, a fact immediately remarked upon by our eagle eyed host.
“I say Smythe. do have a care, send that to Mrs Havercroft and ensure its properly soaked before washing.” Said Mr Lord as we all vaped contentedly on this rough shag and I attempted to conceal my delight at his public chastisement.
Smythe apologised and with a baleful glare in my direction exited the library before he could ruin my mood or indeed my tailoring any further.
Sipping at the vintage cognac and vaping away at yet another exquisite e juice we talked and chatted until the early hours, it really was the most convivial of gatherings enhanced only by the luscious e liquids.
After the fire had died down, we all retired for the evening and as I trudged alone up the east wing stairs, I resolved to have a bit of sport at the ghastly Smythe’s expense.
I say that now, but foremost in my mind was really the desire to sample the other bottles that lay unopened in that mysterious box of assorted vaping elixirs.
Slipping off my shoes I trotted back downstairs and slipped quietly into the library, using the corkscrew attachment on my pocket knife I opened up that little mahogany box and removed the other 4 bottles of e liquid that I found therein.
Locking it once again, I closed the door behind me and scampered upstairs and into the bloody pink suite, firmly locking the door behind me.
I opened the window, slipped into my vaping jacket and poured myself another snifter from my private reserve and ensconcing myself in a comfortable chair beside the fire I proceeded to sample the remaining 4 bottles until dawn.
First up was Gingernut something between a biscuit and the celebrated cake that of late has been enjoying a bit of a revival. Was it the stem or root this time, I really couldn’t say, as it had both a biscuity and buttery cake finish. It filled the room with aromas of my childhood, so much so, that I hastened to stuff a towel under the door lest any passing servants should smell my sins and ruin my enjoyment of yet another splendid vape.
My greedy little fingers grasped another bottle and twisted off the cork before I had even finished the last of the Gingernut and immediately my nose twitched as the smell of raspberry sponge filled my nostrils.
Oh hello, I thought to myself, we are in for a treat here, my word it was just like eating a Victoria sandwich, homemade rather than that shop bought muck everyone seems to produce at afternoon tea these days. I enjoyed a tank and then poured the remainder of the e liquid into an empty bottle that had been rattling around in my washbag for yonks, this dessert vape would certainly be a rare Sunday evening treat, best enjoyed alone in the comfort and safety of my own home.
Imagine my surprise when the very next bottle contained what can only be described as Spotted dick, a taste the instantly transported me back to my schooldays. Pudding every Friday was that custard covered sponge filled with raisins and we always fought amongst ourselves for seconds, pleading and in some cases in outright bribing the poor cook for just a little more. Filthy urchins that we were! I vaped two tanks in the blink of an eye and forced my trembling hands to pour the bottle into a hastily emptied and well rinsed bottle of mouthwash so it could join the Victoria sandwich in my washbag for future vaping.
I heard the cock crow as dawn was breaking and decided to try the last bottle, what the hell, might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, I reasoned. The room was a little foggy so I opened the window a little more and filling up my tank enjoyed mint, buckets of sweet sugary peppermint invaded my senses, better than any Kendal mint cake, holey mints or even those of the curiously strong variety.
I am ashamed to say, I vaped the lot, there and then, all of it, without a scintilla of guilt, after all it would have been rude not too, no really, all things considered.
It was then my own particular Eureka moment struck, although thankfully without the sloshing of dirty bathwater. Checking that the coast was clear I slid down the curving banisters, swept back into the Library and replaced the empty bottles remembering to lock the wooden box up tight before returning to my bed.
That will teach the beastly Smythe I thought to myself as I slipped into the arms of Morpheus as contented as any vaper could be.
I awoke to the most tremendous hullabaloo, it seems that Mrs Lord accustomed to a clandestine morning vape in the Library had discovered the missing liquids. Upon enquiring as to what had taken place the night before she had discovered that the gentlemen had only finished two bottles and that on retiring for the night four full bottles had remained.
Further questions had elicited the information that Smythe had been sent downstairs in disgrace with a soiled antimacassar and despite his strenuous denials, it was clear that as the only keyholder of the box of vaping elixirs, no other explanation as to their disappearance could be ascertained.
Smythe was asked to leave immediately despite his vociferous protestations of innocence and as I sat upstairs vaping on the last of the Kendal mint, chortling with glee whilst watching him from on high as he trudged forlornly down the drive.
Oh lord, do forgive me please, but Mrs Lord’s liquids were simply too divine,
to pass up some delicious vaping and revenge on Smythe the butling swine!
Despite my despicable acts or indeed perhaps because of them, who can be sure? Mrs Lord’s e liquids are now available online at: http://www.mrslord.co.uk so you don’t have to steal them, implicate innocent butlers or even listen to blathering bores.