I've occasionally wondered what this phrase means, but now, thanks to my visit yesterday to the Perennial Tea Room, I understand that now is that long, dark teatime which they mention; the period between the autumnal flush and the arrival of the first Darjeelings of the year. Oh! To think that I have three months to wait before I can enjoy this rare delight again! The shelves are bare of all but the dullest of teas; the autumnal is malty and unforgiving. I have put my name on the list of people to contact as soon as it comes in, but this will most assuredly be a very long wait.