Something incredible happened a few weeks ago. I’ve been talking about hosting a tea party for such a long time but never got around to actually making it happen. But when I put my mind to it – it did happen and it was amazing!
I’m very fortunate to be living with an incredible professional pastry chef (Lisa Chan) who bakes for a living – how cool is that?! So I found a date in our diaries that worked for both of us and sent out the invites to only a handful of people. I have a very small flat, without a living room, so yes, this all took place in my bedroom. You know what they say: where there’s a will, there’s a way! However, hosting a party where you aim to make all the food from scratch is not only time consuming, but can be quite costly too.
We wanted to make this a worthwhile project and therefore decided to ask the attendees for an entrance fee and in return they were able to eat all the cake their heart desired. The reason for this was because we wanted to donate all the money we raised (except for a few expenses) to a children’s charity. And guess what? We raised £240!
We have decided to give this to a charity called Kids Company to go towards all the great work they do to support vulnerable inner-city children.
One of our friends very kindly went to get us flowers from Columbia Road Flower Market after being given a specification from me and they were absolutely beautiful – everyone adored them!
People who thought they knew me saw a whole different side to me during this party planning process: the super-organised and obsessive perfectionist. I had a plan, a spreadsheet, and so many lists. I accounted for the minor little details to the pièce de résistance! I even tracked down the most beautiful tea set on eBay to add a little class to the party, and what an investment – it’s the loveliest thing I have ever bought!
On arrival of our lovely mix of friends and after all introductions were made, everyone started off the tea party with a bit of bubbly… non-alcoholic elderflower pressé! We know how to treat people. Hehe!
And of course, we added some frozen raspberries to the drinks to keep it chilled as well as for prettiness. I especially liked it once the rouge colour started creating an ombré effect in the glass – I couldn’t have planned that!
Although this was called a tea & cake party, we needed some savoury items to balance out the sweet. So we put together crostini’s with pesto, mozzarella & cherry tomatoes. As well as smoked salmon & cream cheese canapés. YUM!
My favourite and a classic one loved by all: The Lemon Drizzle Crunch Loaf. (You can find out how to make cupcake versions of this from a previous post of mine here).
I just had to show the before and after photo of my cookies. This is the biggest batch I have made so far. I think I made over 70 cookies – which is A LOT for a party with less than 15 people. These have Smarties and chocolate chips in them.
The Pièce de Résistance! Aka ‘The Hulk’. It was the show stopper, jaw dropper, star of the show… (ok I will stop). I introduce to you the 4 layered chocolate and mint cake with a green peppermint frosting, topped with mint aero balls and a sprinkle of sparkle. Photo credit for this one goes to the lovely Hanh. Beautiful shots!
The food was spread all over a long rectangle table so it was impossible to take a wide shot, so here are a few different angles. I hope my presentation did justice to the goods because if only I had more space, I would’ve invited more people around to witness the sheer beauty of it all.
Everyone enjoyed the selection of drinks on offer as well – after all this was a tea party too! We had a fancy breakfast tea available as well as a green tea with a rose and jasmine infusion. Also adding to the list, we had sparkling elderflower with fresh fruits and a Pimms jug for the drinkers (only because we don’t drink it so someone had to)!
I cannot take credit for the creation of the majority of these great treats. But what I can take credit for is the meticulous planning and organisation of this whole event as well as presentation – just ask the attendees about my excel spreadsheet (which is still taking pride of place on my fridge). I am incredibly proud and amazed how well everything turned out and loved that everyone had a good time.
It also coincidentally happened to fall on #WorldBakingDay (19th May 2013) which I was completely unaware of when booking in the date, so this worked out really well.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended and donated money for a good cause and for making my first tea & cake party so special for me.
But I have to especially thank Lisa for all of the hard work she put into baking like mad the days running up to the party and mainly for putting up with me, my demands and my madness! It couldn’t have been easy having to listen to my party planning updates for weeks in advance and then get bossed around by me! So a BIG THANK YOU LISA!
It made me realise how much passion I have for organising events and I hope to do more in the future. Next time I may try and stick to more of a traditional afternoon tea style party, just to make my life a little bit easier, but only just a little! ♥