Archives for posts with tag: afternoon tea

I had the privilege of providing a vintage afternoon tea party and cocktail making class for a gorgeous bunch of girls in this Saturday on the North Coast of Ireland.

The tea party took place in a beautiful farmhouse at Mc Shane Glen holiday cottages, the view from the conservatory where we held the party was stunning, a panoramic spread of lush green fields and sparkling sea. 

We had our usual cake table laid out with hand printed signage and lovely glass cake platforms, I used the Yashica Box camera and a smattering of  vintage French postcards as props to add to the vintage look.

Bunting  transformed the room.

Home made three tier cake stands piled high with delicious treats (also home made – of course)

Luggage labels used as decoration made the event more personal.

Small bunches of flowers in milk jugs made the tables look pretty without taking up too much room.

A cocktail making workshop after the tea party was a fun finish.

All photography by the wonderful Elaine Jones.

Tea party and Cocktail making by http://www.silverspoonsociety.co.uk

Location: Mc Shane Glen Cottages, Ballintoy, Northern Ireland: http://www.mcshaneglen.com

 

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Continuing on my current vintage afternoon tea obsession I thought I would publish these illustrations.

I did them  a couple of months ago with the intention of using them for my website but they never quite fitted. I still like them and thought they at least should get an airing instead of being shoved in a little electronic folder deep in the dark and disorganised  depths of my desktop!

 



Amsterdam is obviously well known for its coffee houses and crazy cakes but not the type you’ll find in ‘De taart van m’n tante’ 

Translated ‘My Aunties cakes’, this tea room is not a place you could easily walk by and miss. The floor to ceiling old style windows are crammed with crazy kitsch objects, colour,  pattern and most importantly cakes which pull you in and lead down the culinary path of no return. 

The interior has evolved over twenty years into a wonderful ecclectic mix of old and new, plastic and leather, flat colour and busy pattern.  Walking into ‘De taart van m’n tante’ from the cold wet street was like falling down a rabbit hole (often happens to me) and waking up in another world, I didn’t know what direction to turn, where to focus my attention first. In every direction there were towering cakes in colours and patterns I had never imagined, collections of strange and amusing figurines, objects and furniture from every decade. The interior design plan:  as long as it passes the kitsch test, it gets in.

It shouldn’t really work because it’s all so mismatched and crazy but it does. I reckon it must be the more relaxed attitude of the Dutch towards creativity which allows them to pull it all together and get away with it. They seem to be able to go with the flow and enjoy putting interiors together without becoming too purist and serious about it all, it makes Northern Irish cafes seem so terribly staid! 

The cakes themselves which are all created in the family bakery, display a slightly unhinged but absolutely glorious attitude. They shout freedom, fun and party on! if you’re going to have a big sugary monster of a celebration cake why opt for muted colours and dainty rose petals like everyone else? 

On Sunday afternoon the tea room was buzzing, it’s obviously a popular spot with families and especially ladies! What lady does not appreciate a spot of tea and a decent chunk of attractive looking cake! I, myself could not resist the most colourful item on display in the chiller, I never could steer clear of contrasting colours! Swedish Princess cake, with a delectable surface of smooth deep green marzipan decorated with raspberry pink swirls. I didn’t expect it to taste good, having been hooked on looks only but it turned out to be equally wonderful though not as colourful on the inside. 

At the very back of the tearoom grouped around a retro ceramic coffee table sat two big studded leather armchairs, one in mossy green. The sofa was covered with wildly mismatched crochet squares, the area brimming with colour and pattern to a bursting point. The only improvement which could have been made to this area would have been to have a few kindly grannies permanently parked on the sofa to offer friendly advice and give knitting lessons (now there’s a new business idea, anyone?)


‘De taart  van ma tante’ can be found near the beginning of Ferdinand Bolstraat close to the henniken factory. They also have a bed and breakfast above the shop aptly named  ‘Cake under my pillow’ which looks equally intriguing.  www.detaart.com

This afternoon I hosted an afternoon tea party for my sister in law’s baby shower.

It was a very civilised affair with lots of mummies and no children, don’t get me wrong, I love to party with children but I was astounded at how much easier it was to clean up after the mums! no spilled juice or cup cakes mushed into the ground, well done ladies!

 

I have to admit, I did rather enjoy arranging the cake stands and pouring tea for people. Afternoon tea parties are really just a grown up version of how I used to spend my Sunday afternoons when I was a child. I’d spend hours arranging my dollies around in a circle and then I would give out hand made invitations to my family. My mum and dad would inevitably be slumbering in front of the fire and my brothers raking through a box of Lego whilst I  annoyingly pulled persistently at their sleeves, begging them to attend my tea party. My mum still has pangs of guilt about not being more supportive of my tea parties! but then they were a little too frequent and the assembled guests maybe weren’t the most lively!

Anyway, at least this afternoon I got to dust off my vintage tea sets, arrange the cup cakes and serve the guests who this time all seemed to arrive willingly and without the need for persuasion! and don’t worry, I left my dollies in the attic! 

Sadly I took very few photos of the event as I spent most of the time making pots of tea but here are some at least…