Just tea for two, And two for tea

Ok so it was actually four for tea but it could so easily have just been two.

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On Sunday afternoon I threw an afternoon tea party for my friend Rosie as it was her birthday because now that we have reached the grand old age of 28 we’re all sophisticated. Or something like that. I had established that Rosie had no plans for her birthday so I decided to make some for her and invited some of our friends over to join us. She didn’t know they were coming. It was great. Got to love a surprise.

I felt briefly like Bilbo Baggins where I had several people turn up simultaneously; Emma followed by Ellie (expected guests), my brother’s flatmate (had locked himself out of their flat and needed to borrow my key) and then finally the birthday girl. I have to say that I was most disappointed that my brother’s flatmate declined the offer to be our stripper for the party… But anyway, Rosie arrived and I ushered her into the front room, she tried to head to the kitchen but I blocked her path and forced her in and there were Ellie and Emma waiting for her. Turns out she didn’t know that anyone was invited. That was fun.

On Rosie’s birthday afternoon tea menu there were the following items:

Cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches

Cheddar and sage scones

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Sticky toffee cakes with salted caramel icing

Sharing lemon meringue pies

Mini Earl Grey panna cottas with blackberry compote

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A selection of teas

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Chapel Down Brut Reserve

Knowing that I was going out to a party on Saturday evening, I spent Saturday afternoon preparing items for the tea. I started by making my Earl Grey panna cottas (I used decaffeinated tea bags as one of my friends can’t have caffeine) which were served in little glasses that my mother picked up for me many moons ago now in a charity shop. Then I made the pastry for what I had envisaged being mini lemon meringue pies but to be honest, they couldn’t really be considered mini, merely ‘individual’ pies if you were to be eating them as a dessert so they ended up being ‘sharing’ pies. I also made the lemon curd filling for the pies but not the meringue which was made on Sunday morning. The sponge for the sticky toffee pudding cakes and the cheddar and sage scones were also made. This still left lemon meringue pie assembling, cucumber and cream cheese sandwich making, the blackberry compote for the panna cottas and the salted caramel icing for the sticky toffee cakes on Sunday morning. Links to some of the recipes I used can be found at the bottom of the page.

I didn’t get up quite as early as I had intended to on Sunday morning having got back from East Dulwich somewhat later than I had planned so I was incredibly relieved that I had made most items for the tea the day before because otherwise I’m not sure that it would have been much of an afternoon tea!

I had such fun creating the different items for the afternoon tea and it was a wonderful excuse to use all my pretty bits and pieces of china, in particular my owl sugar bowl from Anthropolgie, which usually just sit in the cupboard crying gently to themselves about how unloved they feel. One thing I did realise however, is that I definitely need more teapots. I only have one and yet three different types of tea were served (two types were served in cafetieres! Well, adopt, adapt and improve).

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Recipe links:

Cheddar and sage scones

Lemon meringue pie

Sticky toffee cakes

Earl Grey panna cotta

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