A new afternoon tea club launches in South Manchester...
Five year old son and husband evacuated to Head over Heels play area in Chorlton, followed by digging at a friends allotment. Teenage daughter and 12 year old son hiding upstairs. My mum ready to wash up, in fact we couldn't give her the plates fast enough (she even read the Sunday papers during one lull). Friend Kate flower-arranging as guests arrived and ready to photograph proceedings, act as general scivvy, add moral support and scoff leftovers; she didn't even have time to don her pinny we kept her so busy. And me the host, in my pyjamas making sandwiches half an hour before people arrived, oops! Didn't manage much hair brushing or make-up, but I did pull a frock on and a smile takes you a long way doesn't it?!
All guests arrived promptly, apart from one friend who had a migraine and we hope is feeling much better now. And once four people were in the room there was a lovely hum of chatter and sipping of home-made lemonade, so much so that I could rush back into the kitchen and finish off some last-minute plating up. Sandwiches and mini tarlets served first, tea orders taken, then happy munching and chit-chat. I try to use local ingredients and our ham is sourced from the Cheshire Smokehouse in nearby Wilmslow. Lancashire Cheese and home-made red onion chutney is another favourite local ingredient. Lots of oohs and aahs as the cake stands were carried in, very gratifying after all the love and care put into baking it all. The menu's below, but favourites with guests seemed to be the bright pink macaroons with raspberry and white chocolate ganache filling, they're certainly pretty and taste very much of fresh raspberries.
Very politely, just before 4pm, guests started to make moves to leave and we offered a slice of cake to everyone to take away (the other option being me and the family eating all the leftovers which just isn't healthy!!). As guests left and cakes were cleared into the kitchen my children appeared as if by magic to "help" eat some of the scones and cakes, they're very good at that kind of helping.
Lovely messages from guests later, as clearing away continued, and a fabulous blog entry:
£15.00 (10% of takings) is winging its way to the Burma Campaign UK to help their good work.
Next stop 10 July for a Secret Strawberry Afternoon Tea Party and we already have bookings coming in for that so it should be a lot of fun.
Menu - Vintage Afternoon Tea Party
Sunday 5 June 2011
Selection of teas with milk or lemon slices: Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Chai, Strawberry & Mango, Peppermint
Smoked salmon and cream cheese
Cheshire ham with mustard
Free-range egg and watercress
Lancashire cheese with red onion chutney
Creamy tomato and mascarpone tartlets with chargrilled artichokes
Scones with selection of jams and clotted cream
Lemon victoria sandwich with lemon curd and fresh cream filling
Pink macaroons with raspberry and white chocolate ganache filling
Guinness fruit loaf
Dan Lepard’s rum and mint chocolate brownies
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