The Secluded (Book Club!) Tea Party
was held on Sunday, 27th March at 2pm, and we were granted access to the best possible venue for this event...Plurabelle Books
in the very heart of Cambridge... yet secluded within beautiful landscaped city grounds! It was Perfect for a Book Club theme to the proceedings!
The lovely Ruth allowed me to go in a day early and lay the table and set out the room ready for my 12 Cake loving guests, which allowed for a calm baking session prior to the event. This was a rare treat!
The menu consisted of Savoury Red Onion Tartlets and Home-made Lemonade on arrival, followed by a selection of finger sandwiches, including my legendary Ham & Garlic Jam filling...Which I think went down very well yet again, hurrah!
Also available to my guests were my newly conjured up Fruit & Spice Scones with an Almond/Streusel topping, and accompanied by a jar of Plum-Nut jam, thanks to my lovely local jam lady who tailor-made it for this very tea party! Amazing as always!
Other courses included a Chocolate Truffle selection, which included a very dark Ganache for the lovers of a deep and dark chocolatey kick, as well as newly found recipe for an Oreo-based Truffle!
... Yes, you read correctly!.... A blogging friend had suggested this, along with a game for my guests to try to figure out the three ingredients in this surprisingly addictive truffle recipe!.... The Answer, for all my confused guests is.... Dark Chocolate to coat the balls, which were made up of finely crushed Oreo Cookies, and..... Soft Cheese..... They were soft and squidgy, and straight from the fridge are just like mini cheese cake bites. Delicious and worthy of replicating!... Anybody can do it!
My piece de resistance was my first ever Victoria Sponge... Made with a light vanilla sponge, sandwiching together a shed load of piped vanilla buttercream and the most spiffing Forest Fruit jam (Made locally of course by my lovely jam lady!) which added a beautifully sweet and fruity texture to this cake. I was so proud, I could not help but add to it by adding a little robot, complete with footsteps across the icing sugar path on the top! It was the main attraction for this afternoon and my guests all shouted *YES* as soon as I asked if I should cut it!... It was hilarious!
The chosen book for this theme was titled "Cupboard Love" by Laura Lockington
, and it had mixed reviews, which is always a great thing for a little spark in the conversation at these things!... Some guests loved the book and laughed and cried out loud whilst reading certain chapters, whilst some guests completely detested the author after a few chapters....
It led to some great conversations for the book-geeks in us all!
The tea of the tea party seemed to be the intriguing Rhubarb and Custard Loose leaf from Teabox Online
.... A firm favourite for two tea parties running now!...
As well as my guests enjoying the food, and each others' company, they also generously shared and swapped a selection of books from their own collections, and everybody had fun showing the others what they had to give and why they would recommend the books and authors.
We were also permitted to take a book or two from the shelves of the second-hand books at the venue...so long as we swapped it with one of our own... what an indulgence!... Guests were browsing long after the tea party had ended!....
This was such a successful event, and the guests did stop talking all afternoon, which from a hostesses point of view, is the best feeling in the world!
The Book Club Tea Party will be back later in the year with a different book...It would be rude not to!
There is so much I could write up about this event, but I feel that the photos that were taken say a million words, so I hope that you enjoy browsing through them all... Such a unique tea party, it has kept a smile on my face for days afterwards : )
And most importantly.... Check out Plurabelle Books
in Cambridge... it is a wonder emporium of second-hand books and a delight to spend an hour or ten reading and browsing their books! I love spending a lunch hour in this very unusual venue...and I would suggest it to anybody with an hour to kill!....
Miss Sue Flay
PS- A HUGE Thank you to The Cambridge Cookery School for lending me their kettles for the hot water at this venue! Tine you are a STAR! hehe x