Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Secret Afternoon Tea Party

On Sunday, Bailey and I were very much looking forward to attending a Secret Afternoon Tea Party hosted by Gwyneth of Vintage Afternoon Teas. We had never been to any kind of supper club or pop-up restaurant before and despite being really excited we were also pretty nervous. Going into the home of a stranger and sitting around a table with a load of people we didn't know?! It all suddenly seemed pretty crazy.

Well actually as soon as Gwyn opened her front door and gave us a warm welcome we were put at ease. Her house is absolutely lovely and the tables were laid out beautifully, with loads of vintage china, pretty linen and cute bits and bobs for us to marvel over. As soon as we sat down we were given a warm glass of non-alcoholic mulled wine made from grape juice, which was gorgeous and perfect for a nippy winter's day.

We had a nice chat with some of the other people on our table and had a little look at the menu before putting in our orders for delicious posh tea. Then out came the food! The savoury stuff came first in the form of lovely little finger sandwiches and Smoked Salmon Mini Quiches.

The sandwiches were absolutely gorgeous and I must say I couldn't help but eat quite a few of these! The bread was thick, moist and spongy and the fillings were lovely. My favourite was the delicious brie and cranberry ones and Bailey loved the thick cut ham and mustard.

The quiches were also lovely with perfect buttery pastry and a tasty salmon flavour. They were the perfect size for popping into your mouth with a lovely bit of tea!

Next, we were presented with a three-tiered cake stand bursting with sweet treats - Bakewell Tarts, Scones and Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes which looked lovely as they had a little Chocolate. Everything was fresh and beautifully presented. The Bakwell Tarts were very moist, with lovely simple flavours and the cupcakes were very decadent and rich. Bailey and I shared one of these as we were starting to feel a pretty full but I wish I had eaten a whole one now!

Our absolute fave were the scones though - Bailey described them as "perfect" and with three different lovely jams to try and loads of amazing clotted cream we had to make sure we tried all the combinations! There was some violet jam which I'd never had before and it was really unusual and tasty - need to get me a jar of that!

The last thing I tried was the Dan Lepard recipe Cinnamon and Blackberry Cake which really was one of the prettiest cakes I have seen. It looked so appetising with the juicy blackberries and oozing jam but unfortunately by the time I got round to trying a little slice I was feeling a little bit sick and was experiencing a pretty intense sugar rush (I commented to Bailey that I felt like that YouTube kid on the way back from the dentist) so don't think I fully appreciated it. Perhaps next time I will have to pace myself a little better.

Apart from the sugar rush we absolutely loved our visit to the Secret Afternoon Tea Party. The food and tea was excellent and had all been lovingly prepared. Gwyn was such a great hostess and all the people at the event were super friendly and chatty - we needn't have felt nervous at all and I learned loads about other supper clubs and foodie events in Manchester that I'm very excited about. It was all such an unusual experience and I would definitely recommend it to other tea and cake fans and as a lover of vintage things for the home I would say it was worth it just to perve over the teacups!


  1. You can't beat a proper afternoon tea like this, it all looks delicious to me.
    Love the idea of all these pop up tea parties.

  2. Ooh Marcus it was fab. I too am loving the idea of the pop up restaurant. We are thinking of going to a couple of others that happen in Manchester too, we will become righ scenesters if we're not careful!! xxx

  3. ah but would you have a go at hosting one yourselves??
    would be fun, i'd have a go, but there's not too many people where i live who'd be interested i think, I just like doing tea for friends.

  4. I actually said to Bailey I would really like to do one but he wasn't so keen on the idea. He said he wouldn't mind if I did it though as long as he could hide away! I reckon when we buy our house it's something I would really consider! xxx

  5. another idea i've been toying with is a cookery club, where you get a few foodies together and cook and eat and drink, and each time someone different hosts and shares a favourite recipe/technique

  6. That sounds like a great idea Marcus. I would definitely come if I lived near you! Is there a Clandestine Cake Club near you? They are looking for men who bake!!


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