Tara’s Busy Kitchen Presents #5

Tara's Busy Kitchen presents...

A week or so ago I opened my house up to 13 lovely like-minded foodies for my latest Tara’s Busy Kitchen Presents pop up. My fifth afternoon tea event presenting the wonderfully abundant produce that we have in the south west and in particular, Devon.

Styled to perfection using my vintage china collection alongside some newer additions from Pip Studios, The Caravan Trail and Melli Mello. Flowers and greenery were out in full force too. The ivy I foraged from the courtyard garden of Cakeadoodledo which added to the drama.

The menu highlighted the wonderful array of local produce available in the south west. Finger sandwiches using locally made bread and wonderful organic Shillingford eggs. Ploughmans scones made with Quicke’s mature cheddar and filled with the most scrumptious runner bean chutney from new kid on the block Hendrick’s Kitchen. To finish off the savoury selection there were Quicke’s cheese and cranberry and smoked salmon and horseradish cream pinwheels.

The sweet treats were baked from scratch at Tara’s Busy Kitchen HQ. Traditional Devonshire scones with Langage Farm clotted cream plus a selection of jams from Shute Fruit and Ullacombe Farm Shop were a particular highlight for me. I just adore a proper cream tea with plenty of clotted cream and jam.

To go alongside the scones I made a selection of jam and marmalade tarts all made with the best local produce. Dartmoor wild flower honey was baked into a delicious Devonshire Honey cake. Wonderful in season oranges were made into one of my all time favourite cakes from the wonderful local cook Charlotte Lampard’s cookbook, Charlotte’s Kitchen.

I asked local patisserie chef Sabine Orchard to make some beautiful rose and pistachio macarons to keep with my pink and green colour scheme. They were a real hit with my guests and I will definitely be stocking up on those for my next tea party in April.

As always I served delicious local pink fizz from at Sharpham Vineyard which is made only a few miles down the road near Totnes. Always a treat for the eyes and the tastebuds.

Goodie bags were given to my guests to complete the positive feeling of the event. I would like to say a massive thank you to Exploding Bakery, Cakeadoodledo and Liberty Cakes. All three of these wonderful local producers were very generous in providing some baked goods (or unbaked!) for the goodie bags and I know that all the guests were thrilled with your generosity. As was I. 


Sarah Hale, New Business Manager, North Devon

‘WOW! Another fabulous afternoon hosted by the ever creative Tara! Having already attended afternoon tea at Tara’s Busy Kitchen I was curious as to how she could top my last experience… it didn’t disappoint! It just goes to show how many amazing producers we have in the local area, in that she was able to create another truly unique and scrumptious selection of afternoon tea fare. If that wasn’t enough she was also thoughtful enjoy to put together a goodie bag for everyone in attendance and these included an array of treats that I could take home and share with my other half. In addition to the food, again I found the event to be great social experience and even though I had attended by myself Tara had placed me on a table with a trio of lovely ladies who it was a true pleasure to meet. That said, it wasn’t all girls and this time there were three BOYS (!!) in attendance who seemed to be having as equally as much fun. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!’

Tim Shardlow wrote,

“Tara’s Busy Kitchen presents Afternoon Tea”prepares fortunate guests for a superb modern take on one of our finest national traditions.

Tara hosts the event in her Victorian terraced home, the interior beautifully decorated and furnished in cool contemporary style, drawing focus to the tables set for your shared afternoon in a relaxed convivial atmosphere. Settings of vintage china and delicate cutlery are to hand for an imaginative selection of savoury and sweet tea-treats which taste as good as they look.

Printed menus describe in detail the mostly locally-sourced ingredients for which Tara is pleased to share her enthusiasm with guests. Her original creative style extends to floral decorations and a goodie-bag for each guest with a selection of complimentary items as souvenirs of the occasion and your future reference of the producers.

I am among the growing number who have enjoyed Tara’s tea parties. Whatever the weather outside, they make a memorable afternoon.”

Please send me an email to [email protected] if you would like to be kept in the loop about my next tea party in April. 

? Chantelle Bridgeman and Tara’s Busy Kitchen

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