Last week I held my second “pop up” tea room at Tara’s Busy Kitchen HQ. I transformed my lounge into a tearoom and the kitchen into a bakery. I had so much fun preparing the room with white tablecloths, vintage china, flowers and candles to make it look really special.
My kitchen was a hive of activity too. I spent the best part of the day baking lemon dreamies using lemon curd from Highfield Preserves, Black Forest brownies using Lyme Bay winery cherry brandy liquor, cheese scones using Quickes cheese, and plain scones using Edward Watts from Riverford Field Kitchens fail safe recipe. I also prepared egg mayonnaise finger sandwiches using Laydilay eggs and mayo, cucumber finger sandwiches and smoked salmon with horseradish cream cheese wheels.
There were lots of vary favourable comments from my guests with regards to the afternoon tea, the selection of cakes, sweet treats and the decor. I noticed that lots of photos were taken which is always a good sign! I can’t wait to see them pop up on various forms of social media.
I had a lovely mix of guests. Some people I knew and some others I didn’t which made for some great conversations.
I was in waitress mode for the best part of the afternoon looking after my guests. Making sure that they had everything that they needed. I made many pots of tea using the loose leaf teas from Plymouth Tea. I think the Mayflower blend proved the most popular. I had been given some jams from Highfield Preserves and Louise’s Larder especially for the event. The gooseberry and elderflower from Highfield and the apricot and lavender from Louise’s Larder being the firm favourites.
I would like to give a shout out also to Sharpham Wines.. My guests enjoyed a glass of their wonderful fizz for their welcome drink and it proved very popular. We had the opportunity to try both the Sharpham sparkling reserve and the sparkling blanc. Sharpham Wines are a particular favourite of mine and the grapes are grown just down the road in Totnes. As I have said in previous posts, I am lucky enough to know the winemaker there, Duncan.
I prepared some goodie bags for my guests too. Plymouth Tea gave me some rather wonderful printed canvas bags. I filled them with tea samples and information on all the producers involved in this particular afternoon tea. Most of them from within a 30 mile radius of Exeter. I am proud to support local artisans, businesses and producers. I commissioned the lovely Kate from Cakeadoodledo to make me some cupcakes for the goodie bags. They looked stunning and tasted even better!
I really enjoyed the process from start to finish and will have to start planning my next one for after Easter. I will have to get my thinking cap on for some new recipes. Watch this space for more information. Perhaps I will see some of my readers at the next one? I hope so.
Here are a few quotes from people who attended.
“WOW. What a fabulous way to have spent a Sunday afternoon! Tara’s passion for food and entertaining knows no bounds, and her creativity is as evident in the beautiful decorations adorning her tables as the unique twists she puts on classic recipes. It was also a great opportunity to meet some lovely people who I hope to catch up with at her next event!”
Sarah Hale (New Business Manager, North Devon
“I thoroughly enjoyed every morsel consumed at Tara’s Busy Kitchen’s pop-up Afternoon Tea party, which was a real treat! My friend and I received a wonderfully warm welcome from the ‘hostess with the mostest’, Tara, who I found to be an extremely attentive host, introducing each guest as they arrived and continuing to replenish glasses of fizz and pots of tea throughout the party. We both had a truly fantastic afternoon enjoyed in stylish surroundings and good company, which was perfected by the scrumptious food beautifully displayed before us on vintage crockery. The experience has definitely encouraged both of us to try new local produce and some new food combinations too!! As well as giving us inspiration to be more creative with our homes! A must try if you are a lover of good food, good company and would like to support great British produce.”
Johanna Morris, JM Dance Fit
“On entry to Tara’s lovely light lounge, my eyes couldn’t stop darting all over the place looking at the pretty crockery and table settings. The savouries and sweets were all of excellent quality and absolutely delicious! I thought 2- 3 hours may be a bit long but time flew by – a good sign indeed. An afternoon tea triumph. “
Lauren Heath PA/Office Manager and Guest Food Blogger