I recently held my first Tara’s Busy Kitchen event. A pop-up afternoon tea at the house. I had invited other local bloggers, foodies and businesses to the event which was a practice run for future pop-ups.
I had loosely based the idea of Tara’s Busy Kitchen Presents on the popular “supper clubs” and “pop up restaurants” that have been springing up over the last few years.
This particular event was a practice run for things to come. I hope to do Tara’s Busy Kitchen Presents… Brunch, Supper, Cocktails etc.
I personally think it is an exciting idea. Something new and fresh. Especially for where I live in Exeter.
I had spent a day or two beforehand preparing and baking. I made a rather indulgent coffee cake using the French vanilla blend from Littles Coffee, a gluten free apricot and almond cake along with scones. On top of this, I was lucky enough to be given some wonderful goodies from Okemoor Bakery and Blueberry Bros. Okemoor had supplied the most wonderful cannoli’s and rum baba. Blueberry Bros provided me with muffins, brownies and frangipane that were all crammed full of wonderful blueberries! So good. Both companies were very generous. My guests were raving about the cannoli and the frangipane in particular. The gluten-free apricot and almond cake that I made was popular also. The recipes for all of the cakes and scones I had made were from the wonderful Nigella Lawson.
I had been remarkably calm about the whole thing. I love entertaining so that was my focus. Obviously, with a supper club you have unknown guests and my event was the same. I had invited Chris Gower from Eating Exeter. He is another food lover and blogger from Exeter. It was a pleasure to meet him as we had known of each other over social media for a while now. We spent quite a lot of the afternoon chatting about all things foodie and blog related bits and bobs.
My other unknown guests were from Bedboat magazine. Hazel and Sarah arrived and instantly we were chatting about their magazine. The next issue is coming out soon. Check it out. It’s a young publication but growing all the time. I can’t wait for the next issue.
My other guests were Sarah Hale, Steve Kitch, Serena Fitzgerald (from Exeter Library), Estella Shardlow (freelance journalist), Chloe Schwab (representing Sharpham Vineyard), Emma Eliott (who helped with the styling of the event) and Gemma Critchley and Richard Mold from Cabinet Jewellery. They kindly lent me jewellery for the event! Everybody gelled nicely and the atmosphere at the pop-up was buzzing.
Many of my guests commented on the wonderful china at the event so I would like to say a big “Thank You” to Bell and Blue, The Caravan Trail and Rosalind Bee. All their beautiful products sat so well with my vintage pieces. I thought the overall effect was stunning and my guests did too. There were lots of positive remarks on the styling which was great. I wanted it to have a vintage feel with a touch of decadence which I think was achieved.
I would like to mention Heron Valley Drinks who supplied the soft drinks for the event. Their elderflower cordial is a winner in my book! Sharpham Vineyard provided some of their wonderful sparkling wine. All made just down the road in Totnes. Amazing! We sampled the Sparkling Blanc and the Sparkling Reserve.. Both beautiful but personally I think the Sparkling Reserve just edges ahead in flavour for me. I would also like to thank Miles Tea for supplying their teas and Littles Coffee for their flavoured freeze dried coffees. Wonderful for baking as well as drinking. My coffee cake went down a storm with the guests and the coffee flavour was all thanks to Littles French vanilla coffee. Louise’s Larder provided their award winning rhubarb, rose and cardamon jam to dollop on my scones. I can honestly say that their rhubarb jam is the tastiest I have tried in a long while. So, so good. Laydilay Organic Eggs need a mention too as their eggs went into making my cakes plus their organic mayonnaise made the creamiest egg mayo finger sandwiches.
The whole event went by in a flash and I am so pleased at the positive feedback that I’ve already received. People are already asking when the next event will be.. I need to get planning!!
One of my guests Estella said:
“I travelled down from London for the day and this High Tea was worth the journey! A delicious spread of beautifully presented local treats all washed down with sparkling Devon wine. Not only did I want to eat everything, but buy a lot of the tableware too!”
I look forward to planning my next event and perhaps seeing you there!
P.s. I couldn’t possibly take all photos at this event so I would like to give photo credits to Eating Exeter, Serena Fitzgerald, Emma Eliott and Gemma Critchley alongside myself!