Last Friday evening hosted a fabulously french themed evening with myself and my lovely friend, Cat from Cakes by Cat at a secret location in a very small Cambridgeshire village.
We were joined at this perfectly secluded Cambridge venue by our fabulous guests, each one 100% dedicated to arriving come rain or shine... Or traffic jam as the case seems to be on the A14 of a Friday night haha!
(Always seems to be the way at this time of the week, so noted for next time I plan a weekday event!)
With my furthest traveling guest actually coming from Sweden.... Yes... Sweden... Now who wants to beat THAT record for my furthest travelled tea party guest? - Hehe
Victoria said she enjoyed the whole concept so much that she wants to host a tea party when she gets back to her home town, so I really hope that she does!...
... A Secluded (Swedish!) Tea Party would be a dream!
With the dulcet tones of Edith Piaf serenading my guests, I left them in the capable hands of Cat showing them how to start making their decorations for their pretty French Fancies that they would be making this evening, whilst sat around the tea table sipping on sparkling elderflower cordial from mis-matching teacups as well as nibbling on Cucumber and Egg Mayonnaise & Cress open-topped sandwiches, Lemon Madeleines accompanied by Beautiful & locally made Rose Petal Jam, Profiteroles filled with Vanilla Creme Patisserie and a large Black Forest Gâteaux-inspired layer cake.
Guests were shown how to make pretty and delicate flowers and how to decorate those as well as cutting out their very own set of layered French Fancy cakes (Flavours including
Strawberry, Lemon and also Morello Cherry fillings), covered with a marzipan topping, either cut into squares or circular cakes, whichever was preferred - Both were very cute and bite sized!
Dipping in fondant icing then commenced, which was by far the messiest and most fun element of any tea party I have offered so far (Which didn't include zombie blood or gore anyway ; ) and was the time of the evening where everybody got stuck in and running around the dipping table giggling at each others cake misfortunes and losses through this procedure... hilarious hehe.
We had marzipans tops disappearing, only to be found under the table later on, parts of the cake being left behind in the bowl... very amusing and a great bonding activity for a group of ladies who had never met before.
Whilst these ladies were wrist deep in pastel coloured fondant, I was brewing pots of tea to keep them from getting dry mouths, and my Cath Kidston Tea Cosy- covered Tea pot offered them a choice throughout the night of English Breakfast Tea, Rooibos Rhubarb & Custard and a unique Pink Ceylon Tea which went down very well indeed.
Conversation (naturally) led to talk of afternoon tea in Cambridge, London, Yorkshire and where our best and worst finds have been lately, which was as always, a real eye opener and has certainly given me a few ideas of places to try... as well as to avoid!
Once the fondant on the French Fancies had dried a little and guests had chatted over some more tea and cake and the end was near, we all added our beautifully decorated flowers to our fancies (I say OUR beautifully decorated flowers... mine were rushed and not as delicate as hoped, due to too much nattering earlier...oops!) and piped some finishing touches to make them all very unique and personal before boxing them up in the beautiful packaging Cat had provided and wrapping ribbon around them all to take them home to enjoy over the weekend.
The night flew by so fast, and it was so much fun to sit and get to know all of my guests whilst learning some new cake decorating skills from the fabulously talented Cat, who may I say looked stunning in her new Polka Dot dress and seamed stockings, a glamorous cake maker who put my disheveled just-baked hostess look to shame ; )
The French Fancy Decorating will be a class that I can offer again with any private Afternoon Tea Party enquiries and bookings in Cambridge or indeed in the Cambridgeshire Countryside or surrounding areas.... so if you fancy your very own French Fancy Tea Party for a personal celebration, do get in touch by email at:
We would love to team again to offer this fantastically fun event in the near future!
Miss Sue Flay