Monday, 31 January 2011

The Secluded (New Year!) Tea Party - FULL WRITE UP ......

The Secluded (New Year!) Tea Party was held on Sunday 30th January 2011 and boy was I shocked to realise that I was in fact .......Sold Out!?! ...... I couldn't quite believe it...I was going to be making and baking and creating an afternoon Tea Party for 14 people...
....Very nerve racking indeed!   

I had planned my Tea Party with the sole intention of making sure that everybody enjoyed one last indulgence before their New Years' Resolutions kicked in....However, What I had found in talking to my fellow tea party guests prior to meeting them is this.....
...Many of them are food bloggers, or just generally food lovers, and they do not need to make any excuses....little and often really is not a bad thing ..... Ladies after my own heart!!

In fact I had learnt that this was purely a new  experience for many of my fellow tea lovers and I was going to be providing their treats for this weekend - No pressure hehe : ) 

 The venue was the most FANTASTIC so far...being hosted at Cambridge Cookery School in the very heart of Cambridge itself ....Where we all took over their fabulous kitchen for a few hours in candlelight and with the warmth of the venue, it was the perfect afternoon..... I just can't thank Tine enough for letting us take over her venue for the afternoon....the venue is going to be extremely difficult to beat, and I hope that she will come along as a guest in the future to sample the tea party for herself (Without having to lift a finger to help I might add!)    

- The Cookery School are hosting MANY varied events over the coming months, and I challenge everybody to give at least one session a go....they are so addictive and so much fun!....Check out her website.....

Some of the lovely ladies who attended had been on Twitter, tweeting about the tasty food they had been baking and eating all the pressure was on to ensure that they had good home-cooked goodies to enjoy at the table this Sunday afternoon : ) 

The food itself was simple and bite size....for the most part hehe!...I made a delicious, warm Red Onion and Pancetta Tartlet for starters, Straight from the oven thanks to my venue being so well equipped hurrah...(A veggie option was made up of Red Onion and Red Leicester for my lovely Vegetarian guest : )
as well as a selection of sandwiches that were happily shared around by my guests, everybody enjoying the Ham & Garlic Jam option which always seems to go down well. (It makes me feel less weird when my creations are accepted by my means my taste buds do, in fact work appropriately ; ) 

I also offered around my Chocolate Macarons, which were filled with a whipped vanilla cream, and these disappeared a lot faster than I had anticipated, So these did go down very well I am pleased to report!
There were no leftovers when it came to this course!

 The scones were also served warm, thanks to the venue and it's facilities.... it really meant that the food could be enjoyed how it was meant to be enjoyed!.....A tweaked recipe meant that these light and fluffy bundles of dough were sprinkled with Mixed Fruit along with a little Cinnamon and Nutmeg to give them a warming flavour on such a chilly day. 
To accompany these scones, I offered a large bowl of Clotted cream at each end of the large table, as well as individual jars filled with a locally-made Peach & Amaretto Preserve.

My Piece De Resistance was my Chocolate Ganache Cake, which it seems, had the attention of all of my guests from the very start!....I had heard a few guests saying that they had been eyeing it up as soon as they had walked through the door.... and I am so pleased with it after the blood, sweat and tears that went into making it (Admittedly!) hehe....

....... The sponge was easy to make, as was the Ganache itself, however when it came to icing this beauty, my hands were so warm that the Ganache kept melting in the piping bag and onto the cake.....
....any tips here would be FAB(!!!) I had to keep pulling off the piped icing with a spatula and it took me 4 attempts to get it looking presentable. All good fun!.....

Even without the piping, It would have looked delicious, however, I am starting to learn that I 
do care more and more about presentation, and

I wanted this to look perfect......which it near enough did in the end!   

I had even decided to decorate it with some hand made (By my own fair hands I hasten to add!!) Chocolate Piped Hearts which I placed on top....also helping me to mark out the size of the pieces for my guests, so that they each got to enjoy a heart as well as this deliciously decadent cake!
.......I am most proud of this dish of all of my recipes so far at The Secluded Tea Party!....It looked so pretty, I almost didn't want to cut it open!.....But the happy groans and smiles from my guest made doing so worth it!

I had so much fun baking on the Saturday... it is so relaxing to make these recipes....Of course, I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it! And my guests had great ideas for new and adaptive recipes, so the inspiration to come away with me has been huge....So many ideas, I need to start a brainstorming session within the next few days to get it all down on paper! So exciting!

 And not forgetting the Tea served at this Tea Party.... A mix of loose leaf teas from a lovely quaint tea shop in Norwich, and also from


I did also have a new addition or two to add to the table, and these were from where I had ordered their White Tea with a hint of Melon, and their unusual sounding Rhubarb and Custard Caffeine Free tea which down very well indeed with my guests..... a firm favourite this time around!
.....Needless to say, these two additions will make an appearance at future events!

I even had a few new additions to the table in the form of some very delicate green Chinese patterned side plates that I had found in a local charity shop and a very BEAUTIFUL Curved Cup and Saucer that has been recently donated...the lucky guest who had this cup to drink from wanted to take it home under her coat as she loved it so much....but I would not allow it....It's just one of a kind....And thank you SO MUCH to the lovely know who you are : ) 


Everybody got on so well, that we continued past the 4pm finish, and this was great to see people getting on so well and making new friends, which is the whole idea of these events : ) 


I even had requests to come back to the next tea details will follow very shortly for you all.....!     


Thank you all for coming, it would not have been successful without you, so please spread the word,and if you know anybody who might like to join me for afternoon tea, please let them know where I am! 

Miss Sue Flay


PS - Since writing this post, I have had some amazingly lovely comments and reviews from some of my guests, all of which you will find below...Please do follow these lovely ladies, they are so much fun to do so!........

The Lovely Ireena at Not Another Food Blog

The Lovely Deepa at Lazy Giraffe

The Lovely Nora at Nora the Kitchen 'Splorer

The Lovely Maria at Feisty Tapas


1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy reading your blog Miss Flay, and the pictures are great. I am liking the sound of the Rhubarb and Custard caffeine free tea :-)

    So pleased it's going so well for you.

    M x