Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Secluded (VINTAGE) Tea Party - Full Write Up

  The Secluded (Vintage) Tea Party was held on a very hot and muggy Sunday 26th June 2011 at 2pm at a very special location indeed, and 100% perfect for a Vintage Themed Afternoon Tea Party.

Our venue for this afternoon event was The Barn, Kneesworth, just a mile from Royston, and not too far out of Cambridge. And being perfectly secluded, away from the main road within the car park of a very nice Indian restaurant and still with a country feel to this huge black barn full of treasures to explore. 

It was such a find when my best friend suggested I visit them a few months back - I am really glad I did!

This Aladdin's Cave of a shop sells everything from children's clothing, baby equipment, toys and books. Also maternity clothing, ladies evening wear and prom dresses, vintage clothing and bags, shoes, teacups and beautiful china, jewellery, furniture, (even carpets!) and much much more.
The Barn acts as a new and nearly new agency and their fantastic stock is ever changing and increasing, and hosts stockists such as Emu, The Vintage Shed and Mrs Bs Buttons

This was the perfect venue to invite my 16 guests to visit and spend their pocket money whilst also enjoying my menu of Savoury Pancetta & Red Onion Tartlets, Sandwich selection including the popular Ham & Garlic Jam filling, as well as my tempting Caramelised Pecan -Topped Scones with Apple & Rhubarb Preserve & Clotted Cream, Raspberry Ripple Layer Cake (Which had just about survived the heat by the time it came to cutting and serving) and the Cupcake Selection including my Caramel Ice Cream Cones and Carrot Cake in a Jar. It was such a fun menu to prepare and I did enjoy taste testing as I went along. Naturally.

 The Tea served at this afternoon event was a mix of the favourite blends from Tea Box, including Cricketers Tea and Rhubarb & Custard, both firm favourties and I would be silly not to offer them, both being fantastically different. I also sampled a new and locally sourced tea from Kandula Tea (Based in Peterborough) and a popular choice was their Ceylon Pink, which is suggested that you drink romantically with an edible flower, such as a rose... The serving suggestion that they make was far too risque to mention on my tea menu on the day... But visit their website for their cheeky suggestions. I love them so much!

Two of my guests had travelled 2 hours each way to come and join us for afternoon tea, to which I was mightily impressed! It hadn't clicked that they had dedicated such a long journey to join myself and my fellow guests for the afternoon, so I can't thank them enough for their dedication to the afternoon!... And they both had a ball picking up vintage gifts for their family as well as themselves, which was just fantastic to see.

All of my guests got on like a house on fire, and the conversation buzzed all afternoon, which, to the host is the best sound in the world : )
We had a lovely family with their two beautifully behaved daughters, many new Twitter friends that I have made recently including a lovely lady who hires Vintage China and her friend who offers Marketing, Events & PR, A fellow Rounders team mate of mine and her lovely lovely friends, a wonderful lady who is promoting and running this weekends' Fawcett Fete in Trumpington, as well as a few returning guests (They must think that I do something right to want to come back a second and third time hehe : )

As well as the Venue and the Guests being perfect in every way, we also had a real first in addition to these elements of the afternoon, that being live music from the beautiful and talented Kate Garner, who has recently been featured in Vintage Life magazine.
Kate is a local gem, living just down the road in Stevenage, and sat in a light and airy corner of The Barn, she belted out some lovely songs whilst playing her piano alongside them, serenading my guests whilst they tucked into my afternoon treats.
Kate sings the most quirky and quintessentially British songs, with a voice that I would liken to a light hearted Kate Bush in a very relaxed manner, perfectly matched to Afternoon Tea.
I am absolutely smitten with Kate, I think she is fantastic, and if you ever need live music for an event, she's your woman!
If I even had to be more impressed with Kate than I already am when I heard her music, I have learnt that she has performed alongside the likes of Roger Daltrey, Van Morrison and Chas and Dave (She is in fact the daughter of one half of said duo ; )

The Secluded Tea Party at The Barn was such a memorable afternoon, and one that I would love to replicate again in the future, so watch this space.

And in the meantime, get yourself down to Kneesworth, say hello to Sarah & Kelly and go and check out this place for yourself. They even have a soft play area to park the kids whilst you have a wander - It's perfect in every way, with the added bonus of free on-site parking.

Every time I pass with friends or family, I stop and whisk them around for a nosey, I just can't help but think it is a new and perfect secluded gem to share with everyone - and you all know by now, I love stumbling across new and secluded venues and locations : )

And thank you so much to my guests for making yet another wonderful afternoon work so well! Obviously these would never be successful without my guests, so if you enjoyed yourselves, then please do spread the word and tell your friends and family about your afternoon with a room full of friends and strangers and tea and cake at my invitation-only Afternoon Tea Party!

Miss Sue Flay

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