Sunday, 6 May 2012

Supper club and tea room - part 2

Welcome back to 'Supper club and tea room'.

Now the reason I did this post in two parts was because I didn't want to bore you to death in one fell swoop!  Who would've thought that last summer when I first had the idea of a blog, I didn't think I had anything to say...not like me at all! Ok, where was I?  Oh yes...

After spending a fabulous evening at the Sharing Supper Club and miserable drive home in the pouring rain I felt very pleased with myself that all was going according to plan for the first ever 7th Star Afternoon Tea.

On Sunday, all I had left to do before my guests arrived was make a couple of batches of scones, decorate the cupcakes, make use of the ten thousand egg whites I had left over...ok, ok, there were only eight egg whites left over, but I still felt that I should do something with at least a couple of them, so I made some mini swiss chocolate meringues courtesy of a very easy Eric Lanlard recipe, then I needed to lay the table and make the sandwiches and rolls.

Now I have to admit, I am very rarely ready for these kinds of thing before my guests arrive, however this time I actually was!  I couldn't believe it, I was sure I'd forgotten something...but no, I had everything under control.

I only had four guests who were all friends and what gave me a little warm glow throughout the afternoon, was pottering around in the kitchen listening to them all chattering away as if they'd not seen each other for ages whilst eating their way through my creations.

As is customary with these events, once all the food had been served and I'd made sure the ladies were topped up with their choice of tea, Assam, Everyday and Redbush, I got myself a nice cuppa and sat and had a bit of natter with them, which was a lovely end to a very nice afternoon.

Now not being very good a 'blowing my own trumpet', here's a few little snippets of feedback I got in my comments book:

"The food was out of this world and I'll be back for more"
"The scones, jam and cream were really moreish and a good time was had by all"
"The choice of sandwiches was excellent and the cakes very well presented"
"It was delicious from start to finish"

I even got a thank you card for one of my guests telling me that she'd put on a pound and a half at her weigh in at Slimming World!! 

All in all, I was very satisfied with all that happened that week, even if some of the events were nerve wracking or tiring.

I am pleased to let you know that the next 7th Star Afternoon Tea will take place at 3pm on Sunday 10th June, so if you would like to come along do let me know and I'll send you the details.

Thanks for 'listening' and take care for now.

Mandy xx

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Supper club and tea room - part 1

On 29th April 2012 the doors of the 7th Star ‘Secret’ Tea Room opened for the first time, and if I’m honest, no matter how much planning I do for these things, they're never as easy as I think they're going to be.  Well, to be fair, the actual day went really well, but planning the menu was a nightmare! 

I’d had a pretty nerve wracking time during the week leading up to the event.  As you'll have seen from my last impromptu post my team, Chelsea, were taking part in a Champions League semi-final and those things are never very calming events.  The tension builds up in me before hand and Andy really does have to prepare himself for my letting rip on the night…he hates it when Chelsea score and I can’t contain my jubilation, it does his tinnitus no good at all, so when the ‘getting back on form’ Fernando Torres sweetly scored his goal in the dying minutes, Andy breathed a sigh of relief and I was flying high for the rest of the night and at work the next day, carrying my Chelsea mug around with pride all day whether it was filled or not.

Although not the actual one, my mug looks the same as this one.

Oh, sorry, I digressed a bit more there than I was intending…so you can see my problem, the week leading up to the afternoon tea was very stressful and my mind was elsewhere.  Then it came to drafting the menu, which I must admit, I thought was going to be the easy part as I’d had it in my head for months, but oh no!!  I started to wonder ‘what if I did custard tarts instead of Bakewell tarts? or Victoria sponge instead of lemon cupcakes?' Not to mention smoked salmon sandwiches vs. poached salmon sandwiches!!  My well thought out, carefully planned first afternoon tea menu was disintegrating before my very eyes and suddenly I had no idea what I was going to serve!!

What I had also forgotten was that Andy and I were booked to go the Sharing Supper Club’s Tuscan Evening the day before the tea party, so I only had half the day to prepare, which my husband and best friend will tell you, really isn’t the way I like to work.  I usually use every utensil I can possibly lay my hands on in the kitchen at least twice for each recipe, so you can imagine how much of the day is used for washing up.  However, I can honestly say I totally outdid myself and when I looked back over what I had actually achieved by the time I started getting ready to go out, even I was pretty impressed!  I started at around 10am (I needed a lie in…it had been a stressful week remember!) with the making of the pastry for the Bakewell tarts, after the tarts were done I moved on to poaching the salmon, then we went shopping.  When we got back I baked the cupcakes before decorating the tarts, then while the gammon was roasting I hung up the second load of washing (Andy did the first load) so by the time I headed up to try to make myself presentable, I was really just ready for a lie down!

I must admit, it took a lot to muster up the energy to put my face on a match my tights with my top and when I went to put my new skirt on, I noticed a huge hole in my lovely fancy tights!!  Don’t you just hate it when that happens?!!  So I dug out a less fancy pair of tights that matched my top, put my skirt and lipstick on an headed out the door, only to find that when we got in the car my substitute tights were in fact a completely different colour to my top, and my skirt…oh, and my shoes!!!  So I had to grit my teeth and drive off with the offending tights laughing up at me all the way to Ben & Jen’s place.  Now anyone who knows me well enough will now I hate not having tights that at least match one of the other garments I have on, but I just didn’t have the time, energy or inclination to go back and find a pair of black ones to replace the un-matching navy blue tights I had on.  Luckily no-one at the supper club noticed, or if they did, no-one said anything which is probably because they were all such lovely people and Ben and Jen were fabulous hosts too.  Check out their blogs and if you ever get the chance to attend one of their Sharing Supper Clubs you won’t be disappointed.


To be continued...