Saturday, February 27, 2010

an enchanted table

Isn't this simply heaven? 
candlelight like stars, a vintage fabric backdrop, exuberant flowers,
and the table laden with cakes and sweets fit for a banquet. 

And everything rising out of a cloud of delicate gypsophilia.
It must have been made by fairies.

or maybe the photos were taken by Daniela Picoral.
See more from this wedding here.

via ruffled and this powderpuff post on gypsophilia

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mad Hats and Moustaches

The Alice in Wonderland countdown begins! 
The Royal Premiere(oooo) is happening right this instant, even as I type, with Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter et al tripping down the red carpet to the odeon in  London's Leicester Square.
Harumph, my invite must have got lost in the post.
Invite or not, I was fairly tempted to head down there and brighten up this grim and miserable day with some celeb spotting, maybe hand out some Golden Afternoon Tea Company cupcakes, but even a teamaid has her limits and you would have to be mad as a hatter to stand for hours in this hideous rain!

But in just a few weeks time we get to be part of a real live Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Yes you read that right, Lina and I will be creating a scene fit for Alice at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party-  Mad Hats and Moustaches.

Taking place on the 20th of March at Jamm in Brixton,we are delighted to be part of this club night that promises to be a tiptop night out. 
As well as fantabulous bands and entertaining comedians, there will be  actors dressed up as characters from the book and the Golden Afternoon Tea Company will be creating and serving 'eat me' cupcakes and the Queen of Heart's Jam tarts along with cups of Earl Grey tea-tinis to sip. 
The Mad Hatter himself will be entertaining the guests at our specially created tea party table.

 And the best thing of all about the evening is that it all goes towards raising money for the Prostrate Cancer Charity as part of prostrate cancer awareness month. 
The charity raises money for research into the causes, prevention and treatment of prostate cancer.
So you get to eat cake, drink tea-tinis, dance, wear silly hats and raise money for a fantastic cause, get your ticket from Mad Hats and Moustaches- a mere £7.
Do come along!

Next week, we shall be having a week of Alice inspired posts(so much to choose from) to get us in the mood for the film's release on March 6th.
Oh.. we heart Helena, despite what they say she can do no wrong in my eyes! 
Here she is with that clever Tim Burton earlier at the premiere.

Have a peek at this clip from BBC news, interviews from the red carpet with Johnny Depp, Helena and Anne Hathaway who reveals she based the White Queen on Nigella Lawson!

Oh ok- here's Johnny.... now that's what I call yummy. Where's the spoon...

Monday, February 22, 2010

for all the tea in China

Driving through London town today, I caught a tantalising glimpse of the celebrations for the Chinese New Year, the year of the tiger.  Today was the culmination of the fifteen days of celebration to mark the new year, and the streets of Soho and Chinatown were filled with colour. It reminded me of the vintage stylised illustrations used in  Chinese packaging from the early 20th Century.
  Here are some vividly bright examples... 


 Tea has had just as much if not more importance in the culture and history of China than in ours.
This quote seems to capture what we all mean when, in troubled times, we say 'I'll put the kettle on'!

“Tea induces lightness of spirit, clarity of mind and freedom from all sense of constriction, 
whether mental of physical; and it promotes such serenity that mundane cares fall away 
 so that whatever is strident of exacerbating in daily life can be put out of mind for a while.” 
The Emperor Song Hui Zong

So if you're partial to jasmine or oolong, 
here's wishing you a delicately flavoured and purifying new year!

pictures from here,here and here

Friday, February 19, 2010

Treacle Pudding

Our life has been turned upside down recently, as my husband and I have fallen head over heels in love with the new addition to our family…….our black Labrador pup called Treacle Pudding! Living up to her name she is deliciously sweet, heart warming and just a little naughty. Just how a puppy (and pudding) should be!

So in honour of Treacle Pudding, here’s a recipe to make your own edible (dessert not puppy) version.


115g softened butter
Butter for greasing basin
10 tablespoons golden syrup
115g caster sugar
1 lemon, finely grated and juiced
1 orange, finely grated and juiced
2 medium eggs
115g self-raising flour, sifted


  1. Using the top of an 850ml pudding basin as a template, cut out a greaseproof paper lid. Liberally butter the inside of the basin and measure 4 tablespoons syrup into the bottom. Set aside.
  2. Beat together the butter, sugar and citrus zest until pale and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs. Add half the orange juice and half the lemon juice. Finally, fold in the flour and spoon evenly into the pudding basin. Gently press the greaseproof paper onto the sponge mix before pleating a sheet of foil and tightly covering the bowl.
  3. Place in a large saucepan and add enough boiling water to come halfway up its sides. Cover and return to the boil. Continue to boil over a moderate heat for 2 hours, replenishing the water regularly so that it never becomes too low. The pudding is ready when well risen and firm to touch.
  4. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for a minute or two. Meanwhile put 6 tablespoons golden syrup with the remaining lemon and orange juice in a small saucepan. Gently heat, mixing all the ingredients together.
  5. Loosen the pudding with a palette knife, before turning it out onto a warm dish. Serve with the hot sauce.

And a picture of little Miss Pudding for all you dog lovers

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

vintage wedding inspiration

I am head over heels in love with this photo shoot by Jessica Claire of a dreamy vintage, sepia and ruby inspired wedding day.

 It has everything that sends Lina and me into Golden Afternoon Tea Company swoonage;
A delicate flower strewn vintage dress from Unique Vintage,lace and pearls, wild and naturalistic flowers in vintage vases, beautiful tables with mismatched china, cherries and pomegranates and festooned with paper hearts.

What's not to love? Pour yourself a cup of orange pekoe and prepare to be whisked away..
The richly coloured tables remind me of 18th century dutch paintings, overflowing with juicy fruit and  flowers in jewel shades...


Paper hearts on the backs of chairs, easily made from wallpaper samples or off cuts of fabric.

See the entire shoot in all it's glory here  via green wedding shoes. 
Lots of vintage inspiration to keep us happy plus the sun is shining outside, finally!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

pancakes,cupcakes and teaspoons

Happy flippin' pancake day!
There was always much excitement in the Lula house when I was a nipper; coming home from school to find Mother Dearest up to her elbows in floury batter,whisking up a storm.
The flipping would start (I always lived in hope that one would stick to the ceiling) and we would pile them high soaked with lemon juice and crunchy with sugar. Yum yum yum!
As with most things in life, when it comes to the simple things- turn to Delia.
By the way- have you caught any of her Delia through the Decades on the television?
Amazing what a powerhouse of cooking influence she has been, whilst sporting an array of
pudding bowl haircuts!

And the pancake recipe is such a breeze to follow
110g/4oz plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
2 eggs
200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
50g/2oz butter

This makes 12-14 pancakes.
Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl,
slowly add in the milk and water mixture whisking all the time to obtain a smooth batter.
Scrape down any floury mixture from the sides and soon the lumps will disappear so it is nice and creamy.
(If you have a mixer this can be made even easier by ditching the whisk)
Melt 50g/2oz of butter and whisk 2 tablespoons into the mixture, the rest use for greasing the pan.
Lightly grease a hot frying pan and using a ladle spoon the mixture into the pan.
Tip the pan so it is completely covered, wait till the underside comes away easily with a flat knife 
and  then the fun really begins..start flipping!
Traditionalists stick with lemon and sugar, but for those more adventurous-
the world is your pancake.
Nutella,stewed apple and icecream, golden syrup or honey..

As I'm sure you know, Pancake day or Shrove Tuesday was the day people used up the rich ingredients, butter, milk and eggs before eating plainer food during Lent.
And sticking with this idea, I have been polishing off the cupcakes leftover from Sunday's Valentine Cinema day like a hoover- oh my poor waistline!
It was another triumph and luckily most of the cakes were snapped up, these were some we forgot to put out,The Chap was meant to take them into work..
Quelle dommage.

I picked up this set of teaspoons at the weekend, couldn't resist the gorgeous art deco design. 
Might make a cup of darjeeling to give them a whirl and a stir!

 (pancake pic from flickr)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Valentine Encounter

If you find yourself at a loose end this Valentine's Eve and fancy a trip back in time, come join us for tea and cake and an evening watching a terribly,terribly romantic film; a tale of unrequited love, station tea rooms, stolen glances and copious amounts of tea -  Brief Encounter of course darling!
We will be providing the tea and cakes for the first Hither Green Cinema event of 2010 taking place at The Station Pub, Hither Green in  South East London and we are so very busy preparing lots of scrumptious goodies. Loveheart cupcakes and our devilishly delish Choc and raspberry cupcakes and lots of heart - shaped cakes will no doubt be making an appearance.

The last event was a rip-roaring success- we were practially knocked down in the stampede for the cakes!

A classic weepie, Brief Encounter was made in 1945 directed by David Lean and stars Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard, falling in love but unable to leave their respective marriages and humdrum lives..  it is the most perfect film to watch whilst nibbling on cakes and sipping tea, as the scenes where they meet and then when they part take place in the Station tea room.

Brief Encounter was filmed in Carnforth Station Lancashire and the tea room where it was filmed has recently been reopened and restored so it looks just as it did in the film. You can go and be part of your own Brief Encounter.. just don't be getting anything in your eye!

And it is all so terribly English, I hope we shall all be speaking in cut glass tones by the end of it.
Or at least like this wonderful Victoria Wood parody.. what a hoot!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

And if you're going to propose..

on St Valentine's day-
do it with a dish towel in the words of Mr Darcy, how could you go wrong?
That's the way to help with the washing up!

From Etsy seller Brookish 
Or sip your coffee from these fab mugs
For literary lovers, decorate with Pride and Prejudice bunting

All the items they have for sale are so charming.
I would be most delighted if the postman bought me one of these cards. With words from Midsummer's Night Dream and the vintage wedding picture
it couldn't be any sweeter.

Have a peek at her blog for more whimsical and wordy things.
That last picture has set off a song in my head-  ever have that? 
Occasionally the chap and I quite like to listen to the music of today, it's not all Noel Coward and Musicals, you know...
We have been known to dance around the kitchen to this one, by The Drums singing our lungs out.
Most tricky not to hyperventilate with the
Hahahaha- Heart bit.

Monday, February 8, 2010

cup of love

Fill your heart with love and tea.
Valentine's Day tea time to pour love for those you love,

with tea made from rosebuds in a clear glass teapot.
Sweetly fragrant and so romantic.
Rosebud tea is also packed with vitamin C so good for fighting off those February sniffles.
We adore it at the Golden Afternoon Tea Company, you can't help but be filled with joy and love as you sip!
Have you tried 
a sumptous blend of rose,chamomile and lavender.
Described as
'Roses and lavender the fragrant symbols of love
with Elderflowers, marigolds, limeflowers and chamomile to relax your emotional heart'
Gosh, I feel more relaxed just reading that! 
Served in a rose painted vintage teacup, that's how to spoil yourself this Valentine's Day.
Oh and your best beloved too!

May all your kisses be rose flavoured.

Tootle pip

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Teacup Tuesday

Light up your life with this clever use of a teacup and light bulb- Eureka!

Available from 
and designed by Victoria Robinson,
she gets her inspiration from charity shops and carboot sales.. she sounds like our kind of gal!

And if you fancy having a go at making a teacup lamp yourself,
get yourself a powerdrill and give it a go with these instructions.
So many teacups are wonderfully translucent, the china glows like starlight.

Or stack teapots and cups for a no-drill required(phew) lamp base.

or if you're feeling adventurous how about creating this?

or maybe just leave it to the clever people at domestic construction!
 That's what I call a lightbulb moment.


Monday, February 1, 2010

February promises and prizes.

So the dark days of January drift away and here we are, the first of February a shimmering day and  already so much to look forward to. Soon the snowdrops and daffodils will come bringing colour and signs of spring. I couldn't resist some gorgeous lilac, and forsythia at the flower market to summon spring, flowers in faded antique colours, a tinge of pink with feathery acacia and a sunburst of yellow. 

 Sunday was the day of our tea party give- away draw;
it was highly exciting. 
Pooch number one wanted to help so we numbered all the 46 lovely people who entered.

And popped them into a very fetching pink and velvet vintage hat and with the pooch
overseeing procedures we pulled out...
number 33!

So many congratulations to
Kirsty Sullivan,
a Golden Afternoon Tea Party will be our gift to you.
We hope you enjoy it!
(the pooch can come too)