Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Mad Hatter tea party

Hello my dears, gosh I have missed our teatimes. 
Have been journeying up and down the country in miserable weather to rather grim places. The one thing that has kept me going is the thought of all those charty shops to ransack and did I find some treats! There should be a way of describing that little skip of the heart when you spy
 a charity shop bargain..a bargain beat? a chazza hic? 
 I shall post some pics of my finds at a later date, suffice to say I arrived home a lot more laden then I left and was rather concerned about how I was going to sneak the boxes of teasets in without the Chap noticing (I didn't).
Anyhoo, whizzing on- here are some pictures from our recent trip down the rabbit hole, otherwise known as the Mad Hats and Moustaches party organized by Mad Hatter Events to raise money for Prostrate Cancer Research..

'Pologies for the pics not being brill, my camera battery deceived me when it said how much was left, so this was all we managed to snap. It was a simply triumphant night, the girls really did outdo themselves with amazing decorations and huge mad hatter and tweedledee and dum photobooths. Hopefully there will be some more official pictures to share later.

Here I am, queen of the jam tart and teacup..

Can you spy the dormouse in the teapot!! Well it was really more of a hedgehog!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lula Talks Tea!

Not content with our TV debut last week, Lula has become a one band publicity super woman…….on Saturday she spoke to Vanessa Feltz on Radio London, discussing alternative hen party ideas and how a vintage afternoon tea is the refined antidote for those averse to ‘L’ plates and too many tequila shots.

There’s still a chance to listen again.... (about 36 minutes in)

So if you have found your way to The Golden Afternoon Tea Company from Lula’s conversation with Vanessa, welcome to the Tea Room!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tune in tonight!

Don't forget to tune your television sets to the Good Food channel this evening! 
Market Kitchen- 7pm for our very exciting teacup and teapot tv debut.
Terribly exciting, though it may very well be a blink and you'll miss it moment- who knows? But we will be sitting on the edge of our seats, hoping for a glimpse! I'm bound to get emotional!

Wish us luck and we must all celebrate with fizz in a teacup..
Tootle pip!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A very mad afternoon tea..

Last week, Lina and I had the wonderful pleasure of treating ourselves to an Alice in Wonderland afternoon. What joy!  After a madcap farce of broken phones,mistimed trains and wrong bookings finally we met in London's busy West End and headed for the Sanderson Hotel and their specially devised Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea and what magic awaited us..

We sat in a covered courtyard with palms and a little stream trickling away and tucked into a breathtaking array of goodies - when they brought out the vintage mismatched cakestands - it was almost too cute and quirky to touch. But hunger soon won out! 

With hot to cold pineapple lollipops and rainbow finger sandwiches- we were certainly through the looking glass! Each mouthful was accompanied by oohs and mmmms, with practically all of it devoured. Those scones were delectable.

I kept the crackle cupcake and the White Rabbit's chocolate clock for the chap so he didn't feel left out!

Afterwards we headed to the Alice in Wonderland pop up shop in Selfridges and drooled over the counters full of Alice inspired jewelry, hats, knick-knacks and other assorted goodies.

And if you are anywhere near Selfridges, make sure you seek out the Mad Hatter Tea Party windows- absolutely wonderful and fabulous inspiration for the tea party we will be creating for the Mad Hats and Moustaches party on Saturday. 

And we rounded off the day by watching the film which despite having heard less than favourable reports from certain people( stuck my fingers in my ears!) was FABULOUS!! It didn't disappoint at all. As our pal said, it was such a shame we had to re-enter the world of London when it was over. 
We could have stayed in Wonderland forever!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Our teacups coming to a Television near you

Exciting times at  Golden Afternoon Tea Company hq, in a couple of weeks our vintage china will soon be making make it's television debut!

Yesterday we were super excited to be asked to provide an Agatha Christie style afternoon tea for Kitchen Market, a foodie magazine tv programme on the digital channel, Good Food.
After a very quick turnaround for cucumber sandwiches and fruit scones, I packed up a selection of tea sets, tablecloths, two teapots and the silver tiered stand and off we headed to the television studios in North London. Even the pooches came along for the ride- moral support, of course! It was great fun selecting the teacups and plates to give the perfect look, such a thrill to see the gorgeous china put to good use. Out of the teasets I brought, the producers liked an art deco shaped yellow floral pattern, and matched it with pink gilded plates. It looked delightful. The cake stand was laden with cucumber sandwiches, fruit tartlets and rose fairycakes. Perfectly fit for Miss Marple.

The programme will be all about the intriguing connection between food and crime. Maybe it's Jack the Ripper's favourite sandwich filling or the best grub to fill up on before a bank heist- who knows? You will have to tune in to find out!

The afternoon tea we created set the scene for a discussion with the prolific crime writer, Martina Cole on Miss Marple and Agatha Christie. As quintessentially English as the afternoon tea tradition, Miss Marple,in tweed, always unravels the murder as she sips from her china teacup.
Love this clip- two scenes of tea drinking within nine minutes! And not to mention the sherry...

Kitchen Market will be aired at 7pm on March 16th on the digital channel Good Food, do tune in to see our afternoon tea hit the airwaves!
We may even have a celebratory tea party, put the fizz on ice!

And if you would like to have an Agatha Christie/ Miss Marple afternoon tea party, here's a helpful guide or contact us to provide it all. Although we can't guarantee any helpful detection work if anything goes wrong!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Don’t be late, win an important date!

If you're just a smidgen obsessed with Alice in Wonderland (like our good selves!) then be sure to enter this Miss Selfridge competition, which gives you the chance to win afternoon tea, a shopping spree and more, but best of all you and your friends will get your own private screening of Alice in Wonderland!

Good luck x

Monday, March 1, 2010

A week of Alice- The very Beginning

If you have read this blog for more than ..ummm.. one post!! you will realise that Alice in Wonderland is an absolutely huge inspiration for us and in celebration of the film coming out this weekend,
we couldn't resist planning lots of Alice posts.
As the song goes; let's start at the very beginning, and I will tell you how Alice in Wonderland has been a constant all the way through my life and the inspiration for our company.
As a little girl I used to listen to cassettes of the story with Jane Asher playing Alice in terribly twee tones and be whisked off to Wonderland from my little bedroom. I still have my very first Alice book from the early 80's although it has been well thumbed and stained.. and lots of the pages are falling out. But I still take it out to have a read frequently.

So when we were planning our wedding invitations, we wanted them to reflect our love of vintage childrens books and pen and ink illustrations and my Alice in Wonderland was the first book I turned to. And there it was, the opening line to the prefacing poem,
"All in the Golden Afternoon"

It was perfect, our invites would resemble a story with chapters and lots of quotes from Alice, to tell the tale of our garden tea party wedding.
We adapted the lines for the front of the invite
"All in the golden afternoon,
In such an hour,
Beneath such dreamy weather"

There I am getting ready! 
The tale of our wedding I will keep for another day.
When the time came to choose a name for our Vintage Tea Party company, that opening line leapt out and so we excitedly decided upon The Golden Afternoon Tea Company.
And a dream came true.

Here is the poem in full, it evokes such wonderful imagery of Lewis Carrol entertaining the Liddell girls with his magical conjouring on a balmy summer's day.

All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide;
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
While little hands make vain pretense
Our wanderings to guide.

Ah, cruel Three! In such an hour,
Beneath such dreamy weather,
To beg a tale of breath too weak
To stir the tiniest feather!
Yet what can one poor voice avail
Against three tongues together?

Imperious Prima flashes forth
Her edict to "begin it"--
In gentler tones Secunda hopes
"There will be nonsense in it"--
While Tertia interrupts the tale
Not more than once a minute.

Anon, to sudden silence won,
In fancy they pursue
The dream-child moving through a land
Of wonders wild and new,
In friendly chat with bird or beast--
And half believe it true.

And ever, as the story drained
The wells of fancy dry,
And faintly strove that weary one
To put the subject by,
"The rest next time"--"It is next time!"
The happy voices cry.

Thus grew the tale of Wonderland:
Thus slowly, one by one,
Its quaint events were hammered out--
And now the tale is done,
And home we steer, a merry crew,
Beneath the setting sun.

Alice! a childish story take,
And with a gentle hand
Lay it where Childhood's dreams are twined
In Memory's mystic band,
Like pilgrim's withered wreath of flowers
Plucked in a far-off land.

illustration by

 wedding pictures by the super talented Fjona Weiling