Yesterday’s Afternoon Tea ended on a high. I had 10 guests all sat around my large table, I was a little worried because normally I have 8.
Usually there are 2 tables in two rooms 4 sat in the front room and 8 in the main room. But with various cancellations coming in at the last moment, I decided there was little time to consult the waiting list so decided to have the remaining 10 people sat together.
This worked out to be a very clever move, because Jill Jennings, a freelance photographer for Prima Magazine, was coming to take pictures for a feature they are doing sometime soon, along with a couple of other underground/secret supperclubs.
My daughter came to help out, as she often does, and with our corporate Secret Tea Room aprons on along with a bit of lippy, we were ready for the camera.
Jill arrived in her little van and brought out her collection of spotlights, 3 in fact, each carefully placed at the bottom of the stairs, front room and dining room, and each time the camera shutter went off so did the spotlights. I’m becoming used to and comfortable with journalists, radio (Leeds) crew and photographers arriving at my home, and once the nerves settle it’s really quite a lot of fun.
As my guests arrived I was anxious to get the tea served, so the kettle was on, and even as I began pouring, the camera clicked, with instructions from Jill to stand here and there, can you move a little this way and that. Smile, lift the teapot, everyone lift your cups, say cheers, smile, that’s great, lovely. On it went until well over 200 pictures were taken. I never felt it was intrusive, and I hope my guests didn’t either.
Lots of tea was drunk, and in true Clandestine Cake Club style, they got to take stuff home.
My sister in law Judith called in after her visit to the local hairdressers, and she made herself comfortable in the front room with the Gent, catching up on all the family gossip. She was invaluable after everyone left, as her offer to help with the washing up made the job quicker and easier. As a reward she got to take stuff home as well
It’s been a great year for The Secret Tea Room and if you want to come along next year, get yourself on my mailing list I’ll be sending out details for 2012 dates in the New Year. You’ll need to be quick on your reply because it’s on a first come first served basis and this is where I’m blowing my own trumpet, but the list is in 3 figures. I won’t scare you as to exactly how many places it all adds up to. But you need to press that reply button pretty sharpish when that email comes your way next year and you too could be sat very cosy around this table for 10.
I simply love doing what I do and the best bit is meeting all these lovely people. I hope they enjoy my baking enough to want to come back for more.
A big thank you to The Gent, for his unstinting support in setting up the table in the front room. Moving furniture upstairs and downstairs with our son Richard. And his services to washing up when everyone has gone. We don’t swear in this house, but I have to say it came very close to it at times. They got to eat any leftovers after everyone got to take stuff home.
My daughter Joanne, was always on hand to help out with the tea serving and is as pretty a waitress as ever there was.