In August 2017 we went to Canada to visit Kirsten: a friend that Stuart made whilst touring Africa a couple of years ago. Kirsten lives in Calgary and she took us around Banff, Jasper and Waterton for 10 days, showing us what the Alberta national parks have to offer. This year it was time for us to host Kirsten on our side of the world, so we spent the past 6 months trying to plan things to do with her whilst she’s here in the UK. Every time Stuart and I discussed ideas, I kept saying afternoon tea, but set afternoon tea can be expensive and afternoon tea vouchers can’t be bought for 3 people – they are usually for 2 or 4. After a couple of weeks of searching for something, I gave up and thought I like baking and hosting parties, why not host a DIY British afternoon tea myself? That’s how I ended up chatting to Talking Tables about my party idea, who I’ve worked with before on numerous blog posts, and I ended up with some beautiful Truly Scrumptious party decorations to decorate the table with.
Kirsten arrived at Gatwick on Wednesday 11th July and I finished work for a week on Friday 13th July, so I planned the afternoon tea for an evening during my week off. Kirsten jetted off to the Peak District for a long weekend on the Saturday and didn’t return until the Monday night, which gave my Mum and I plenty of time on the Monday to bake in preparation for the afternoon tea on the Tuesday. We made fruit scones, cheese straws and chocolate Milky Way rice krispie cakes, before quickly hiding the food away in boxes so that she wouldn’t see them when she arrived back. We were trying to keep the party a surprise after all!
On the Tuesday morning my Mum and I made a Victoria Sandwich at 6am whilst Kirsten was asleep, as we had plans to show her around Cambridge during the day and we’d be out until the late afternoon. When we got back from Cambridge, I asked my Dad to distract Kirsten and Stuart by taking them to a pretty village nearby, giving my Mum and I an hour or so to set the table and make the sandwiches for the afternoon tea.
At around 6:30pm, the Truly Scrumptious party decorations were all out, the table was set and the food was ready, so it was time to surprise Kirsten.
Kirsten was saying how lovely the decorations were and about the amount of food, as she walked into the room. She called the event ‘a traditional tea party’ and hearing this made me so pleased that I’d decided to go for DIY afternoon tea. The Truly Scrumptious cake stand was her favourite item on the table and it was piled high with scones, finger sandwiches and rice krispie cakes. The floral bunting looked great above the table and really helped create the tea party atmosphere. There were 7 of us so we easily filled the table and everyone had a Truly Scrumptious plate, napkin and teacup to use. The teacups were floral paper cups with a handle, which definitely showcased Talking Tables’ attention to detail.
We had the savoury snacks and soft drinks first, before getting started on ‘dessert’ which included the cakes, strawberries and lots of tea drinking. My Mum’s Victoria Sandwich cake was the most popular sweet treat on the table, which is totally understandable seeing as she’s been making it for years and it is a really delicious cake.
We sat for about 2 hours at the table, chatting about the UK and Canada. Hosting an afternoon tea at home meant that we got to include my entire family in the experience, which was far nicer for me than going out, as Kirsten got to meet them properly.
We had such a lovely evening, showing Kirsten what a British afternoon tea is like. The Truly Scrumptious decorations transformed the kitchen table into a floral traditional tea party table and the decorations all complimented each other so well. If you have plans to host a traditional afternoon tea at home anytime soon, I’d highly recommend the Truly Scrumptious range and the parcel that Talking Tables kindly sent me included the following items: