Time for tea

cream tea

A bright idea came into Alice’s head. “Is that the reason so many tea-things are put out here?” she asked.
“Yes, that’s it,” said the Hatter with a sigh: “it’s always tea-time, and we’ve no time to wash the things between whiles.”
“Then you keep moving round, I suppose?” said Alice.
“Exactly so,” said the Hatter: “as the things get used up.”

From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll
Chapter VII ‘A Mad Tea-Party’

Don’t you just love the idea of a perpetual tea party? I have had a thing for a proper old-fashioned afternoon tea ever since I was a child, when I would read about Alice and her curious friends and then take tea with my dolls using my miniature china tea set.

tea party

So you can imagine my delight when I heard there will a Cream of Somerset Vintage Tea Party at the Wells Food Festival next month. Wells Town Hall will be all decked out in vintage style and tea will be served by waitresses from the local WI. I was even more delighted to be asked by the organisers if I would take photographs for their publicity, especially since I’d get to ‘play’ with beautiful vintage china from Queenie’s Tea Rooms in Wells’ Artisan Quarter and sample some delectable sweet fancies from the Barley Sugar Bakehouse.

creme brulee raspberry tart

As well as gorgeous pastries, you can also enjoy a round of dainty finger sandwiches and scones with clotted cream and hedgerow jam made by Somerset Wildlife Trust members, served with a big pot of tea (or coffee if you must).

If that’s not enough, there will also be a selection of 20 delicious cakes from Trine Hahnemann’s cake table to tempt you, chosen and baked from her brilliant new book Scandinavian BakingIf you don’t know Trine Hahnemann, look out for her on this week’s Great British Bake Off in which the contestants are tasked with baking European Cakes. There’ll even be the chance to meet Trine herself at the tea party, along with vintage queen Pearl Lowe.

finger sandwiches

Sounds good, hey? To book your place at the tea party on Sunday 12 October, visit wellsfoodfestival.co.uk.

But if you can’t make it to Wells, why not throw your own tea party? It’s a splendid way to while away an afternoon with good company, good conversation and good food. All served in pretty bone china of course. But what to serve your guests? Here are a few ideas from some of my fellow food bloggers…

Something savoury

Something sweet

What’s your favourite component of a traditional afternoon tea? Do feel free to share your recipe links in the comments below!


6 thoughts on “Time for tea

  1. What a TRULY wonderful post Vanesther and as someone who LOVES afternoon tea and all the traditions, and poems, that surround it, this is a captivating article! THANKS so much for adding my recipes too, it’s very kind of you! 🙂 Karen

  2. I am desperate to get my hands on Trine Hahnemman’s new book. Seriously. Gosh what lovely pics and your post makes me want to run over to Wells on the 12th. have fun and thanks for including my recipes in your round up.

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