Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Style Your Birthday 

Last year I had the pleasure of arranging my Mums 60th Birthday Party. She wanted a party in the garden where we drank champagne and ate strawberries on the lawn; what a fantastic idea. So the theme materialised from this idea and so 'The Afternoon Tea Garden Party' was born. 

As a fab organiser herself my Mum looked into options for food and decided upon the Tea Room at Burwash Manor, Barton for the catering. She had the pleasure of tasting the food and choosing the menu for her special party. Along with the food we had the most amazing staff who made sure the Afternoon Tea was served in the perfect arrangement.  

If you have never visited the lovely Burwash Manor and are local to Cambridge I suggest you put a day by to experience their array of shops and treat yourself to a piece of cake in the tea rooms.

To fit with the Afternoon Tea idea we looked into hiring vintage china for the day. We came across this lovely family run company in Haslingfield who hire out a large selection of beautiful crookery which is in perfect condition. Below is just a small selection of the china which we hired for the day but their sets included the most amazing teapots, milk jugs, sugar bowls & cake stands. For more details visit their website below.

Along with the amazing china & food we collected together some gorgeous vintage looking table cloths, some of these were supplied and others were my Nan's. To finish of the tables I used a variety of photo frames which I already had, displaying a different image of Mum in each one on every table. We also bought a selection of small vases and filled them with some fresh Spring flowers. I also collected some fantastic old photos of Mum and placed them around the house for everyone to see, these including the obvious pictures from her as a Baby to becoming 60! 

The final touches to the garden included various decorations such as bunting, fairy lights, balloons and even a PiƱata! Mum loved this game and the kids loved the sweets which it was filled with. 
We also hired a juke box for the day where people could select the songs which they would like to be played, this was a great idea for the day and kept my nephew entertained for hours. 

To make the day even more special we bought Mum the most amazing Birthday Cake from Incredible Cakes of Cambridge. It was a two layer pink beauty with a lemon layer and a raspberry layer, both flavours were exquisite. If your looking for a cake in the Cambridge area for that special event I suggest you give them a call.

There are so many ideas and ways to make a 'Garden Tea Party' perfect for that special someone and I hope that you are inspired to use some of my ideas for your event. 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Inclusion on Downton Abbey Cooks Tea Tuesday 

It is with great excitement & honour for me to post that The Downton Abbey Cook has included me in her Tea Tuesday post. She has commented about my Downton Abbey Tea party being inspiring. I am so excited about this as I planned for the Downton Tea Party to be inspiration to my readers but I now hope it will also be of inspiration to The Downton Abbey Cooks readers. 

Please check out her blog on the link below it is full of inspirational posts and has some amazing recipes for all those cooks out there. Enjoy.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Style Your Home Event

'Downton Abbey Tea Party'

If you have been keeping up with my blog and following me on twitter you will know that this weekend was my 'Girly Downton Abbey Weekend' and what a weekend it has been. 

We kicked the weekend off with some well needed retail therapy yesterday afternoon in the wonderful City of Cambridge. Love the quirky shops which are popping up around town including my two new favourite shops for gifts and the lovely Lilac Rose on Bridge Street. You must check this shop out if your local to Cambridge. 

After a few too many hours shopping we were so behind on time that instead of going out for dinner we bought our Thai Green Curry essentials and had a homemade Thai instead of eating out. The next few hours were a mix of getting ready, drinking Procecco and deciding on which outfit to pick from our new goodies.

So we finally made it out into town at 10 which is a late start for me so we went directly to La Raza, a great spot in town for dancing. So we spent the next four hours dancing, laughing and chatting. The tune of the night has to be 'Rudimental' Feel the LOVE, absolutely love this tune, a great one to dance to with your girls or your man.

So onto the main event of the weekend and the 'Downton Abbey Tea Party'. We have spent the past 6 hours eating a luscious Afternoon Tea, drinking pomegranate and elderflower fizz and playing Downton Abbey games whilst watching various episodes from the whole series of Downton. 

As you are aware I just love making each event special so I researched how to make this a memorable day for my friends; so I began my search for how to make this a day never to be forgotten. As you can see from my pictures below I found some fabulous decorations on line, including some amazing games which we have thoroughly enjoyed this afternoon.

I found the bunting on a beautiful blog called Little Vintage Trailer.

I used our pictures in the room to put up sayings from the show, I found these on the below link, they made us chuckle all day.  

To make this the perfect tea party I raided my Mum's house and borrowed some amazing goodies; this included the glass jug, cake forks and lace trimmed napkins which I used as a tablecloth. I was lucky enough to be given a china tea set years ago from a Great Aunt which turned out to be perfect for afternoon tea. I made a selection of sandwiches including cheese, traditional cucumber and egg mayo. Along with these we had cheese scones which @mclaurs made which tasted amazing. The savoury course also included hula hoops, cherry toms and picked onions. Obviously you can pick your favourite food for this course, maybe you would prefer ham sandwiches & a salad. 

Next was the most important course CAKES! I had a baking marathon on Friday and made us flapjacks, chocolate & coffee cup cakes &
the most important cake the impressive Rainbow Cake. 
I bought a recent issue of BBC Good Food & challenged myself to create this cake. Although I wouldn't say it has turned out perfect I feel it was a great first attempt and it certainly tasted amazing. I will post the recipe soon so you too can set yourself this challenge. 

Last of all we come to the games which I found on the web. These included cut out paper dolls of Lady Mary & Matthew, O'brein & Thomas & Dowager Countess. Check out the printouts on the link below. 

I first found this idea on the 'Sisters Suitcase' blog, 
It is a fantastic blog full of great ideas for every event. 

The best game was Downton Bingo which was fantastic, we ended our day watching a few episodes of Series 2 whilst playing this game. It was great fun and one we all recommend to do if you are a Downton fan. 

You can find the print outs on the link below. 

This weekend has been the perfect time, shared with two close friends & full of laughter and fun. 

I hope that you are inspired to arrange your own Downton Abbey Tea party & I hope that you enjoy it as much as we have done. 

It would be great to hear your thoughts on my ideas and would love to hear if you do arrange your own event.