Monday, 9 May 2011

Royal Wedding Tea Party

Royal wedding fever gripped the nation throughout April and it was decided early on that to honour the nuptials of William and Kate we would host an intimate oh-so-English tea party.

The women in my family and a couple of my close friends came together to celebrate the most exciting British event to have occurred in, at least, my lifetime.

So on the 29th April 2011 after a rather decadent breakfast of smoked salmon and strawberries and Bucks Fizz, my mum Vicky, Nanny Pat, aunty Karen and my two very good friends Larni and Stephanie and I sat in glorious anticipation of the wedding, the outfits the women would be wearing and especially the dress that Kate would be wearing. We weren't disappointed in any way, and oohed and ahhed with what seemed like the rest of the nation as William turned to Kate at the altar and said 'You're Beautiful'. There wasn't many a dry eye in my house, aside from the cold-hearted, cynical ones (no names).

After the ceremony we found we were quite hungry and so the tea party began. We naturally had the quintessential selection of dainty finger sandwiches fit for royalty as well as an array of British savoury food stuffs courtesy of my mum, Vicky. With a mass of very British sandwich fillings including beef and horseradish, ham and mustard, cucumber and cream cheese and my mum's speciality poached salmon, watercress and mayonaise - which was the undisputed flavour of the day and all the other titbits we weren't about to go hungry.

Whilst my mum sorted the savoury - I was on sweet duty. Firstly I only granted Stephanie access to the party if she brought along one of her mum Debbie's cakes. We try to get one of Debbie's cakes at any opportunity, and the only way I can describe these creations is like couture cakes - made to measure any brief. Aside from being delicious they are always beautifully presented fitting the occassion. Already this year we've had a specially designed cake for my cousin's 21st birthday and a cheeky baked cheesecake which kept our family raving for days, and literally lasted minutes in my house! For the tea party we were presented with a genteel and fittingly regal Victoria sponge cake, topped with a rich vanilla buttercream and fresh strawberries, and a strawberry jam filling. It was moist, rich, delicious and a very welcome addition to our 'spread.'

I also dug out my apron and did a little festive baking myself. First I made three batches of cupcakes, vanilla, chocolate and lemon. Sticking to a simple fairy cake recipe from childhood and adding the various flavour additions (cocoa and a little melted chocolate, lemon juice and zest, and the the contents of a vanilla pod), I then iced with a simple Mascarpone topping and have to say that sometimes, the old recipes are the best - they were light and tasty. Larni loved the vanilla ones and took some home for her family - personally I was more partial to the chocolate, but then what's new.

Finally I had been keen to try and make macaroons for a while, I always enjoy them out, and love the look of them so I made my first attempt at the little almondy treats.

I'll readilly admit that I am no confectioner or pastry chef, more a willing have-a-go cook, and have very little artistic flair so was critical of my own presentation, but luckilly the flavour and lightness were good. Also I don't own and didn't have time to source a piping bag, so I had to improvise - I did so by using freezer bags and snipping a little hole in the corner - hence why the sizes of them all completely vary!

I certainly had fun experimenting with the food colouring and was pleased with the very sweet, almondy results, the presentation may have been bad, but practise makes perfect, so I'll aim better next time.

We absolutely loved the wedding and our little tea party and it naturally ended with us all having a tipple or two. As we did on the day lets just raise our glasses once again to the beautiful couple - congratulations Will and Kate.

If you are keen to find out more about made-to-order designer cakes from the delightful Debbie or to view an online catalogue of designs please contact Stephanie Fletcher who can be found @Fletch_Master.

If you would like to attempt to make similarly mis-shapen, varying sized Macaroons see recipe below:

150g ground almonds
250g sifted icing sugar
Seeds of 2 split vanilla pods
2 large egg whites
For the butter cream:
140g softened butter, salted
280g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk (full fat)
2 drops vanilla essence

*Preheat the oven to 150 degrees and line a couple of trays with baking paper (greased)
* Put the almonds, icing sugar and vanilla into a bowl.
*Whisk the egg whites until firm and fold in
*Add whichever food colouring to make the desired colour - or cocoa, just 1 drop will do
*Spoon mixture into a piping bag (or improvised freezer bag with snip in corner)
* Pipe little mounds on the trays - try to pipe in equal sie and shape if possible
* Leave to cool
For the butter cream
* Beat the butter in a bowl till soft
* Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth
* Add the rest of the sugar with the vanilla extract and milk and beat until creamy
*Sandwich macaroons together with a little butter cream


  1. Fab post hun! well done! It was a brilliant day, we all enjoyed it.
    All the food was lovely but your cupcakes and stephs mums cake were so nice! Will be telling anyone who wants a cake to go to stephs mum now! I am just sorry i never got to try the cheesecake or the birthday cake!
    Now as for the cold hearted and cynical, hahahaha. So true!!! Though I must say you are a tad on the emotional side!It must run in your family as you were all balling!!! Keep these blogs coming hun, i love reading them. x x x

  2. Thanks for sharing recipes of delicious cakes of the wedding tea party. I am planning a post marriage get together of my brother in law at one of graceful wedding venues in LA. Want to surprise the couple with best arrangements.