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After our first Pop-Up Tea Shoppe I wasn't sure I'd do another because the first was so so stressful - selling out of cakes by 1 o'clock, only having 2 hours to style 5 waitresses and the logistics of the venue. After a few days off and lots of looking through the photos I wasn't sure how I could NOT do it again? One thing was for sure, I wanted to wait for the right event which meant in the months between turning down a few offers until we heard news that the BUST Craftacular was coming back to London town! Early morning coffee meetings, venue measure ups and a little negotiating later and everything was in place for the second coming of the Pop-Up Tea Shoppe. Eek!
It had been 3 months since the first tea shoppe and I had pretty much been baking on a weekly basis perfecting recipes and seeking out new ones! Each Friday I bring baked delights into the studio to gain essential feedback for all the gals. My red velvet cake with creamy vanilla frosting was such a bit hit I definitely wanted to add that to the menu - and as sure as eggs is eggs it was the first thing to sell out on the day! I also set out a two day baking schedule which meant I nearly tripled my output, it did require 5am starts and midnight finishes but hey, ho, in for a penny...
Our new menu of traditional home-baked fancies included: carrot and cinnamon cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (and I remembered to refrigerate the frosting for 2 hours before piping this time!), banana and chocolate cupcakes, HUNDREDS of vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting (dyed in different candy colours), victoria sandwiches, lemon and poppyseed drizzle cakes, giant chocolate cookies, the mega popular red velvet cake and a super summer special...
Another worry on my mind was the event being held in the middle of summer - would people really want to drink tea and eat cake? (well, we all know the answer to that now!) So I wanted to present a summer special to woo in the customers and after hours of trawling baking blogs I came across Ice-Cream Cupcakes! Oh yes! The batter is baked INSIDE the cone and then frosted on top with sprinkles and a flake topper so it actually looks like an ice-cream. I remember the first time I brought them into the studio our intern Ashleigh nearly fell off her chair with excitement.
The next thing I wanted to change was to make our wonderful waitresses look well more waitress like. The aprons made for the first tea shoppe were amazing but the clothing underneath was a bit off kilter. So I decided to match them all in simple black shift dresses and design a bunch of name brooches. I also had a good excuse to watch many a film noir movie in the name of research - hairstyle and make up ideas for Tomoko and waitress outfit ideas!
I was happy with all the crockery and it was a real joy to see it all again when we laid out the tables on the day. On a sad note my 1930s teapot had cracked leaving an incomplete set (sniff) but my fave table is most certainly the 1950s table - it has a full Midwinter "Quite Contrary" tea set in the fashion shape. When Roy Midwinter designed it in the fifties inspired by America and bored of post war Britain he created a sensation. I love it! During a last minute trip to Columbia Road flower market the Sunday before we picked up little pots of red roses to use as centre pieces for the tables (and then as gifts for the waitresses at the end of the day).
On the day itself I was up at 5am to finish the frosting and I was a little ahead of schedule so decided to bake another cake (I think I'd lost the plot a little by that point!). Leah was looking after getting all the waitresses ready at Superette and we went to the venue to get the tea shoppe ready. All in all the day went without a single hiccup and this time the cakes lasted til 5pm - not bad eh? I want to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who helped out! Our super ace waitresses: 1930s Ailsa, 1940s Emma, 1950s Caity, 1960s Hannah and 1970s Emma. A big shout out to Tea Shoppe host Leah (who has been mentioned in several blog posts and comments about the Craftacular!). Our trusty kitchen helpers Mary, Dave and Tanya. Our cake counter lovely Esther. Sam THE Man. And of course all our SUPER ACE customers - we love you!
Will I do another Pop-Up Tea Shoppe....? Plans are already taking shape...xxx
There are more photos on our Flickr page check 'em out here!
lovely story about all your tea shoppe adventures. Well done! that was amazing and really made the event special. xx
I'm most impressed with the Kitchen Aid/Roberts radio/cute scales at the top. Jealous!
I came along to your pop up tea shoppe and let me just say well done! It was amazing & i absolutely loved the set up, tea & cakes. Not forgetting the brilliant waitresses who looked fabulous! Keep it up x