First off, massive apologies for it being so long since my last post. With holidays and moving house a couple of times (don’t ask) life took over for a bit and I haven’t had the head space and time to sit and write. I have however continued to go out to eat and have an abundance of blog posts on there way over the next few weeks. Now I am pretty much set up in my own place I can dedicate some time to my creative loves of writing, eating and also hoping to squeeze in some art soon!
I am admittedly beginning the barrage of write ups with a complete shameless plug of my recent afternoon tea pop up with the lovely Lauren Lennard, as the start of our joint venture, Klauren Events. I won’t of course go on about how wonderful the atmosphere was, how delicious the food… (although those statements are obviously completely true 😉 ) but instead talk about how great I found this whole experience. If it all goes a little wrong and I don’t end up achieving my dream of a tea shop I can at least look back at this post and remember that I gave it a go! 🙂
In case I haven’t banged on about it enough, I am a HUGE fan of baking and the wonder that is cake. I also love to meet and chat to new people! Combine this with the privilege of having a great friend who is an event queen and out pops lots of ideas for entertaining people.
Hence, on the 19th May 2013 we held our ‘Afternoon Tea: A Little Bit of Homemade Love’ at 40 Alfred Place. For anyone wanting to test out having their own cafe or restaurant for the day, 40 Alfred Place is the perfect location. It’s set a little out of the way in a street in Kingsdown, but being easily accessible from Clifton, the Centre and Glos. Road you can easily persuade people along. An empty restaurant space, it is set up with tables, chairs, fully working kitchen with everything you need to eat and serve, and you can hire it for just a day! With blank walls we had the opportunity to showcase the massive talent of my artistic friend Kate Williams. The tables could also all be moved around to suit the different groups booked in.
The pop up was admittedly HARD WORK! Fitting it around the day job, we were squeezing in the preparations and marketing into our lunchtimes, evenings and weekends wherever we could. All conversations came back to the event, the mind was constantly awash with baking ingredient quantities (how on earth do you work out how much to bake for 60 people!?!?) and items to be sourced to transform 40 Alfred Place into the vision we had concocted in our active imaginations. We owe massive thank yous to people we know for sourcing lots of things for us! Big kudos in particularly to my nan, who not only taught me to bake at a young age and is the main reason for my obsession, but also gave me a wonderful amount of beautiful vintage cups and saucers! I love them!
It also took a while to drum up interest – emotional blackmail may have been used with some friends and family in the beginning. However, it turned out we had little to fear as in the last week we were completely sold out, with requests to squeeze one or two extras in! And that’s when it all became real… we were definitely baking for two sittings of around 30 people! Whoa! I had not quite factored in the nervous excitement and how exhausting it could be in the lead up!
Adrenaline definitely got us through. Saturday was a serious game of baking! A factory line was developed to produce 100s of cakes and scones. With a serious fear of people not having enough food (I think we may be feeders) we cooked a lot of cake! Too much it turned out and gave out platters at the end of the day! Hehe! Cakes were all stored by the end of the evening and ready for icing the next morning – success!
The next day was D-Day! The fun properly started as we decorated the venue to make it our own. Slightly distracted by how cute we could make the place settings look, it was all hands on deck when friends and family arrived early and got involved in last minute clearing and drink pouring!
It mainly went to plan though. People left full and happy! One guy actually stated that he had to make himself physically leave to stop him eating any more cake – I take this as a good sign! 😉 And although tiring, it was a LOT more fun than the day job.
We also learnt a few lessons to take on board for the next one:
1. People can eat a ridiculous amount of sandwiches
2. You don’t need to factor in one of every cake for each person; this is excessive
3. Making tea for 30 people at once is tricky – definitely stagger the bookings
4. Take the day off after – it is ridiculously exhausting
5. We have some fantastic friends and family who helped us on the way to living the dream (OK we kind of knew that already…)
Plans are progressing in our head for what we could do next. And there will definitely be a Christmas afternoon tea happening! In the meantime, keep an eye out on what we’re talking about on Twitter and Facebook!