Back in September, I, in association with Wedgwood and Red magazine hosted an afternoon tea & book club for five girlfriends at my London apartment. Red sent along a photographer & a cameraman (watch the video here), and I then wrote about baking, friends, books and throwing a great afternoon tea to accompany the photographs in the current (January) issue of Red. I mentioned it on the blog before, but wanted to wait until the piece was out to run all the rest of the photographs that I took.
(There’s a also a competition to attend the next literary tea & win your own tea service. See the bottom of this post for more details.)
The guests were: Sarah Curran, founder of My Wardrobe.com, Jenny Lewis portrait photographer, Maggie Alderson, London-born Australian author, magazine editor and fashion journalist, Philippa Wright, Marketing director at wine merchants Goedhuis & Co., and Tara Spring, Celebrity Producer for network televisio
We were lucky enough to have a wonderful sunny afternoon, with perfect light in my conservatory dining room.
Diptyque sent over candles to scent the apartment, Menthe & Tilleul to burn together, and for the going home bags.
The books that we talked about are in a list here on LLG.
Of course all the china was Wedgwood and the glass Waterford Crystal. I baked everything myself. There was a triple layered lemon cake with homemade blackberry jam and blackberry Swiss meringue icing, of which I am inordinately proud, as I winged it all without a recipe.
Although I’d be lying if I said I made these pastry shells: they are M&S, which I filled with Jersey cream, and hue plump Scottish raspberries.
The tablecloth is actually a very fine embroidered sheet my mother gave me at Christmas one year. The roses are from Wild at Heart at Liberty: handily I’d been sent them that week by a client.
I made ginger and nut cookies, and smoked salmon, and cucumber sandwiches.
There were also my special extra fudgy brownies and, of course homemade scones, to eat with Cornish clotted cream and jam. (Two types: strawberry and raspberry.)
And there were lovely presents for everyone, the latest Red mag, a pair of Diptyque candles, and Wedgwood cameo necklaces, as well as boxes of left over cake, and a copy each of one of Maggie Alderson’s EXCELLENT novels.
If you would like to attend the next Books That Built Me afternoon tea on 10 January, then Red are running a competition online at the moment. (It closes TOMORROW — that is 11:59pm Friday 21 Dec 2012.)
As well as attending tea, there are some fabulous prizes on offer for the winner too: a selection of my favourite books and your very own Wedgwood Tea Service, such as the Wedgwood Deco Bloom and Wedgwood Scallop Daisy — elegant reissues from the Art Deco era of Nancy Mitford — the Wedgwood Cuckoo, the Butterfly Bloom, or the Wedgwood White.
For your chance to win, head to the Red magazine online entry form here.