LLG in London: From the Ballet to Cake & Afternoon Tea…

by Sasha Wilkins on January 10, 2013 · 30 comments

Afternoon tea

More zooming past of the week. Suddenly it’s 249am on Friday morning and I am lying here in a sugar coma in bed wondering where on earth the week went. Altho I can actually answer part of that: it went in baking. I hosted another tea for Wedgwood and Red magazine at my London flat this afternoon and, of course, it always involves so much more than just whipping up a cake and dusting off the tea cups. There was some hardcore flat tidying action and a lot of organisation involved.

Of course I also made things more complicated by accepting an invitation from English National Ballet sponsors Espa to the opening night of The Sleeping Beauty on Wednesday night, so started making Brownies at 1130pm. My temper was not improved upon returning home from the theatre to discover that a) my normally clockwork reliable and lovely cleaner hadn’t been, & b) that I had taken my last bag of sugar to Cornwall. Cue wailing, and the scrubbing of the bathroom floor at 1am this morning.

This morning tho I astonished myself. Waking at 0742, I was in Sainsbury’s supermarket hunting down Billington’s golden sugar, black peppercorns, and fresh raspberries at 0752, and home again at 0805. By the time I left for the hairdressers at 9am I had knocked up and baked two sponge cake layers to go with the one I made the night before, and a batch of scones, scrubbed the kitchen floor on my hands and knees, hoovered, polished the dining table and cleared my hallway.

English scones

By 11am I had had my hair cut & blown dry at Charles Worthington on Percy Street, been to Primrose Hill to rescue my errant lace tablecloth from Blossom & Browne’s Sycamore laundry (they had managed to remove all the blackberry jam stains from the last tea & I had forgotten to pick it up), bought flowers from the Parkway flower stall and returned home to arrange them.

I wish all days would be this efficient. Huge thanks also to amazing Emily, without whom I wouldn’t have been ready on time. Apart from her sterling help in cleaning & tidying in the absence of my cleaner, huge thanks are due because I had forgotten that I had smashed my hand beater during prep for last tea. I only remembered as I started to assemble the frosting for my layer cake at half past twelve. A quick online reservation on my tablet at Argos, and off she pelted to the High Street to pick up a new Kenwood one. It really is very handy living in the centre of Camden on days like these. I just wish I hadn’t chosen a frosting that takes over 35 minutes to whip.

triple layer almond Victoria sponge with homemade raspberry jam and almond Swiss meringue buttercream filling

(Yes, that is a Sasha-made triple layer almond Victoria sponge with homemade raspberry compote and almond Swiss meringue buttercream filling and frosting in case you were wondering.)

Anyway, it all came together in the end, and we had the most delightful afternoon talking about the books that built us. (‘ll publish our reading list over the weekend.) These are the books I chose to talk about today.


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