Tea Parties in the Rain with the EEWI

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things.

Well, there were plenty of raindrops and kettles and kittens yesterday. It was the monthly WI Coffee Morning, but this time we did something different: instead of heading to a local coffee shop extraordinaire, we went to Colleen's House which was equally extraordinaire like a little haven of teatime goodness tucked into the rather beautiful Tredegar area. It had a real sense of magic: just follow the bunting to find the x marks the spot.

It was raining and pouring. It was, as we say at home, bucketing down with heavy raindrops that prevented me from reading my post-it note, on which I had neatly written out Colleen's address for quick finding. Nevermind, it was easy to find and inside it was warm and friendly; just what was needed on a cold wintery morning for a bit of a pick-me-up.

This pop-up tea room was to raise funds as a Cake Break for MS.We all brought with our baked goods (mine were the brownies, bottom right), chose a cake stand for displaying, and settled in to a proper tea with cups and saucers

... and milk jugs. I do love milk jugs. They are so superfluous and wonderfully unnecessary; the perfect tea time accompaniment in a world that is otherwise worried about other things. For me, the milk jug is a symbol that everything is, and will be, okay. I treasure my milk jug: it takes pride of place on our mantelpiece.

Here are my brownies again, just in case you missed them the first time. I had a jam drop cake which is known here as an English Madeleine. It has a sponge cake centre that has been rolled in jam and coconut, and topped with a cherry. Also on that cake stand were beautiful vanilla cupcakes which I didn't get to sample, sadly, but don't they look grand with the beautiful tulips, Clare's Knitting and the tea cups framing them?

Here is the really-quite-wonderful Elizabeth enjoying a spot of finger knitting whilst also enjoying a spot of scone with jam and cream. Ho Hum. This reminds me: I mentioned kittens, didn't I? And what kind of bloggeroo would I be if I didn't add a bit of kitten to your reading moment now?

Why hello kitties. I've borrowed this photograph from the EEWI newsletter. Elizabeth's newly-adopted stray cat has had kittens! And she has four lovely fluffballs which all need loving homes. I'm going to foster one of the tabby kittens (ah, well, we'll see which one has more personality when we go and visit) so if you know anyone in London who is looking for a beautiful little catkin of the feline variety, then do please get in touch. If you don't, I'll have to name the kitty and love the kitty and well - let's face it - keep the kitty.

Despite the hail, thunder and lightning, spring has sprung. These tulips made a cheery addition to our tea tables.

Just before I left I got completely sidetracked by a lovely magazine called Making. We got to talking about magazines, as you do, and how we never make anything that the magazines suggest. And then this came out of hiding: you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's a bit of quilt with all of the fabric prints, textures and little bits of cotton peeking out.

Really, it's a beautiful little notebook all covered with pretty paper that is more than just storebought whatnots: the cover is a photocopy of Colleen's own quilt, scanned and printed, and folded up neatly. It was inspired not by a magazine but by a magazine's website (Mollie Makes blog post: http://molliemakes.themakingspot.com/blog/thrifty-thursday-notebook-cover). What a brilliant way to preserve your quilt patterns and to also enjoy them in other parts of your life! Like when you absolutely have to admire your notebook cover as you take notes. Mm, crafty quilty goodness. I've quilted a book cover before but never a whole quilt... it is on my to-do list so (hopefully) watch this space!

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  1. Doesn't it all look pretty? Who would have thought it? Thanks you for coming and making it a lovely, happy morning in spite of the downpour.

  2. I like how the English use bunting - it's such a civilised and eco-friendly reusable party decor.

    And I love how the English seem to do tea parties right -
    with tea sets and pretty cakes. It's just SO Jane Austenish.

    *whistful sigh*

  3. @ Colleen: It was all beautiful and so very proper! I think we should have these more often.

    @Juanita: I love bunting too - I've just put up a shelf above my desk and caught myself thinking 'wouldn't that look nicer with a bit of bunting?'. I think I've turned. Tea parties here are JUST right, casual, comfortable, oh-so-elegant with cups and saucers. You're always invited, should you find yourself in my neck of the Austenish-woods x


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