Victoria Park Celebrates with the EEWI

Monday, May 07, 2012

There is a funny TV advert that my family seems to have adopted as their motto. I can't remember what it advertised (frozen pre-cut veg, I think), but it aired in South Africa and it showed a group of older women knitting with a little girl sitting and asking questions. She asked, "Gran, what did you do when you were younger?". The older ladies, without batting an eyelid, say: "We cooked."

The little girl had a think about that, and, then she asked, "Yes, but what did you do for fun?"

The grandmothers looked at each other, thought for a second, and replied, "We baked."

When we're older our grandchildren will ask the same of us and I'm almost certain our answers will be the same (with knitting, quilting, etc. in there too). That's why whenever I catch up with my family on Skype we always exchange pleasantries and reports of the week with a chuckle and an exclamation of 'we baked!'.

And this weekend I baked.

The EEWI ladies joined forces to bake up a storm for the Victoria Park Celebrates festival on Saturday. There was another sale scheduled for Sunday, so many of us whipped up a few extra goodies that were due to spill over for the next day and thank goodness we did: it was spectacularly busy inside our tea shop.

The event had a 40s theme so there was bunting, stripes, and pearls aplenty. It was as if the cast of Mary Poppins had stepped out of the TV set and were enjoying a lazy morning in Victoria Park instead. The bandstand, above, was decorated with jolly bunting and had a lot of lovely acts on the go like singers, dancers and bands. It was a cold and wet day so most people gathered under their umbrellas and watched on cautiously, but it was generally quite a lot of fun and a lovely Saturday out.

This is the view from within our tea shop tent. As you can see, the organisers were being quite ambitious with their beach chairs all set up in rows near the band stand!

Inside things were heating up as the electricity man finally came to connect the urns and we could start serving tea and cakes. The EEWI has a wonderful collection of cake stands which come out for events like these - aren't they lovely?

They look even better with cakes on them. I baked the night before and made vanilla cupcakes (the pink and white swirly ones in the picture above), generously-sized chocolate brownies with walnuts and pecans, and courgette cakes. After a whole night of baking I was too exhausted to get out the camera, and promptly forgot to photograph my wares the next morning too. Oops. Everything was delicious, I promise.

The bad weather may have played in our favour a bit: everyone flocked to the tea shop selling hot tea, coffee and delicious cakes. And they were delicious. We had banana breads, chocolate cupcakes, exceptional chocolate millionaire shortbread, marzipan cake, marmalade slices, and more.

Aside from tea and cake, and listening to the Charleston Duo, there was plenty of other things to do as well. A children's carousel turned giddily around, Make Do & Mend were in the tent next door organising brooch-making, children could take a closer look at bugs and specimens in another tent, and there were rides to be had too. The rickshaws were done up with festive floral accents, although the hooded-drivers lacked their 40s gear.

And what would a 40s festival be without a horse-and-carriage?

As always with an EEWI event, a bit of hard work selling cakes, a lot of very good company, and a jolly Saturday indeed.

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  1. This is such a lovely post. I'm going to put a link to it from the EEWI blog as I really could not improve on your description - other than to say we sold out.


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