Friday, 25 January 2013

Personalised Retro Sweet Bags

When I set up this blog I had every intention of posting at least once a week.  Given that my previous post was 5 months ago, then I think we can safely agree this hasn't happened!  Let's make amends...

This week, I have been preparing for the Retro Sweet Table that we are providing for my Sister-in-Law's, Husband's, Son - does this make him my 'Step-Nephew'?  I'm not sure that it does...we are, in many ways, a far from straightforward family.  And y'know what?  I love that about us! 

Anyway, I digress! Back to the sweet table for P. who is getting married to M. tomorrow.  It will surely be a day full of love and happiness and we are delighted to be able to be a small part of that.

I will post some photos tomorrow after setting-up, but for now, I leave you with this image of the personalised sweet bags I have been busy creating this week.


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Long live the cupcake!

There was a time, not so long ago, when I wouldn't have thanked you for a cupcake. 

As pretty as many of them are, a cake that often has more decoration than sponge doesn't really do it for me.  I can be left feeling a bit ripped off, not to mention that it can be a bit of a sickly sweet affair.  

I certainly wasn't of the mind that I wanted to be regularly baking and decorating large quantities of cupcakes.

Surely though," you may well suggest, "someone who starts a business along the lines of Teatime Vintage should have been expecting to be baking cupcakes on a regular basis shouldn't they?".

Well, call me naive if you will, but no, not I. 

My grand plan had been to stick to 'full size' cakes made from natural and locally sourced ingredients wherever possible.  I am happy to go 'mini' if we are talking about an individual Victoria Sponge or lemon drop.  And I can't fault a homebaked macaroon or french fancy.  But cupcakes?  No thanks.  Not for me.  No Sir-eee.

All well and good.  Except I am now a baker of, lover of and fan of, the cupcake.

So why the change of heart?  Well, we were asked to provide cupcakes at a Jubilee Market a few months ago and then again in hosting the tea party at a large vintage fair.  Now, I may have my baking principles but I'm not an idiot - we are a new business and we need the exposure.

So, I set about looking for a compromise.  I wanted to produce a more 'rustic' looking cupcake.  The flavours and ingredients needed be as seasonal and natural as possible just as with any of our other cakes. 

The look and recipes of the fabulous Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes became my (not-so-secret) weapons.  Lavender, vanilla, lemon, strawberry cheesecake are up there among my cupcake flavours of choice. 

Rather than a heavy dollop of piped icing I've mastered the pallet knife application of butter-creaming the deliciously gooey sponge offerings which are then topped off with such delicacies as a sprinkle of lavender blooms, grated lemon zest, fresh strawberry slices, whole raspberries or shavings of chocolate.

The Vintage Tea Party (hosted by Teatime Vintage)
 at Sheffield Vintage Fair, July 2012
I have to admit that these 'pretty and rustic cupcakes' - which sit happily along our other cakes - taste divine.  And the family love them so I'm baking them all the time now, for both work and pleasure. 

And so, however you like yours, join with me people when I stand tall and proud and say... "all hail the cupcake, long may you reign!".

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Charity tea party - part two

Sharing the love from our first charity tea party back in June with these wonderful photos taken by the very talented Maria Marshall...

All set and ready for the fun to begin!

Individual place settings made with rosemary and lavender picked fresh that morning from our very own garden. 

The menu

Homebaked sea salt water biscuits with crab seasoned with chilli, lemon and corriander

Guests of all ages

Finger sandwiches with smoked salmon & cream cheese, egg & cress, tuna & cucumber

Macaroons, lemon drops and chocolate fudge brownies

Tea party in full swing in the Function Room at the Harlequin Pub

Some of the props we used to dress the venue - the picture, "Butterfly Collective (01)" is available to buy in our little shop in The Nichols Building Vintage, Arts & Crafts Centre in Shalesmoor, Sheffield

Our chocolate dipped strawberries were a huge hit!

Tea tastes nicer when sipped from a china tea cup - FACT!

Anyone for retro pick 'n' mix?

Chocolate mice, strawberry lips, foam mushrooms, jelly beans, sherbert lemons, cola cubes, bon bons...can we tempt you?

Ju with her favourite customer of the day

Ju and Andy with Sara from Patisserie Lola - we finally sit down for a well earned break, and some cake...obviously!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Charity tea party

Well, we've been and gone and done it...last weekend we held our first charity pop-up tea party!

It was quite an intimate event really.  We had 24 guests - 17 adults and 7 children to whom we served up this menu:-

It was great that all who came were complimentary about both the food and the styling of the event. It always feels good if you can surprise people and give them a little more than they were expecting.

We  worked hard to create a nice atmosphere turning a traditional pub function room into tea room heaven... these place settings, made with freshly cut lavender and rosemary for our garden, provided a wonderful aroma as well looking pretty.

Our pictures, lamps, candlesticks, vases, trinkets and books all added to the scene setting...

Once we had covered costs, we have been able to donate £115 to the Children's Hospital Charity. We'd hoped to raise more but it's not a bad start really is it?  Hopefully next time we can host a bigger event and get people who are directly involved with the next charity to work with us to encourage greater numbers to attend.

If you have a charity close to your heart and you'd like to work with us to raise money from our next charity pop-up tea party then we'd love to hear from you - email

And in the meantime, I'll leave you with these photos of our youngest son who not only took great delight in our tiny cake tins but also tasted a strawberry for the first time...I'm sure the fact  that it had been dipped in chocolate had nothing to do with the fact he ate three but has since refused to even look a non-chocolate strawberry in the eye... ;)

Friday, 6 July 2012

Eat cake!

Our cakes have been getting around a bit during the past week.

Last weekend we were very happy to deliver two cakes to 'Eat@ the nichols building' which is the cafe at the fabulous Nichols Buiding Vintage, Arts and Craft Centre in Shalesmoor, Sheffield.

And here's Darren who runs the cafe, pictured with our cakes - a classic Victoria Sponge dripping with cream and raspberry jam along with a rich Guinness Choclate Cake.

If you haven't been to 'Eat@ the nichols building' yet you really should pop yourselves down there.  It's full of character with mismatched furniture, wonderful works of art and vintage treaures - most of which are available to purchase.  Not only that but you also get to listen to real vinyl tunes in all their retro crackly fabulousness!

The downside of me delivering cakes to Eat is that I end up spending more money than I'm earning because I can't help myself from exploring all of the fab units that make up the Nichols Building Retro Centre. 

"Don't buy any more furtniture"  was the instruction from Andy as I got out of the car.  And I didn't.

I did, however, manage to bring home lots of lovely old cake tins and a jar of banana chutney which sounds strange but tastes AMAZING!

I need to thank again, the lovely Louise who owns and runs the Nichols Building, for kindly lending me a collection of gorgeous fancy silver teapots that have  to help 'dress' our charity tea party that was to take place the following day - but that's another story entirely...

Friday, 22 June 2012

Sample cake selection

Samples of our mini-victoria sponges - both classic style and our updated version with buttercream and fresh raspberries and blueberries - and a chunk of Chocolate Guinness Cake are now with a potential customer...we hope they enjoy them and place an order!

Thankfully we had lots left over which we are now tucking into with gusto - it's a chore, but someone has to eat them ;)

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Good news!

Sometimes it's all about being in the right place at the right time isn't it? 

And it would seem that our right place at the right time was ten days ago at the Jubilee Vintage Fair at The Nichols Building Vintage, Arts and Craft Centre.

A lovely lady who writes the fabulous Pretty Used Things blog stopped by our stall and took some photos that later appeared on her blog. 

 Another lovely lady from The (amazing) Vintage Fair Company read that blog and saw the photos of our stall.  And then she contacted us atTeatime Vintage to ask if we would be interested in running the tea party at the the next Sheffield Vintage Fair in the Town Hall on the 14th July.


We are so happy and excited about this, and also incredibly thankful to Gina from Pretty Used Things for including us in her write up about the Jubilee Vintage Fair.

Thank goodness we (as a company) were wearing our best frock and had remembered to put our lippy on that day :)