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Looking out at this dreary autumn day, the summer seems a distant memory. As the nights are drawing closer, and the central heating is being cranked up; settle down with a nice brew and a biscuit and reminisce with us. 

On the last weekend of August we attended a corporate celebration. 25 years in business – Glasto-style! As with all good festivals, the day started off bright and sunny. We’d had a rather exciting trip over to Surrey, travelling passed Hampton Court Palace and getting lost down some side streets. Disaster nearly struck as we turned into the festival site, a car behind us had clearly decided that it wasn’t worth paying attention to our indicator and overtook us AS WE WERE TURNING! We’ve mentioned the brakes before and to our surprise, emergency stopping is possible. Thank goodness! The site was already looking amazing with huge tents, a main stage, various bars and these huge flowers poking up out of the ground. We started setting up the “English Tea Garden” complete with white picket fencing and lollipop topiary.We had lots of delicious bakes on offer for the hungry festival goers:

* Chocolate Brownies
* Lemon Drizzle Cake
* Vanilla Cupcakes
* Scones with lashings of Clotted Cream and Jam
* Rocky Road
* English Madelines

All served with a choice of Char Teas or Pink Lemonade and served on our vintage China. The day was full of music, laughter, floral headbands, OppoSuits and smiles. It was really nice to see a company treating their employees to a celebration. Even though the rain eventually came, it was a brilliant day that we thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it. Thankyou to Air Charter Service – we hope everyone enjoyed the cake 🙂

After a busy summer, there was only one more thing we needed to do…                      There is no better end to a summer season than relaxing on the beach. Thanks to everyone who supported us 🙂 

Lots of Love

Martha’s Tea Party x  

Another Day, Another Tea Party

It almost feels like a lifetime ago, but on what was to become one of the last days of summer we attended a Corporate Tea Party on the edge of the New Forest.

corporateteaparty

Armed with gingham tablecloths, a whole host of vintage china, our delicious Char Teas and of course our delightful Citroen H Van, we turned a meeting room into a delightful space for a tea party.

Inside we laid up all the tables with crockery, whilst outside our Citroen H Van was parked up decorated with bunting and all the delicious cakes were on show.

teacups citroenhvan

On the menu we had quite a selection:

Chocolate Brownies
Rocky Road
Lemon Brownies
Mini Victoria Sponges
English Madeleines
Mini Vanilla Cupcakes

With the event expecting around 100 people that was ALOT of cake! At the event there was a self-service tea station, fully stocked with our selection of Char Tea and outside the cakes were served on our vintage side plates.

We couldn’t have been luckier with the weather, it was a typical late summers day with temperatures in the high teens and sunbeams coming through the leaves on the trees.

It was a lovely day to see out the last of the summer sun, can’t wait until it returns next year!

Lots of Love

Martha’s Tea Party x

Market Day

We found out a few weeks ago that we’d been accepted into Andover Market. Some of you may have seen our post on Facebook or Instagram.

We’re now into our third week and it’s going well. We’ve had some repeat business which is great!

andovermarket

We’ve done a mix of cakes both weeks and will do a vote for next week’s “Cake of the Week”. Our Chocolate Brownies continue to be popular, selling out with box loads going off to our lovely customers homes or offices.

We hope to meet some of you soon, come along for a cake and a cuppa.

Catch us every Thursday in Andover Market!

Lots of Love

Martha’s Tea Party x

Tea for two…

..or one hundred for tea.

You read it right, a tea party for 100. At 3 cakes per head that’s a whopping 300 portions of cake that needed to be baked in one day!

We’d got home at a fairly reasonable time from Crawleyfest, but there was no time to rest. A trip to the supermarket beckoned in order to restock our ingredient shelves. It probably looked like we had issues at 10pm on a Saturday night buying that much butter, sugar and chocolate!

On the menu we had…

 * Rocky Road
 * Chocolate Brownies
 * Lemon Brownies
 * Mini Vanilla Cupcakes
 * Mini Victoria Sponges
 * English Madeleines

TeaPartyCakes3

Fulfilling the order required 13 hours of almost non-stop baking. It was quite a relief that the weather has cooled since the really hot part of the summer so the kitchen stayed moderately cool.

The venue was Petersfield Community Centre, and we were supplying the tea and cake for a Corporate awards ceremony.

CitroenHvanflowers

We set up two tables with our vintage cake stands and filled them with our delicious cakes. The hall was decorated with bunting, and the tables covered with gingham table clothes and covered in jam jars of flowers.

flowers

We set up camp in the kitchen and operated a tea station, serving delicious Char Teas in our delightful vintage teacups.

Tea Party

The cake flew off the stands, and the leftovers were boxed up to take back for the teams who couldn’t attend. Not a crumb remained.

It was lovely to see some recognition within an organisation for their employees, having come from a corporate background where things are rarely noted, it made a nice change to see that some industries do still care!

We hope that everyone enjoyed the tea party.

Lots of Love

Martha’s Tea Party x

Crawleyfest

We love local events. Getting involved in something that benefits the local community is right up our street.

Crawley, a village on the outskirts of Winchester was looking to raise money to update their Cricket Pavilion and Crawleyfest was born!crawleyfest

A mix of local food, craft and music it was set to be a fun filled day for the whole family to enjoy.

We were up early (as always for these sorts of events) and got the van packed and ready to go. Arriving to a rather impressive entrance for a small scale festival.

crawleyfestsetup
On the menu we had:

 * Lemon and Poppy Seed Drizzle Cake
 * Coffee and Walnut Cake
 * Chocolate Brownies (including a Gluten Free version)
 * Rocky Road
 * Chocolate Nostalgia Cake
 * Mini Victoria Sponges
 * Chocolate Cookies
 * English Madeleines
 * Peanut Butter Goo Bar
 * Cherry Cake

Our best seller of the day had to be the Coffee + Walnut Cake, closely followed by the monstrous Peanut Butter Goo Bar. Everyone seems to love to the challenge a chunk of Peanut Butter Goo Bar represents. We also had some repeat customers for our delicious Chocolate Brownies (you know who you are ;)). Always brings a smile to our face when people come back for more.

By 8pm the sun was nearly down and it was time to think about heading home. We were plugged into the mains, but not with our C-Form plug so without electric powering our on board circuits we were plunged into darkness when the sun set.

Homelate

We packed up some boxes of leftover cake for the Winchester Night Shelter, and set off home with our lights on. It’s cliched to say, but where did Summer go?

If you find out, let us know…

Martha’s Tea Party x

p.s. There was a nice follow up in the Hampshire Chronicle – we finally made it into the papers with our beautiful van 🙂

crawleyfestcoverage

Sparsholt Food Festival

When we had a last minute opportunity to get on board with the Taste of Hampshire Food Festival at Sparsholt College we leapt at it! Sparsholt Food Festival Two days of solid baking during some of the hottest temperatures of the year so far made for some sweltering heat in the kitchen (31.4 degrees!). Tray bakes and layer cakes were on the cards for Thursday. It’s been a while since we made Peanut Butter Goo Bar – and it’s still as dangerous to have in the kitchen as it always has been. Peanut Butter Goo Bar Lurking beneath this innocent (ish) crumbly topping is the most gooey, sweet, peanut substance known to man. It really will change your life. We promise.

It was certainly a relief when at 5pm on the Friday afternoon when the final batch of cupcakes was done that we could finally turn the ovens off. Then it was just a case of waiting until the sun had gone down and it had cooled off so we could start making the buttercream. The final Smarties were added to the Chocolate Nostalgia cake about midnight and with the van packed we set our alarm for 5.30am and hit the sack.

Saturday morning arrived, it was drizzly but the forecast looked promising. We set off about 7:40am, the engine started on the first go and we slowly set off into the road. By the time the momentum of the inclined driveway had worn off, it was suddenly apparent that no amount of revving was making the van move. It was a heavy hearted moment when we realised that we would not be taking our van to the event. However, there wasn’t much time to dwell on it with an hour to get to there and set up and before any of that could begin the issue of what to do with a 3 tonne vehicle blocking both lanes of a road pre-8am. Thankfully, there were a few people out of bed and in their cars trying to leave the village, so a few kind souls offered to help push. With some expert steering, lots of shouting and A LOT of pushing the van was back up the slope onto the driveway. Then it was time to unpack the fridge/freezer to get them plugged back into the mains and the challenge of how to cram two chairs, two tables, a crate of vintage cake stands and a shed load of cake into the back of a Peugeot 206. Before we set off, there was time to have a quick look under the van. This is what greeted us… Detached Drive Shaft The drive shaft had become detached from the wheel. It looks a bit daunting, but hopefully its just a case of replacing the bolts…only time will tell.

We made it to Sparsholt College in good time to set up the gazebo. Once it was up, the tables were unloaded and it was time to set up all the cakes onto the cake stands. Martha's Tea Party On offer we had:

Individual Cakes:
* Chocolate Flake Cupcakes
* Vanilla Cupcakes
* Red Velvet Cupcakes
* Carrot Cake Cupcakes
* English Madelines

Tray Bakes:
* Mega Mint Chocolate Brownies
* Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies
* Rocky Road
* Peanut Butter Goo Bar

Layer Cakes:
* Chocolate Nostalgia Cake
* Victoria Sponge

Doors opened at 10am, and there was a steady flow of people through. Many people resisted the cakey temptations on offer because it was “too early”. We’d be lying if we said this response didn’t alarm us. It is NEVER “too early” for cake. Never.
Pink Vanilla Sprinkle Cupcakes Chocolate Flake Cupcakes

Anyway, by early afternoon there was a buzz around the stall – and some people even coming back for seconds!

It was lovely to speak to the wonderful folk enjoying the sunshine and the other suppliers. Special mention has to go to one of our own suppliers Purbeck Ice Cream who we ended up set up next to. Also Spade and Spoon, Chillicious (in a shiny Citroen H Van) and Upham Brewery. Victoria Sponge Rocky Road Mountain

The crowds had started to head home by about 4.30, so we started packing up to head on home for a well deserved slice of leftover Chocolate Nostalgia Cake with a glass of milk.Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes
Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Final Thanks has to go to Sparsholt College for thinking of us last minute, we hope to be back up for an event soon, hopefully in our van next time!

Lots of Love

Martha’s Tea Party x

Valentines Day Cake Massacre

Valentines Day came and went, but not before much cake was baked and consumed. We were lucky enough to be a part of a few celebrations. China was boxed up and shipped out, along with some delicious bakes.

Be My Valentine bunting

On the menu was..

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes
Glazed Lemon Brownies
English Madelines
Mini Marmalade Sponges
Mini Cucumber Rolls

Some of our clients opted for a traditional offering in their teapots, whilst others got inventive and put cocktails in them instead.

Tea Cup Cocktail

Most of our teapots hold at least 6 teacups, so with a cocktail inside they are sure to get the party started.

We also got a little creative this Valentines Day and knocked up this Tassel Garland to add a little sparkle to one tea party.

Pink Tassel Garland

Whether you are into celebrating Valentines Day or not, we think it’s a great excuse for cake.

What did you do this Valentines Day?

Love

Martha’s Tea Party x