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Afternoon Tea at Fairlop

On Saturday 6th July 2013, hundreds of people basked in the glorious sunshine as they enjoyed an array of amusing and wacky entertainment at the Fairlop Fair. The annual free event at Fairlop Waters in Barkingside, included circus entertainment, a host of stalls, Georgian-era games and of course tea parties. The Fairlop Fair was originally held annually in the 18th century, attracting hundreds of thousands of people in its heyday and only just returning in 2011 after a 100-year gap.

The day begun with setting up our special tea tent for the tea parties with traditional colorful bunting being hung and setting up the tables with lovely patterned tablecloths and beautiful vintage tea crockery. Guests were seated and presented with an array of fancy snacks including a delicious traditional Victoria sponge cake served alongside a special tea blend, an Assam-Darjeeling fusion – subtle but satiating.

There were many Fairlop-themed parlour games and activities throughout the duration of the tea parties. The party started out with the now infamous icebreaker coin game which allowed everyone to get more acquainted with one another; followed on by the Fairlop question round with everyone answering questions upon their personal experiences with Fairlop. A game that gave everyone giggles was the Story Making game in which all of the guests had to write a sentence each and at the end a story was created although some turned out to be more wacky than fairytale. Another enjoyable activity was the Fairlop Quiz that had certainly given guests more of an insight into the rich history of Fairlop.

A special feature of the tea parties was the Fairlop Memories – a way for everyone involved including those visiting the fair to write down any particular memory they have of Fairlop, which then would be added to the growing art installation ‘Fairlop Memories’ board. Fairlop Waters was an idyllic location for the tea parties, it was wonderfully calm, but bubbling with ambiance. The guests seemed to really enjoy the parlour style games as it really allowed for everyone to interact with new people. Overall the day was full of fun and joy for all.

Henna Babar

Here are a selection of photos from the day:

© Photo credits: Connie Taylor Photography

Tea in Barkingside

Henna @ Sadia's Tea PartyHi, my name’s Henna and I’ll be guest writing on Sadia’s Tea Party blog about all things tea! Here’s an article about the recent tea parties in Barkingside…..

On Thursday 20th June 2013, local residents of Barkingside were invited to enjoy a wonderful world of Afternoon Tea at Fullwell Cross Library on Barkingside High Street as part of the ‘Better Barkingside’ project.

The incarnation of Afternoon Tea was aimed to highlight the ‘Better Barkingside’ project which plans to regenerate and make improvements to the high street, creating a sense of place and improving leisure and shopping opportunities; and what better way to engage local folk with the regeneration than hosting a fabulous tea party to help the local community to engage and interact with one another.

The day started off with a cup of tea (of course) and setting up decorations inside the library to transform it. The set up included lots of delightful bunting displayed, tables dressed with decorative patterned tablecloths and the most charming mish mash of tea crockery presented neatly with cutlery and napkins.

We hosted two tea parties throughout the day. Both events engaged local residents and particularly those involved in the organisation Barkingside 21; a local community and environmental group which represent the voices of local residents within Barkingside.

Guests were seated and served with all-you-can-eat scrumptious sandwiches, mouth-watering cake and of course our special afternoon tea blend, a lovely mix of Darjeeling and Assam tea. Guests played our bespoke parlour games throughout the duration of the tea parties, kicking off with the now infamous icebreaker the ‘Coin game’. The ‘Barkingside Question Round’ enabled guests to share their memories, stories and experiences of Barkingside and the relationship they had with the area, this made for wonderful conversations, memories and reminiscing. Along with the questions there was the ‘Barkingside Quiz’ with some surprising questions and answers that left some of our  guests astonished; such as the revelation of finding out that King Solomon High School had been opened up by the one and only King Hussein of Jordan!

The overall atmosphere was really enjoyable with all discussing their thoughts and passionate opinions upon the new development whilst getting some clarification from members of the project management team who also attended the tea party. Additionally many fond memories of Barkingside were shared amongst each other and thus made for really engaging conversations for all those that were involved, making it a truly splendid afternoon.

We heart Barkingside!

Henna Babar

Here’s a selection of photos from the day:

© Photo credits: Connie Taylor Photography

Community Dialogues: Tea Party with the Clement James Centre

On Monday 17th June we hosted a bespoke tea party for the Clement James Centre at Kew Gardens as part of the project ‘Community Dialogues’. The project aims to engage and bring together groups of different, diverse cultural backgrounds to creatively explore and exchange dialogues on edible plants. We explored six edible plants including; tea, coffee, chillies, cocoa, pepper and sugar whilst drinking tea and playing our infamous parlour games. It was interesting meeting the group, who came from all walks of life and were participants of the Women’s Empowerment Programme at Clement James Centre. Lively discussions took place whilst the ladies talked in detail about the edible plants mentioned above and their experiences of them.

Here are some photos from the day.

(c) Photo credits: Mikey Knott