Sadia’s Vintage Tea Party

My love affair with all things vintage, antique and shabby chic has been the inspiration for our vintage styled tea party. An addition to our current line-up of tea parties, I have relished collecting and sourcing paraphernalia over time to make this a truly authentic experience.  Our glamorous tea ladies will even serve your guests in vintage attire. We’ll organise and design traditional bespoke parlour games to accompany tea and provide some merriment. All you need to do is offer the venue, and Sadia’s Tea Party will transform it to another moment in time.

With a touch of decadence and nostalgia, let Sadia’s Tea Party create for you and your guests a fabulous vintage tea party. Transport your guests back to a golden era, immerse yourselves in a delightfully aesthetic and mouth-watering experience befitting any occasion.  We provide an atmosphere of pure glamour and decadence…Take tea in exquisite fine bone china, dine on traditional tea party fayre and be wowed by our classic and sumptuous cakes and cupcakes.

For further information why not drop us a line.

Here are some photos from a vintage-styled tea party at Beltcraft Studios in London.

Photo credits: Connie Taylor Photography

Make Up Artist: Flawless by Faz

Hats by: GG’s Pin-Up Couture



Around the World in Tea: England

Tea; a quintessential English drink? Well, you would think so! However it has only been grown, produced and sold since 2005 in England at the Tregothnan estate in Cornwall, the only tea plantation in the UK. And earlier this year, I was lucky enough to spend a weekend away in the glorious Cornwall, and paid Tregothnan a visit.

As an avid tea drinker/obsessive it was fascinating to see how tea was being grown in Tregothnan. I was told that the special ‘microclimate’ was perfect for growing tea here in England, a tall task that wasn’t viable before. During our visit we got to taste the ‘Earl grey’ and ‘Classic tea’ blend, only 2 of the teas available in the wide selection of 35 to choose from! Here are a few snaps from our visit:

Over 150 million cups of tea are drunk daily in Britain today; we are now a nation of tea drinkers with tea being our most drunk beverage. So how is it that this drink that was only produced and sold on British soil from 2005, how did this become our most popular beverage?

Well, tea came to Britain via a foreign entity.  It was the marriage of Charles II to Catherine of Braganza that would prove to be a turning point in the history of tea in Britain in the 17th century. She was a Portuguese princess, and a tea addict, and it was her love of the drink that established tea as a fashionable beverage first at court, and then among the wealthy classes as a whole.

The British took to tea with an enthusiasm that continues to the present day. It became a popular drink in coffee houses, which were as much locations for the transaction of business as they were for relaxation or pleasure. They were though the preserve of middle- and upper-class men; women drank tea in their own homes, and as yet tea was still too expensive to be widespread among the working classes.

In the early 1800s, Anna the Duchess of Bedford, introduced the custom of the afternoon tea or tea party.  The afternoon tea satiated hunger between lunch and dinner and quickly became a social gathering. Tea is now seen as a quintessentially English drink and drunk by all.

One of the international tea parties that we offer is the ‘English Tea Party’, during this tea party you will experience tea English style first hand with traditional afternoon tea, fancy snacks and specially designed themed parlour games.

How to make the Perfect Brew

At Sadia’s Tea Party we love a proper cup of tea made with loose leaf tea served in china, however understand that this is not always practical. So today we present how to make the perfect brew using a teabag in a mug! This step by step has been developed after a team of university researchers in 2011 in Northumberland devised quite literally a mathematical formula for the ideal brew which shows that it is best drunk exactly six minutes after being made! So here it is folks.

Instructions for perfect cup of tea for one:

Step 1.  Add 200ml of freshly boiled water to your tea bag (in a mug).

Step 2.  Allow the tea bag to brew for 2 minutes.

Step 3. Remove the tea bag.

Step 4.  Add 10ml of milk.

Step 5.  Wait 6 minutes before consumption for the cuppa to reach its optimum temperature of 60 degrees centigrade.


‘International’ tea party to launch new programme in Barking & Dagenham

On Monday 21st October, we hosted an ‘international’ tea party at the Broadway Theatre, stirring up teas and snacks from England, South Asia and the Caribbean to launch the eagerly awaited ‘Creative People & Places’ programme in Barking & Dagenham. We were commissioned to reflect the communities that resided in the London borough; so we had lots of fun coming up with our very bespoke menu, a wonderful concoction that included; an English classic, the Victoria sponge cake, treats from sunnier Caribbean climes; the Jamaican ginger cake and plaintain chips, and a mix of savoury and sweet treats from the Indian subcontinent; a glorious selection of Indian mithai and the classic Bombay mix.

Over the course of the evening over 115 people attended the launch tea party, our biggest to date so far! Folk seemed to have a good time, enjoying tea and authentic treats and finding out more about the new programme. Here is a selection of snaps from the day:

(c) Photo credits: Fiona Whitty

After the event, we had some wonderful feedback from the organisation:

“Sadia devised and produced a really successful international tea party for us to launch our Creative Barking & Dagenham 3 year arts engagement programme. She was a dream to work with: creative, well organised, flexible, with brilliant attention to detail. She dressed the space beautfully and gave us exactly the event we hoped for – great tea, great cakes and great vibes!”

Miriam Nelken, Programme Director, Barking and Dagenham’s Creative People and Places Programme

If you’d like to find out more about how we could plan a bespoke, custom designed event for you then please get in touch.

Around the World in Tea: Morocco

I was lucky enough to spend a week in Fes, Morocco in September. During my week of Moroccan adventures, there was of course much tea drinking to my delight. The Moroccan’s are heavy tea drinkers, in fact the locals jokingly told me they call it ‘Moroccan whiskey’! Sadia's Tea Party in Fes

One of the international tea parties that we offer is the ‘North African Tea Party’ and this tea party serves traditional ‘Maghrebi’ mint tea as drunk in the ‘Maghreb’, this defines the region of Northwest Africa made up of the following countries; Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Mauritania. The ‘Maghrebi’ tea culture has spread throughout North Africa including Egypt and Sudan and southern Spain. Tea we found occupies a very important place in Moroccan culture and is considered an art form.

Drinking Maghrebi – style mint tea in the hot climates was lush, a thirst quencher and very refreshing. It is green tea (gunpowder tea) served with mint leaves and copious amounts of sugar! Served not only a meal times but throughout the day, it is a drink of hospitality, impolite to refuse.

Interestingly enough, tea is not native to Morocco. It came over after the Crimean War; British merchants were in search of new markets in which to sell their tea. The Moroccans took greatly to this new drink, adapting and making it their own. The medicinal qualities of mint were enjoyed by folk in this region and grown in abundance; fittingly they added sprigs of fresh mint to the tea to create what we now know as ‘Maghrebi’ mint tea.  Today the main provider of tea to the Maghreb is China.

Whilst out in Morocco, my favourite cup of tea was in Bhalil, with a little lady called Mama Aisha and our tour guide for the day, Hassan. Walking through Bhalil involved quite a climb up roughly paved streets. Bhalil is famous for its cave houses, apparently 40 of these are still inhabited, and a few are routinely open to tourists. In one of them we had Maghrebi style mint tea with Mama Aisha, a strong, sprightly lady in her eighties, whose family had resided in this home for the past 3 centuries.

Making Tea the Maghrebi Way

The customary green tea used is a gunpowder tea imported from China, I brought some back from Fes however it is widely available in England. Here is how you can make a pot of tea the Maghrebi way.

  1. In a teapot, combine two teaspoons of tea-leaf with half a litre of boiling water. Allow it too steep for at least ten minutes.
  2. Filter the mixture into a different stainless steel pot, so that the tea leaves and coarse powder are removed.
  3. Add sugar (about one teaspoon per 100 ml).
  4. Bring to boil over a medium heat.
  5. As desired, add fresh mint leaves either to the teapot or directly to the cup.

There you have it folks, enjoy! And please do come back next month when we feature another tea from a different part of the world.

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

Sadia’s Tea Party at the Fairlop Fair

Fairlop Fair Poster_Sml

On Saturday 6th July sees the return of the historic Fairlop Fair and we’ll be there hosting two tea parties in our very own special tea tent!

Enjoy entertainments in the spirit of the original fair; with traditional swing boats and rides, old English games, folk music, traditional dance, rowing boats, cup cake decorating, a pooch tent, street entertainers and Sadia’s tea party!

Join us at the Fairlop Fair for afternoon tea, fancy snacks and Fairlop-themed parlour games including the ‘Fairlop Quiz’. Share your memories and experiences of Fairlop and contribute to the installation ‘Fairlop Memories’ which will grow as the day progresses.

To book your free tickets check out these links:

Noon tea party:

3pm tea party:

We hope to see you there!

Barkingside Takeover: Sadia’s Mad Hatter Tea Parties

On Saturday 15th June, we took over Barkingside High Street to host 2 very special Mad Hatter’s tea parties. To promote the forthcoming Fairlop Fair, we created a bit of buzz and some interesting presence as our tea party took place amongst the usual hustle and bustle of a high street full of shoppers and locals going about their daily business. We were lucky with some sunshine in the morning for our tea party with families from the local area! Here are some snaps:

Tea party guests were lucky enough to play our bespoke parlour games including ‘The Barkingside Question Round’ and others exploring and responding to their local area. By the afternoon, the skies had unfortunately opened and it rained and rained and rained. We had to retreat into Rowan’s Cafe and set up our second tea party in there. Nevertheless folks had  a great time exploring Barkingside and what it means to them.

We will be hosting two bespoke tea parties at the Fairlop Fair on Saturday 6th July at Fairlop Waters, book your free tickets here:

Tea parties commissioned by Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure.

Photo credits: Mikey Knott

Sadia’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Parties in Barkingside

Fairlop Fair Tasters

Hot of the press, were excited to announce that in the run up to the historic Fairlop Fair, we’ll be hosting 2 very special pop-up ‘Mad Hatter Tea Parties’. ‘Tumble down the rabbit hole’ and join artist Sadia Ur-Rehman for 2 unique tea parties on Saturday 15th June at 11am (for families) and 2.30pm (for adults) outside Rowan’s Café on Barkingside High Street. Explore the history of your local area with specially designed games, fancy snacks and tea.


To book a free ticket here are the following links:



Only 20 tickets available for each tea party, so get booking!