Welcome back to another afternoon tea post from Tea With Me and Friends - this time we have a very special afternoon tea adventure to share with you.
If you have visited our blog before you will probably remember hearing about The Secret Tea Society which both Lorna and I are members of. Its a group of like minded ladies who meet at tea events across London and Surrey to indulge in our afternoon tea passion and have a good natter. I have been a member for a while now and have been to several events, I have to say that it's a wonderful group to belong to. Our tea leader Claire is wonderful and arranges the most amazing tea events for us.....and the other ladies are all so friendly and welcoming. To read more about The Secret Tea Society or to join us visit the website!
This particular tea affair was rather special as we were gathering together to celebrate the first Birthday of The Secret Tea Society....and what a wonderful experience it was. Claire arranged a 1920s afternoon tea party at Byfleet Manor in Surrey for us. Now if you are a fan of Downton Abbey you may just recognise the inside of Byfleet Manor, as it currently features in the TV programme as Dowager Violet's House.
|The beautiful Byfleet Manor|
Byfleet Manor is beautiful both inside and out, with extensive gardens. With the perfect theme and setting, the guests needed to look the part too dressing in 1920s style attire.....
|Some of the gorgeous Secret Tea Society ladies|
enjoying tea at Byfleet Manor
As it was a Birthday celebration each Tea Society member at the event received a gift - a beautifully decorated biscuit by Clare's Cakes and some wonderful loose leaf tea. Thank you Claire for such a thoughtful gift (I still haven't eaten the biscuit - its far too pretty!)......
Then the feast began....we were served tea in pretty vintage teacups and ate the daintiest sandwiches and pastries on vintage china. Here is the cake stand that was presented to the table.....
|Afternoon tea at Byfleet Manor|
Let's start with a closer look at those wonderful sandwiches.....
|Dainty afternoon tea sandwiches|
We enjoyed a wonderful traditional selection of afternoon tea sandwiches including cucumber, chicken, my favourite egg mayonnaise and salmon - served on both brown and white bread. The sandwiches were delightful - very fresh and tasty and no crusts in sight!
The scones were served on a glass cake stand, dusted with icing sugar and accompanied by fresh strawberries.....
|Fresh scones - Byfleet Manor|
We had one large scone each, which was generously fruited and served with clotted cream and strawberry preserve. I enjoyed my scone very much - it was light and fluffy.
Moving back to the main cake stand we have a layer of pastries and cakes to enjoy....
|Fresh fruit pastries - Byfleet Manor|
The cakes with the blackberries on top were circles of light vanilla sponge sandwiched together with scrummy lemon curd (a personal favourite!). The treats with the raspberries on top were pastry filled with cream and preserve - also very nice.
At this point we may have been getting full, but we still had the top layer of the cake stand to enjoy.....
|Sweet treats - Byfleet Manor|
This layer included a wonderful selection of sweet treats, including mini toffee tarts, fruit tarts and mini pieces of chocolate brownie - all perfectly sized to be enjoyed by ladies!
Finally, we each had a mini strawberry trifle - served in a little shot glass....
The trifle was light and refreshing, and I thought it was a lovely addition to afternoon tea.
As I mentioned earlier I thoroughly enjoyed the vanilla sponge with lemon curd, which not only tasted wonderful but was also beautifully presented.....
I really enjoyed all the food which was served at this afternoon tea - it was all fresh and both looked and tasted wonderful.
We finished the afternoon with an awards ceremony - celebrating our favourite venues and also some special members of the Secret Tea Society. The certificate below belongs to the lovely Monique Lowe from Toasted Glass (amazing hand painted glassware) who has rather impressively only missed one of the tea events since the beginning of the Secret Tea Society!
|Award time - Secret Tea Society|
The whole experience was so enjoyable and totally unique! Byfleet Manor is a beautiful venue, styled authentically and Julie the owner is a wonderful hostess.
Byfleet Manor is a private residence which periodically offers events to the public - the next being a 1920s Murder Mystery Afternoon Tea. For more information pop by their website.
A big thank you to Clarie for arranging this afternoon tea - I am looking forward to the next one!
Thank you for popping by today,