Welcome to our blog....here we will share all our afternoon tea adventures with you...the good, the bad and the wonderful!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Time....to get a little crafty!

Hello there,

Welcome back to Tea With Me and Friends....sorry we've been missing for the last week, time has escaped us recently! But don't fear.....we're back today with another scrummy post!

Recently, Sheree and I visited The Handmade Fair at Hampton Court, for a spot of crafts....and of course some afternoon tea! We booked our tickets really late this year, but managed to take advantage of a great offer which upgraded our tickets to VIP giving us access to the VIP lounge and an afternoon tea.

Both of us visited the fair last year and left feeling really inspired by the craft activities and stalls, so we felt another visit was in order. The location of the fair had changed ever so slightly this year.....crossing the road from the grounds of Hampton Court palace to the green opposite, but everything else looked vaguely familiar. Think lots of bunting and pretty tents full of crafts and you'll get the picture......

The Handmade Fair - Hampton Court

Our ticket this year gave us access to a talk in the Super Theatre, a craft activity from the Grand Makes selection and also a mini skills workshop. For our Super Theatre we watched the Mollie Makes mash-up featuring Mr X Stitch vs Lisa Comfort.

The mash-up saw these two very different sewists taking a tote bag and making it into an apron and our VIP tickets gave us great seats in the front row....

I'm a big fan of Lisa Comfort and so it was great to see her in action! We enjoyed listening to the banter and watched in awe as Lisa sewed perfected straight lines in a flash (I'm still a novice with the sewing machine).

After this we made our way over to The Grand Makes tent where we enjoyed learning the basics of cross stitch with Mr X Stitch (we weren't stalking him - honest!)....

Mr X Stitch taught us how to start a new cross stitch pattern so you have a perfect back and front, and gave us some tips as we started our first couple of rows. After the session finished we got to take out cactus projects home, so we can finish them off.....mine is...well...lets say still work in progress!

After a morning of craft just one thing was required....a good cup of tea...and of course some cake!
Now, in the VIP tent there was no shortage of teacup....

Decisions, decisions....which teacup will I choose today?

But I have to say that we were ever so slightly disappointed with the afternoon tea offering, which was exactly the same as last year...even the cakes were the same!

Another afternoon tea adventure!

There was nothing wrong with the food exactly (apart from it being rather limited - eight scones were given to a table of nine guests!), but it wasn't particularly inspiring and I was disappointed to see the same sweet treats and savouries.

The finger sandwiches were crustless and fresh....

but the fillings were a rather standard affair, including salmon and cream cheese, ham salad and cucumber. However, it was nice to have a mixture of brown and white bread to choose from.

The scones were a good size and were served with clotted cream and strawberry jam....

Scones enjoyed the Tea With Me and Friends way!

The cakes included small squares of lemon drizzle cake and mini macaroons, both of which unfortunately tasted rather like they had come straight from a packet. A disappointing end to this afternoon tea adventure.

Afternoon tea - The Handmade Fair

After we had recharged our batteries it was time for a mooch around the shopping tents, although they were so packed full of people it was hard to actually mooch....or see anything! There were plenty of stalls, offering a wide choice of craft retail therapy, but the tents were really full and we didn't feel like we could linger and look at things. 

Our day ended with our skills workshop, where we were taught how to make simple ric rac roses.....

All in all this was a bit of a mixed experience, we enjoyed the talks and learning new skills but it was a shame that the afternoon tea was a carbon copy of the previous year. It's always inspiring being surrounded by creative ideas, and the next day I got my sewing machine out and made myself a new simple dress.

Did you visit The Handmade Fair this year? If so we'd love to hear about your experience.

Thank you for popping by today,

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