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Wednesday 9 September 2009

Fab book alert! Afternoon tea gets chic

Forget cupcakes. If you want to impress a fashionista now, you have to go one step further. It takes super-chic afternoon tea, a la Claridges or The Wolseley. So that's probably why Sian thought I'd be the perfect girl to try out Susannah Blake's Afternoon Tea (£6.74 at Amazon), a compact little hardback of amazing recipes that are perfect for impressing women who live off champagne and couture.

The book is chock full of recipes that look amazing enough to impress even the most seasoned tea aficionado. A book about Earl Grey and English breakfast this is not, though there's one page telling you how to make the perfect cuppa (hint: it doesn't involve PG Tips) most of it shows you how to create tiny little nibbles that take an afternoon to make and half a second to polish off.

The recipes are gorgeous, and accompanied with the kind of photos that make you want to get baking right away, but be warned: they're not for the faint-hearted! Most involve a lot of ingredients, at least one special utensil, and a fair amount of effing and blinding, no doubt. Tiny food is notorously hard to make and precision baking needs a good set of scales! But persevere and you'll have an arsenal of treats under your belt, including chocolate-filled almond cookies, vanilla and strawberry millefeuilles and dark and white chocolate florentines.

There are also savoury options, like blinis, caramelised onion tartlets and smoked salmon crostini, to name but a few. Amateurs may wish to try the scones and buns first before moving on to the fiddly little biscuits and so on, but there is something for everyone if you dig deep.

Now I just need an afternoon, a pretty cake stand, some mis-matched vintage china and four or five girls to gossip with. Sit tight for news of our very exciting afternoon tea event...


  1. Lovely work! And while cupcakes are off the menu here, SB's Cupcakes book is also fantastic, should tiny things prove a little to fiddly and unfulfilling...

  2. Oooh we'll have to get our mits on that book too!

  3. Fabulous!! Sounds wonderful. Amazon is going to get a battering from me!

  4. Sounds great, might try it after the ironing, need to let those scones rest before they go in the oven


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