Japan is a place that is close to my heart. I love its kookiness, its cleanliness, and how the traditional sits right alongside the technological. I went there for the first time as a 6-year old and fell in love with Disneyland. I went there as a 26-year old and fell in love with Kyoto. I'll never forget my trip there - the smells, the noises, the food. It was such a culture shock to my system - I buzzed from it.
When I heard about the earthquake in March, I was shocked. When the tsunami ensued, I was devastated. I could not believe what I saw before my eyes. Towns and cities flattened and everything washed away. Everything-gone. All of a sudden the trauma that I was experiencing with my thesis seemed insignificant in comparison to this humanitarian crisis. I felt compelled to do something. And what am I good at doing? Baking I guess. So I began to plan… for the CAKE SALE OF MY LIFE. Well, a vintage tea party actually. My chosen charity- the British Red Cross.
It was never going to be easy, I expected that, but the tea party followed 2 x 12+ hour days at work. I had one full day put aside to bake a whopping 20 varieties of cake - I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I have no idea why I chose 20. To be honest I would have gotten away with 10. But no, I am an over-achiever and what do over achievers do? Bake their asses off. Big time. The menu:
‘The Triple C’ (Chocolate, Chocolate Chips and Cookie)
Victoria Sponge Deluxe
Connie’s Procrastination Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake
Lemon and Ginger
Meringue with chestnut filling
Not-for-the-Faint-Hearted Rocky Road
Diddly Squats (like a rock cake, but better)
Scone with Jam and cream
Coconut and Lime Cake
I started baking at approx. 11am on the Saturday. 18 different cakes, a vat of cream cheese frosting and a broken Dualit handmixer later…I finally put down my palette knife at 1am. It was pretty epic, but the sight of all the cakes together did make me a little bit smug…
The cakes were displayed on my vintage plates (apart from my not-so-vintage cupcake tower) and 'customers' used my vintage side plates and cups and saucers. Tea was served from my vintage tea pot (okay, it was actually a coffee pot). I am a bit of a magpie and I do have an eclectic collection of random, mismatching china all found from charity shops or junk shops. I like to think that I'm rescuing them from a miserable life in the skip.
One thing that I have learnt from past experience is that you can never tell when, or how many people are going to actually turn up. So I was prepared for everyone to turn up at once. My, was I glad I did. Unfortunately at this point, I was so busy with serving, I didn't get a chance to take photos...but here are some action shots:
I did advise people to bring their own tupperware/tins for take out!
Don't worry, here's the real cake porn:
Chocolate Hazelnut Cake and Carrot Cake
Triple C Cupcakes
Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Red Velvet Cupcakes
The Cupcake Tower
The Victoria Sponge Deluxe
The tea party was a roaring success, even if I may say so myself! I've made £200 so far and I am still counting! I offered to send whoopie pies in the post (they travel surprisingly well!) so still awaiting some donations! Thank you to everyone who came and made the day what it was - I'll give a final figure when I've done all of my orders!
A big thank you to kick-ass fashion blogger Winnie who has included this tea party in her latest blog! She's got more pics too so go go go!