Tea parties with a twist

Welcome to my first post, which is dedicated to a subject which is currently inspiring me…Tea!

A strange subject to be inspired by you might think, but there is more to the humble cup of tea than you might think.  Brits are said to drink around 165 million cups a day which isn’t bad for a drink that was apparently invented by accident in ancient China.  This iconic drink has evolved throughout the years gaining a history which encompasses subjects such as politics, economics, religion and class and taken on some fascinating customs along the way.  I will no doubt be blogging more about these things in future posts.

However, my current interest in tea revolves around the social aspect of tea.  Afternoon tea is becoming popular again after gaining popularity in the 18th century thanks to the seventh Duke of Bedford’s wife Anna Maria, who started the trend to stave off hunger between lunch and dinner. 

Another kind of social occasion, the underground tea party, is becoming popular and this is the main focus of this post.  The Underground Tea Party is a fun, creative way to meet new people and partake in amazing food and tea in great surroundings.  They are not literally underground, but underground in the sense that they are ‘secret’ and rely on word of mouth and have a presence on the internet, such as social networking sites (go on, have a search!). 

The parties are also unique in that the venue is secret until guests have booked their place and an email sent out a few days before the party.  Also, as they rely on word of mouth and social networking, most of the guests don’t know each other beforehand which can lead to great conversation and new friendships being made over fabulous food.  Not only that but the parties usually have some kind of theme attached to them.

One such underground tea party event is hosted by the lovely Miss Sue Flay (not her real name of course, hostesses work under pseudonyms) and is called The Secluded Tea Party.  Sue’s parties are held in venues around the Cambridgeshire countryside, often in secluded spots, as the name suggests.

Ready for guests

Sue's lovely decorated table

I have attended three of Sue’s tea parties and can highly recommend them to anyone who would enjoy tasting different flavoured teas, delicious, creative, home cooked food in a relaxed friendly atmosphere.

The first party I attended was a close to Christmas so had a festive theme and held in a room in lovely village hall.  The second was book related and was held in a second-hand bookshop close to Cambridge city centre which was a fantastic venue for a party. The most recent was an Easter themed party, one of the highlights for me being Sue’s home-made hot cross buns with home-made lemon curd…yum!


Miss Sue Flay's hot cross buns and lemon curd

Easter weekend was very hot and perfect for a relaxing tea party, although I’m not sure how Sue managed to keep herself focussed on being a great hostess whilst being very busy and calm at the same time in such heat!

Sue has lots of plans for future tea parties, themed events coming up shortly includes Zombies, a vintage era and craft making! 

If you are interested in finding out more about Sue’s events please take a look at her blog (there is a link at the end of this post ) where you can find more about Sue, her parties and all things related.

Look out for further posts related to this in future.




About Maria Explores...

Blogger and Freelance Writer
This entry was posted in Cambridge, Food and Drink and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tea parties with a twist

  1. writedale says:

    Interesting reading about traditions and tea drinking. The cross buns look delicious and lemon curd sounds yummy too.

    In Texas, we drink our tea over ice. Iced tea, we call it. Some of the upper class Texans may have the hot tea for breakfast or midafternoon beverage. In fact, some Texans think it’s for snobish people.

    I like hot tea, it’s just not a tradition here in Texas. I like the “calming” teas and spiced tea as well.

    I think people should have more tea “get togethers.” It’s a great way to socailize and communicate over matters, or just a way to relax.

  2. Pingback: The Secluded Tea Party Blog Fest | Sudden flashes of inspiration

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