AUTHENTIC BRITISH AFTERNOON TEA, FIT FOR A QUEEN
I experienced my first taste of afternoon tea at my grandparents hotel in the North East of Scotland. My brother, cousin and I would run around snatching treats from the kitchen by hiding on the back stairs. Inventing “cocktails” mixing cordials and fizzy juice from soda guns in the function room bar, and my brother terrifying me with ghost stories the cooks had told him.
My Grandmother was extremely hands on, with both us, and the hotel. She handmade all the scones and patisserie for the cream teas and welcomed every guest, whilst still filling our summers with fun and never missing a moment at Christmas. She is the definition of a Matriarch, and still leads our family from the helm, her kitchen, where every other week she sings the songs she used to sing to me, to my daughter, over Facetime.
The kitchen has always been the heart of my family's home, wherever that may be. It is the first room you enter, and often remain, sharing stories with much laughter and love.
My mother hosts the most fabulous dinner parties; her carvable chocolate mousse is legendary. The table is always beautifully set, as if ready for a magazine shoot. We never miss the opportunity to spend a day together shopping, and going for afternoon tea, wherever in the world we are. It's our little tradition, one that I hope my daughter will cherish as well.
I have always been in traditional hospitality, from working in music venues in London and running bars in Vietnam, to designing and producing corporate conferences and product launches. Food was always reserved for my downtime, hosting elaborate dinner parties, like my Mother. Becoming a mother myself has given me the patience to love baking and reminisce about being a child, in both my grandmother and mother's kitchen, cooking together.
Food is the heart of my family, and I treasure the handed down recipes each generation has added their touch to.
The Tea Party’s Menu is a love letter to my family, including my chosen family, and the fond memories I carry with me, despite being so far from them all. And to my Daughter Niambh.
To Scotland and back, with love.