I LOVE afternoon tea and am beginning to consider myself quite the connoisseur.
From nibbling sandwiches at The Ritz to drinking fizz at Harvey Nichols, I have indulged in many afternoon teas over the past few years and as a result I have high standards. High standards indeed.
A bit like men, I expect them to deliver, to have the wow factor, to amuse and make me smack my lips with joy.
So you can imagine my delight when I discovered that there was a little place just up the road from my house that was delivering afternoon tea, but with a difference.
There was just one slight problem. Getting a seat at one of these raved about, pop up afternoon tea sessions is tough. Notoriously tough. Seats sell out in mere seconds on Facebook.
You may have to book three months in advance at The Ritz to get a table on a busy Saturday but that’s nothing in comparison to what it’s like trying to get a seat at one of Strawberry Secret Vintage Tea Room’s much loved events.
Why so popular? Well, these are intimate, small events of around just 10 people, at a secret location, which is only divulged to you when you book. And every tea party has a special theme.
In Barnsley where I live, there is nothing to rival it and so, it is ridiculously popular and with very good reason.
Anyhow, after a few stumbling blocks and one cancelled event, on Saturday I finally made it!
I tottered up the road with one of my best pals Christina and entered the fabulous tea party world that Charrissa the host had lovingly and painstakingly created and got swept up in Halloween fever.
We arrived to carved pumpkins and Halloween bunting, before entering a dark, cosy world of ghosts and ghouls.
Along with our table companions, two very lovely ladies (also delighted to be finally there) we sat and marvelled at the surroundings, before indulging in a little mystical activity of Rune stone reading.
With rune stones, you’re supposed to close your eyes and let yourself be drawn to a stone that resonates with you. Here’s the rune I pulled out of the bag alongside it’s meaning. Does it make sense to me? Well yes it does. Spooky ey? Altogether now…oooooooooooo.
Next, we got into the Halloween spirit and played around with the props.
We nibbled on frighteningly good sandwiches and feasted on ‘eyeballs’.
And tucked into the cutest crisps I’ve ever seen.
We drank LOTS.
As tea is my poison, I started with Yorkshire Gold (well, when in Rome) and finished with a delicate earl grey, whilst Christina went for cappuccinos and toffee apple cordial which was as delicious and as sweet as you can imagine.
We devoured homemade scones, served with jam and clotted cream.
Nothing was too much trouble for our host Charrissa and her (left) hand woman Sue, each course created and presented with love.
After scones, came the sweetest Halloween cake display. No tricks here, just plenty of delicious treats.
The pretzels were sooo good but it was little fella that stole my heart.
Ghostly strawberries, a perfect easy Halloween treat to make with kids. Parents, make note.
Finally, after two hours of delectable nibbles, more drinks than you can shake a teaspoon at and lovely, fun conversation, it was time to take ourselves home.
But not without a goody bag, stuffed with cake, sweets and chocolates galore. And a mini witches broomstick too, naturally.
With goodies in hand and contented tummies, we left our warm and cosy surroundings with Charrissa, ever the perfect host, waving us of in style. But not before stopping for a picture first.
As Halloween experiences go, it was probably my least frightening to date but also my most enjoyable. Gore filled, drunken Halloween shenanigans are all very well and good, but afternoon tea with a Halloween theme was certainly more my kind of brew.
Inspired by Charrissa’s incredible talents, I’m looking forward to making some strawberry ghosts with Elsie later in the week and have already got the pumpkin carved and lit.
And will I be going back to a Strawberry Secret Vintage Tea Room event soon? You betcha! I’m already booked in for a Christmas tea party in December and rest assured, I’ll have my finger hovering on Charrissa’s next Facebook status, waiting to pounce and claim a seat.
Strawberry Secret Vintage Tea Room’s Halloween event really was nothing short of spooktacular. If you’re in the surrounding area, you’d be crazy and ghoulish (get it?) not to give it a try.
To find out more about Charrissa and her Strawberry Secret Vintage Team Room pop up events or to book a place, follow simply follow on FB here. I warn you though, you may just want to cry if you can’t get a seat!
Disclaimer – I was kindly invited by Charrissa to attend her party for free however as always views and opinions are my own.