As you may know, my sister recently gave birth to my first nephew. He is the most perfect little thing I have ever seen, and to celebrate this fact we decided to throw him a party! Now, a 4 week old baby is not really up for a big night out, so it seemed obvious that the best sort of party to throw would be an afternoon tea party. I am quite the connoisseur of afternoon tea (there is nowhere quite like The Dorchester in London), and so took control of the arrangements.
On Saturday, we all descended on my childhood home and put ourselves to work in the kitchen. The day before, I had baked a Lemon Drizzle Cake and a Victoria Sponge, using recipes from The Great British Book of Baking, and now it was time to make the sandwiches. We had a bit of a production line going and made 16 rounds of sandwiches - Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, Cucumber and Cream Cheese, Ham and Mustard, and Cheese and Tomato - which had their crusts removed and were cut into cute little fingers. I have two top tips for you when it comes to making these dainty little sandwiches:
1. Remove the skin of the cucumber before slicing it into little slithers, rather than spending aaaaages cutting all the edges of afterwards...
2. Use a normal kitchen knife, rather than a bread knife, to slice the sandwiches into fingers, as this prevents a lot of distortion and odd shaped sarnies.
For the second course of our afternoon tea we had scones. I have to admit to cheating here: as my baking skills are not quite up to scones just yet, we went to the local bakers and came back with the biggest pile of fresh scones I have ever seen...mmmmmm they were good. These were, of course, served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Clotted cream on the scone, jam on top - the only way!
The scones were then followed buy the cake course. My Lemon Drizzle and Victoria Sponge were joined by some Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes, baked by my little sister, and a Fruit Cake baked by my mum. Yum yum!
All of this was washed down with Pimms, tea, joy and laughter - a proper welcome to the world for my little nephew!
Here are a few piccies of all the food. I think you will agree that it was a bloomin' good spread!