Sunday, July 11, 2010

Love in a teacup and give-away...

Hello my lovelies! I am so excited about today's post because I am going to share a
really fun project I worked on about a year ago - 'High Tea at the Victoria Room'!

Ironically, it all started over a cup of coffee.. over at one of my best friends' place where I
found out about a new and inspiring book project for one of my favouirte restaurants here in
Sydney, namely the 'Victoria Room' (which I wrote about a little while ago HERE & HERE.)

High Tea kids' party at the Victoria Room

You know how I love The Victoria Room (!) and in my humble opinion it is the place to have
'High Tea' when in Sydney. So you can imagine my delight (and slight awe-struck shock) when
I was asked to write part of the original manuscript for what was to become a delicious success!

Crème brûlée in a tea cup - loving the styling here!!
Image from 'High Tea at the Victoria Room' - please make clear reference to the Victoria Room if using it.

I was handed a very (!) rough draft of the content for the book's historical and etiquette section
as well as a large dose of friendly encouragement and off I went. The deadline was tight and I
had only a few days to turn a stack of notes into a comprehensive and entertaining something.
Suffice to say, I started not only researching & writing about tea, but also drinking a whole lot
of it in order to stay awake during what turned into a marathon of work in order to pull it all
together in time. Two days (+ 2 long nights!) later I handed over the the first incarnation of text.

Google image

Though the book makes reference to 'High Tea', some prefer to call it 'Afternoon Tea'. There are
real and tangible differences between 'High' vs 'Afternoon' tea, however today the two terms are
often fused together into one happy brew and the book was to refer to the ritual as 'High Tea'. But
for the record, and simply put, 'Afternoon Tea' was what the fine ladies of aristocracy enjoyed
some time around mid-afternoon. It was served in a salon with a buffet of sweets and treats.
And of course a good cup of gossip!

Image courtesy of the Dorchester, London

'High Tea' on the other hand was not at all high brow, and was what the working class enjoyed
at night after they got back from a long and hard day at work. It was eaten at a high table, hence
the name. It comprised of a pot of hot tea, cold cut meats and bread - a substitute for dinner, and
in some parts of the English speaking world, dinner is still sometimes referred to as 'tea'.

Salmon Cakes with Sour Cream and Dill 
Image from 'High Tea at the Victoria Room' - please make clear reference to the Victoria Room if using it.

Though this book is not mine, but rather that of the fabulous and so very very creative and
clever Jill Jones-Evans (co-owner of the Victoria Room) and the head chef Joe Gambacorta,
I am very proud to have contributed. Not only did it give me the chance to dive deeper into
the rich brew that offers the backdrop for the classic ritual of High Tea, but also gave me
a real appetite for book writing again. Something that had been dormant for a little while.

  White chocolate cup cakes with white chocolate ganache
Image from 'High Tea at the Victoria Room' - please make clear reference to the Victoria Room if using it.

I love hosting afternoon tea parties not only because of the ritual, but because of the fun one
can have with the buffet and table setting. I love the idea of fresh flowers, cute serviettes and
pretty tea sets mixed with freshly made scones, sandwiches, tarts and other treats. Perhaps even
even some Champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries may find their way onto the table! :)

Classic scones.
From  'High Tea at the Victoria Room' - please make clear reference to the Victoria Room if using it.

They can be as causal or formal as one whats, and are as perfect for a birthday or baby shower,
as they are for a girl's afternoon out, mother's day or even a kids party. Always chic and so right!

 Pink cup cake
Image from 'High Tea at the Victoria Room' - please make clear reference to the Victoria Room if using it.

Unable to invite you all to a fabulous big tea party (oh how fun that would be though!) I am
offering a copy of 'High Tea at the Victoria Room' to one of my dear followers. All you need
to do is leave a comment below. Please make sure that your icon has a live link to your blog.
Entries will be accepted until midnight (Sydney time) Sunday, 18th July 2010.

Good luck to all and sorry for not opening this give-away outside Australia.
There will be more give-aways for the rest of the world very soon!!

xx Charlotta


A Perfect Gray said...

Charlotta, it's OK that I can't have a chance for the book because those images were beautiful enough. unbelievably delicious - even just to look at...I am a huge creme brule fan and you put me over the moon with that one today!

and great to know about the differences in 'high tea' and 'afternoon tea'. I really had 'high tea' all wrong!

a lovely piece. thank you for all those yummy treats!

Love, Donna

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Well hi there, Charlotta, I'm packing right away to move to Australia. What GORGEOUS Giveaway!! One lovely lady is going to be a lucky happy happy lovely lady soon ;) All the pictures are really eye candy to me.
Lots of love for the new week! xx

Kimberlee said...

What a gorgeous book and how fabulous to be a part of it. And do lovely to see such a thing coming out of Australia! xxx

Marg M said...

I love TEA and the images are just beautiful congratulations for the inclusion too.

Stacey said...

Awww..., a post that was worth the wait:-). I am an avid tea drinker and those images are so beautiful!! Such decadence!

Stacey said...

I forgot to to say Congrats on being a part of such an awesome project! It must be a great feeling.

A Write Life said...

What an awesome post and some of those goodies looked, well, really good! Sorry to not live in Australia. :(

s a n s k u :) said...

gorgeous pictures! what a fun project to be involved in.


High Tea is the best thing since sliced bread. If you're lucky enough you can get champagne to top it off.

shari @ little blue deer said...

Congratulations to you, Charlotta! That is wonderful! It looks like the most lovely book, you should be so proud! Alas I am in the US but best of luck to your Aussie followers! XO!

caroline @ patagonia gifts said...

I love so much high tea or afternoon tea... every tea! along with delicious treats and a gorgeous table setting. these post is simply fabulous! hope you had a lovely weekend! xo

Kiki said...

This is a beaute Charlotta - amazing work!!!


Velvet and Linen said...

Everything here looks positively delicious! What a wonderful project to be a part of!
Since I live in California, I guess I'll have to buy the book!
I look forward to looking at every yummy page and creating my own high tea.


Beadboard UpCountry said...

One of the prettiest posts I've ben privleged to see from you!I am an espresso gal but love the china!!!!!!Maryanne xo

Anne @ The City Sage said...

This looks like an absolutely marvelous book--and what a fun project to have worked on! Makes me even more excited for my December 2010 visit down under. I'll put this tea room on my 'must see' list for sure!

Thanks for your kind words on my blog. Your support means the world to me!


Karyn said...

Im so glad you found me because now I have found you. When the children go to bed tonight I am going to sit up & read through your blog I never turn down a creme brulee. A beautiful post , next time Im in Sydney The Victoria Room will be on our must visit list. I have been teaching my 7 year old daughter to make scones just like my nanna taught me & I must say she has perfected them.
Karyn x

Louise (Table Tonic) said...

That looks too divine for words, Charlotta! Enormous congratulations on it, and thanks so much for the opportunity to win one (if I don't win, I'm SO buying it!).
Have a gorgeous week.

Kerry said...

You are so kind to offer this up and how wonderful to have been part of putting this together. I wish I could make scones like those...mine look much more like something you'd skip on the lake!
Thanks Charlotta!

Urban Style Vibes said...

What a lovely story! It seems we have a lot in common, I'm also dreaming about writing my own book but my time is always so limited... Good luck with the give-away, unfortunately I'm not in Sydney region at this moment;-)

Thea said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog because now I have discovered yours and am pleased to be a new follower. I LOVE high tea and being the nerd that I am, always enjoy knowing the history behind things. Great post! Will also check out your friend's blog too. x

Style Attic said...

That is beyond cool and you were the perfect LADY to rescue and re-issue such a task! I would totally love to have a copy and have high hopes turn into an afternoon delight :)

Amanda said...

Hi Charlotta, What a gorgeous project to be a part of, and what an amazing book and place this must be. How you turned some text around in 2 days is beyond me! Anyway, one of your Australian followers will be extremely happy to win this. I just wanted to pop by and say thank you for somehow wending your way to my little blog, and allowing me therefore to find yours. I know I'm going to really enjoy following it!

Carole said...

Charlotta, you are such a busy lady!!
Dinner was always called 'tea' at home when I was small and now I know the reason why!
Shame I can't enter the giveaway because it would be a great gift for a friend of mine. She is trying to work her way round every single London hotel trying out their 'afternoon tea'.
Lots of Love x

La Dolfina said...

Beautiful post Charlotta and congrats to you on your contribution to the book!!! I once had a bridal shower tea and devoured the book from Victoria Magazine called, "The Charms of Tea". I made everything from scratch and all my guests were wowed by the pleasantries of a proper tea! I'll never forget it. It was a lot of work but completely worth it.
Good Luck to all your Aussie followers:)

Flaviana said...

Hi Charlotta
thanks for stopping by! You're contributing to the book, that is awesome! I really enjoyed the images, since I can't win it I will probably buy it ;-)

Nuit said...

Oh what a yummy post Charlottta!! and don't worry, I am to far and can't always make all giveaways... I really enjoyed this post anyway =D


Bralliz said...

Hey, oh what a beautiful blog u got! I love it!
I would love to join ur giveaway, such a beautiful book!
Happy day dear!
xoxox alice

Leigha said...

It looks delicious...sounds delicious...and most certainly is delicious for all the senses. What an exciting project to be part of!

Robin said...

High Tea! Yum! Thanks for the beautiful eye candy!

McCarthy Designs said...

Hi Charlotta, thank you for stopping by to visit me, it allowed me to pop over to visit you and discover your gorgeous blog just in time for your fantastic giveaway! Please count me in, I am your newest follower! xx

KarenB said...

Hi Carlotta, I'm a new visitor to your blog - I linked across from Julie's blog. The Victoria Room looks magic - I'll make a point of visiting next time I'm in Sydney. My mother-in-law lives in Sydney and she'd love to go too, I'm sure. I'm drowning in those devine photographs, and I'd love to win a copy of the book!

Alkemie said...


Thanks for stopping by my blog. You are right, I really loved this post!! Looks like a lovely book as well. Always happy to discover other tea lovers.

Karen O.

Melinda said...

Those images from the book are amazing and I do love the Victoria Room. I am adding this book to my wishlist.

Sarah Klassen said...

That's wonderful news! Even though, as you said, the book is not yours, you still contributed to it—and it looks just beautiful!

I love the tradition of high tea and tea parties... I recall as a young girl, my Mum would set up tea parties in order to teach me etiquette and such. It became a bit of a tradition, and I have lost now that I am in my 20's... I must get this book and bring the tradition back! Thank you so much for sharing this—very, very well done :)


Kerri said...

Ooh Charlotta, looks amazing! How fantastic to play a part in the production of such a gorgeous book. So glad you popped in to my blog, now I've found yours and so I'd love to be in the draw for your gorgeous giveaway! As a former Sydneysider, (I used to live quite close by in Rose Bay) I'll be putting this little gem on my 'must visit' list! K xx

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dear Charlotta
It would be an honour to win something that has been touched by your creative style...May even tempt me to entertain in the new Villa Ruby...

Congratulations on your part in this enterprise..I'll be heading off to the bookshop to check it out.. and maybe get myself over to the Victoria Room one day..

Hope you week has been kind to you.. xxx Jule

Calico&Co said...

Oh I LOVE high tea, and I LOVE High Tea at The Victoria Room even more! Having had my fair share of high tea at a number of venues around Sydney I can say without a doubt that The Victoria Room is simply the best! I would love to win this beautiful book full of such great high tea goodness!

Cath said...

High tea is one of my all time favorite things to do with girlfriends : )

What a wonderful experience to have been a contributor to this stunning book....though not a surprise you clever thing!


Lilach said...

Hi, I got to your blog from 'absolutely beautiful things'. Not a blogger myself, but would love to have a copy of this book. I love the Victoria room, it is just as lovely for dinner. Congrats on being part of this beautiful project.

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