Monday, 2 May 2011

A Right Royal Do

Argh, not having the internet is killing me I tell you. I will sort it out, I will I will I will. But until then you'll have to bare with me. I have now joined the modern world and got a phone that allows me to browse the internet but it has a tendency to spaz out when it comes to commenting so although it might appear like I have disappeared I swear I haven't, I'm still here!!

So without further ado, and in follow up to my last post about my plans for a Royal Wedding tea party, let me tell you how it all went.

I was up from 7am on Thursday morning until about 2am on Friday morning getting things ready and there were about four nervous breakdowns but I got there in the end. There was, as predicted, far too much food, but I sent people home with piles of cake and I'll probably put myself in a diabetic coma before the week is out.

Now I know what you all want to know. How did the Union Jack battenburg turn out?

Luckily I have a sense of humour about it now.

The instructions told me to only add a little bit of blue food colouring to the sponge mixture or it would turn green. I duly only added a little bit. And it turned green. I actually managed not to cry, although I did throw a spoon across the kitchen. Luckily for me all was well, I was officially ahead of schedule and I had time to try again. So I cracked eggs and measured out flour and beat everything together and added even less blue food colouring than before.

And I got a mint green cake.

I really did flip out at that point. The trouble with being anally retentive a bit of a perfectionist is that when small things go wrong I have a tendency to go into complete meltdown because now everything won't be perfect. 

I couldn't make yet another sponge so I downed tools and went to my appointment at the hairdressers. There we had a chat about it and he told me that when people come in wanting their hair dyed blue they have to first bleach it and if even the slightest trace of yellow remains in their hair then the hair goes green. Aha. Basically it's all the fault of the eggs and butter. I'm at a loss as to how I would get it blue, I couldn't have used less food  colouring than I did. My sister has suggested food colouring paste instead, but who knows, I can't say I'll be repeating it soon.

Home from the hairdressers I decided to just forge ahead anyway. I would just have a green union jack and pretend there was an eco theme to my tea party and dare anyone to laugh at me.

It is massively fiddly. It's every bit as fiddly as it looks but the good thing about it already being kind of ruined meant that the pressure was kind of off and if it messed up, well it messed up. But I mean it still looks like a Union Jack - right?!

And at the end of the day it tasted good so whatevs people.

But I still had a light green sponge spare. That was not on the itinerary. Luckily a friend on Facebook gave me an idea and a quick trip to the greengrocers and some more buttercream icing later I had another Union Jack going on.

Mini round of applause for me, I'm calling that a save.

I had plenty of decorations to put up thanks to some birthday presents and Poundland which provided some tacky bunting.

And see the fireplace? That's the cross-stitch pattern I was working on before from Mr X Stitch remember? Yeah I didn't get around to framing it unfortunately, but thanks to some clothes pegs and a fireguard I think it turned out alright.

I got up bright and early on Friday morning to do the last minute bits and bobs, including laying the table and last minute hoovering. I was so keen, I was ready by 8.30am and felt very antsy waiting for people to show up.

This table is one of my favourite pictures ever, I don't think I'll ever get bored of looking at it, it is beautiful to me.

And because I can't get enough of it, I took a photo from a different angle too.

And hey, who knew coronation chicken was so easy to make? I was almost convinced to buy some in a jar but I'm so pleased I didn't because it was easy and bloody scrummy, in ma belly. I'll be making this again.

My royal wedding commemorative mugs went down very well - I used some to house some daffodils for decoration and all the others were out on a stand and I asked people to choose their very own mug to have their tea in.

We oohed and aahed as we saw the dress and we discussed all manner of things - like at what point Prince Harry was going to crack on to Pippa Middleton.

I had been concerned that there wouldn't be enough booze to go around but I realised I'd made a slight miscalculation. Two of my guests were pregnant and all the others bar one were driving. So I went from panicking about there not being enough, to being able to bathe in pink fizz if I wanted to.

After the carriage ride and the balcony kiss people started to drift off home. As I said, all were driving and all had other halves who may not have wanted to come to a tea party to watch the Royal Wedding, but still wanted to spend an extra bank holiday with their girlfriends/wives. We're all growing up you see!

All in all? A success, I very very very much enjoyed hosting my first tea party. Although next time I might charge entry, it's pretty expensive to host one of these and put everything on yourself, the total bill came to over £50. Ouch. It'll be a lean month for the rest of May!

So I guess the next one is the Diamond Jubilee next year. Who's up for it?


  1. I think the battenburg looks great, the green makes it look kinda minty and fresh. I'm surprised the table didn't collapse under that spread!

  2. This entire post fills me with utter glee. The cake is AWESOME! I think I'd be put off by blue cake - the green is everso pretty. Also I'm super impressed by the healthy fruit version. V. artistic strawberry chopping!

    That table looks utterly delicious. I'd probably have eaten everything on it. What is it about tea parties that turns me into a giant hog? I think I ate my own bodyweight in cake on Friday.

  3. The cake looks amazing! I don't think it matters that it turned out green, it's a nice shade of green so it looks like you meant it to be that way, and it looks very artistic. I love the fruit version too, it looks so tasty!

  4. Well done you for what looks like a super party! Who cares if the cake was green? It looked awesome!

  5. I REALLY want to host a tea party now, maybe for my next birthday...

    Yes, I've had that problem with blue food colouring and I think if you want actual blue, you just have to shell out for the expensive stuff. The battenburg is still a triumph though! And that fruity union jack! Simple yet stunning! xx

  6. That is a very delicious table you have there - I would have been proud too! You did the same flag cake as my friend with the Blueberries and Strawbugs! Sounds like you (and your guests) had a scrumptious day!

  7. Your cakes look delicious - the eco Union Jack is very Prince Charles. And I definitely think there should be a copping off between Harry and Pippa.

  8. I've never really tried to make blue anything but you kind of get the same problem if you want pink. The yellow in butter icing makes it peach instead. If you really want pink it's a bit annoying. I think all your food looks stunning and is a great result for all your hard work. It looks like that union jack cake tasted good too. The fruity flag looks gorgeous. I bet all your guests loved it all. Yum yum!

  9. I actually liked the green union jack! :)

    And I like the idea of actually ending up with too much pink fizz to go around. Fancy sending some my way please??? :-)

  10. What a fab day! I love everything you made especially your Battenberg! It looks like a wonderful day. x

  11. Your cakes all look fabulous. All of your guests will be able to remember it for years to come. How many times were you asked what you were doing at the last wedding?
    Your green battenburg looks great too. Probably better than blue, you don't see much in the way of blue food.
    pleased the mugs were a success. x

  12. I love your spread 10/10 for effort - especially with the battenburg and where did you get the cushions I saw on facebook?! Mega! I was expecting more shops -aka supermarkets to be selling Royal Wedding party stuff but I didn't find much - hence the lack of union jacks at mine...

    And the things you learn here - never knew that about blue dye!!! xxx

  13. This all looks fab! And that cake must have taken an age to put together - who cares about the green? I think it looks great. What a lovely day to remember x

  14. Wow that's an amazing spread, what lucky girls your friends are :)

    Food colouring paste is definately the way to go. I made my wee one a Tardis birthday cake some years ago and for the life of me couldn't get the icing to go a decent blue - the paste is brilliant and a little goes a long way ;)

  15. Oh god. The green cake thing. I remember that from the last royal wedding now you mention it. I wonder if my mum has a fix.

    Your cakes were - and I do not use this word lightly - MASTERPIECES. Fan-bloody-tastic. And your picture of a table - perfect! The PERFECT royal tea party.

    All you effort was definitely worth it. Golden Jubilee, Harry's wedding perhaps, a royal christening?, a (whispers it) coronation perhaps... there will be many more tea parties to come...

  16. I'm thinking about this now. Angel Food cake. The one where you only use egg whites.

  17. Glad you enjoyed it, can't believe how much food you made - that table looks amazing!

  18. That is one impressive feast!! Looks like I missed a few good parties!
    Love the second save by the way, with the fruit on top, very clever!

  19. Everything looks glorious! I love the battenburg, it was well worth the tears! I never knew that about blue food colouring either and I'm quite amused that you figured out the problem from a conversation with your hairdresser!

    The daffodils look so pretty in the commemorative mugs, I hope you keep them out on display all the time now!

    Good work with the cross stitch too, it looks great pegged on the fire guard!

  20. I appreciate cake pictures.



Go on. Say something. You know you want to...