The Ladies' Tea Guild

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Planning a Royal Wedding tea party!

Rosolia Caccomo LoBue's wedding dress ca. 1945.
England’s Prince William of Wales will marry Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011.  What better way to watch the festivities than with a party, more specifically a tea party?  Since the wedding will occur in the wee hours of the morning (Pacific time), you may want to have a high tea the evening before while watching some of the pre-wedding TV specials, and then watch the wedding replay in the morning, or record it live, and play it for the guests in the afternoon.  Everyone can get dressed up in their nicest garden party dress (suits with morning coats for the men) and hats, and enjoy an English-style tea in front of the television.

Afternoon tea is a regular occurrence with the Queen and her family.  Former Royal chef Darren McGrady had this to say about afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace:

“Afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace consists of two types of sandwiches, scones, a plate of small pastries (e.g. chocolate éclairs, raspberry tartlets) and a large cake for the Queen to cut a slice from with her Earl Grey tea.  “Cut cakes” can be anything from a fruit cake, a ginger cake, perhaps a jam and cream sponge but at least once a month chocolate biscuit cake will appear on the menu. It is, after all Her Majesty’s favorite cake and while she may enjoy a slice of all of the other cakes for tea, as soon as tea is over she has no desire to see those cakes again. The remaining cake is dispatched to the staff dining room the following day.  When afternoon tea includes Chocolate biscuit cake however, the rules are different. Her Majesty loves this cake so much she takes a mental picture of how much she is sending back to the kitchens each day. It is the only cake that returns again and again to the royal tea table each day until it has all gone. I remember her on one occasion instructing her Page to call the kitchen to ask who had been eating her cake.”  -- Darren McGrady 

The above-mentioned Chocolate Biscuit Cake is on the menu for the upcoming Royal wedding (not the official wedding cake, however), and what do you know?  The recipe is available on Epicurious!

For more information: The Official Website of the British Monarchy
Fiona Cairns (wedding cake baker/decorator)
The Official Royal Wedding blog
“A Victorian Royal Wedding Tea Menu: French Influence in Victorian High Society” by Tea Party Diva
Official Royal Wedding mugs and plate from Brittania Arms in San Jose
“Royal Wedding fever hits Ohio: Black tie optional, tiaras encouraged” by Laura Trevelyan,
Recipes from Darron McGrady, Royal Chef to Princess Diana
Eating Royally cookbook by Darren McGrady


Rosemary said...

The anticipation for the upcoming nuptials is building! The excitement is practically palpable! Looking forward to all the pomp and circumstance that only the Royal family can produce.

South Bay Ladies' Tea Guild said...

Absolutely! I have high hopes for Will and Kate because they're older and obviously know each other better and are more comfortable with each other than Princess Diana and Prince Charles were. Hopefully they will have a long and happy marriage, and they will get a chance to rule Britain.

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)