Monday, 31 October 2011

The Secluded (French Fancy!) Tea Party

You might remember my post a few months ago about The Secluded Tea Party and the literary-themed event I attended. Well, a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a second event hosted by Miss Sue Flay in a secret Cambridgeshire location. This time the tea party had a French theme and Miss Sue was joined by the lovely Cat from Cakes by Cat who gave us a masterclass in the art of decorating French Fancies.

When we arrived at the venue we were ushered in the bunting bedecked room with a large table in the centre of the room adorned with a pretty checked tablecloth and covered with an assortment of mouth-watering goodies. While we introduced ourselves to each other we enjoyed some sparkling elderflower cordial served in a variety of pretty vintage teacups.

Our first task of the evening was to prepare our flower decorations to add to our cakes later on. These were surprisingly simple to make but very effective as you can see in the pictures of the finished cakes.

Then it was on to the rather messy job of icing our cakes. Cat had provided three different cakes layered with buttercream in a variety of flavours, topped with marzipan and ready for us to cut into squares or circles. Once our cakes had been cut to size we then dipped them into bowls of pastel icing ready for the final decorations.

In between these activities we were also busy tucking into the various delights supplied by Miss Sue Flay. These included cucumber and egg mayonnaise open sandwiches, lemon madeleines with rose petal jam and luscious profiteroles filled with creme patisserie.

And of course a Secluded Tea Party wouldn't be complete without one of Miss Sue's fabulous layer cakes - in this case a Black Forest Gateaux-inspired cake stuffed with buttercream and cherry jam - delicious!

The final part of our decorating class involved icing and decorating our cakes. Cat showed us how to create little icing bags out of baking paper - a trick that required quite a lot of dexterity! These were then used to pipe lines and swirls on top of our cakes before we topped them off with our fondant flowers. When all the cakes were finished and placed in cake cases and boxes the effect was very impressive and I think we all felt rather pleased with ourselves!

Thanks again to Miss Sue Flay and to Cat for hosting such a lovely evening. If you would like to find out about upcoming Secluded Tea Parties then be sure to have a look at Miss Sue's website here and you can read her write up of the evening and see some more pictures here. Cat also runs regular cake decorating classes - have a look at her Facebook page here for more information.


  1. This is such a lovely post :) I will most definitely be checking out Miss Sue's website!

    Just one question, I notice that you have your flowers all laid out on a tray in one of your pics. I have a lot of trouble with the more fiddly aspects of flower making despite owning various tools, what benefits does a tray like that have?!

    I'm going to be attempting french fancies very soon now I've found some adorable french fancy cases in Lakeland :D

  2. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon - learning and practising new skills whilst chatting and eating yummy things! Perfect!

    I'd love to learn more about decorating, mine is rather 'rustic' at the moment.