Saturday, 4 August 2012

Poires au Chocolat Teas

A few months ago, I had an idea. As with most things, once googled, I realised it wasn't exactly original. Still, it kept on niggling at me, popping into my mind when I was meant to be concentrating on my proposal or decorating.

The idea was to set up some secret teas. Like a supper club, but with cake and scones and biscuits and tea and chocolates. I've been working on making it a reality... and so here it is! If you want to try my baking first hand, this is your chance. I'm not sure if I'll continue or how quickly these few spaces will go, so don't wait to book.

The teas will be held in my new home in Oxford, all around my big dining table (it has a lovely family story behind it). Oxford is such a charming place to visit - I truly believe it's one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. I can provide travel details including other places to visit if you come for the day or weekend.

Places are limited to 10 for each tea - partly because of space, but also because I'd like to be able to chat to each person and make sure that everyone can be included (feel free to come on your own, I'll do my best to make sure everyone gets along and makes friends). A lovely friend has volunteered to help me out so hopefully I won't be glued to the kitchen counter.

There are two dates:
- Saturday 15th September 2012 **sold out**
- Saturday 22nd September 2012 **sold out**

The teas will start at 3pm - I guess they'll finish around 5:30.

To start, I'm working with an autumn theme.

The draft menu for both dates is:

* Crème Fraîche Scones (fresh from the oven) with Raspberry-Redcurrant Jam and Clotted Cream
* Crisp Stem Ginger Biscuits
* Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Layer Cake decorated with Chocolate Leaves
* Wild Blackberry and Honey Tartlets
* Roasted Almond Chocolate Truffles
* A selection of leaf teas and freshly ground coffee

I decided that five courses would give plenty of variety without making you feel totally stuffed. Any transportable leftovers will be safely packaged so you can take them home.

(note: the photos in this post aren't of these recipes)

The 'suggested donation' is £20 - pay below through paypal (with a paypal account or a credit or debit card) to book your place on one of the dates. I'll then email out the address to everyone a week before the event.

EDIT: Both dates have now sold out!

EDIT 03/09/12: Sadly, I have had to cancel the teas. I've explained why here.

In the case of cancellations, please give me at least 48 hours notice or I'm afraid I won't be able to refund your place.

I'm also setting up an email mailing list for the teas - if you want to sign up, click here. I promise I won't send loads of emails - just if and when any new dates are announced, and perhaps a few snapshots of the first teas. We'll see how it goes!


  1. How Lovely, wish I lived closer cos I love afternoon teas!

  2. I was just about to post the same comment as Regula. I wish I could be there!

  3. This is such a great idea! I'm so glad I finally get to try your baking! Look forward to seeing you there.

    x deborah

  4. Brilliant idea Emma! Oh if only we were in the same country x

  5. What a great idea! Wish you all the best and I hope to sit round that dining table one day :)

  6. Just booked for the 22nd. I've never done anything like this before, I'm excited!

  7. What a lovely idea. Wishing i lived closer. Good Luck, for when it comes around.

  8. Oh wow, these sound absolutely fab. I can't do either of the September dates (two lots of engagement celebrations!) but hopefully they'll be a massive success and you'll get some more dates in the diary soon! Would be lovely to meet you in person...and gorge on your amazing sweets :-)

  9. Sadly I'll be back in the Middle East by then. Best of luck Emma - would love to sample your baking ...

  10. Yum, sounds amazing. Lovely idea. Good luck!

  11. Such a great twist on the dinner club idea.

    So sad that we were just in Oxford last week!

    But I think we will make tea and the chocolate/caramel cake on one of
    The september days and celebrate from Minnesota with you.

  12. what a lovely idea!!! do let us know how it all turned out.. some pics of the occassion as well as those goodies!! :)

  13. I really look forward to reading about this. If only there wasn't an ocean in my way. Best of luck!

  14. So sad, mother and daughter would love to have made it as sounds truly scrumptious! Please try and do another date!!!!

  15. What a lovely idea! So wish I lived closer. Also, this is the first time I've heard the expression 'niggling'. I love it. :)

  16. This is lovely! I have to make my way to Oxford!

  17. Would love to come ! But long way from Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia! Hope it all goes well, enjoy.......

    Oh the chocolate and pear loaf was wonderful last week, my husband asked if I had put marmalade or something like that in the top as it was dark golden brown and glossy with a wonderful flavour (I am known for not following recipes as written hence the question, but this time I just followed your recipe. Now what to bake this week??!!!

  18. Emma, what a brilliant and delicious plan. I so wish I could hop on a plane to come to your place for tea.
    With much love from Berkeley,

  19. Great excuse to come back to Oxford! Just waiting to see if I have any friends who are coming with me before I confirm.

  20. Regula - I wish you lived closer too! Hope to see you soon.

    Kaitlin - Hehe well ditto again! You'll have to come visit at some point :)

    Deborah - Thank you so much for booking! I'll sent out an email soon.

    Karen | Citrus and Candy - Glad you like it Karen! I'll have to come visit Australia.

    Amy | Appetite for Discovery - Thanks - hope you can make another one (if I do another)!

    Anonymous - Thanks for booking! I've never done anything like it either, so you won't be alone :)

    Sugar Plum Eats - I'm so glad you like the idea. Thanks for the luck!

    Emily - :D Thanks for offering to help love! x

    thelittleloaf - Nawww I would have loved it if you could have come. But then engagement celebrations are pretty exciting too. Hope you can make any more if I do them!

    Sally - My Custard Pie - That's a shame Sally! You're coming to FBC on the last weekend of September, right? Would be lovely to see you again.

    Grazing Kate - Thanks! I'm glad you like the idea.

    Sharon - I hope you enjoyed Oxford? It's such a fantastic place. I love the idea of you joining us from across the world!

    baker in disguise - I'll try and take some in situ ones too! I'm going to try and create a lovely table so hopefully there will be something pretty to photograph.

    cocoaandchanel - I haven't decided how many posts I'll do about it (and how many of the recipes I post) but I'll make sure there'll be something :) Thanks for the good wishes!

    Emma Nimmo - Aw what a shame! I don't think I'll add another date to these but I may try and do another set later in the year.

    vanilla bean blog - Hehe niggles is a good word! Glad I could introduce it to you :)

    Kay @ Chopstix2Steaknives - I hope you do! Book soon - places are running out :)

    Karen - Australia is a bit far, I'll admit. So glad to hear the loaf went well for you!

    Erin - I so wish you could too! You must come and visit me at some point.

    Cassie - Wonderful! There's only one spot left for the 15th so it might be better to plan for the 22nd if you want to bring a friend? I hope you can make it.

  21. What a fun idea! I wish I lived closer so I could make it to one. Sadly, a trip across the sea isn't in the books until next summer. But then, we'll need to make sure we see one another when Joe and I come your way. :)

  22. Good luck - I'd love to come along to one of your teas. I've been pondering setting up a secret tea room for at least two years, but I don't really have the space, so the idea is still only in my head at present.

  23. I need to be here.... :( Kiss from Roma! :)

  24. I've been looking at this for inspiration, I'm hosting an afternoon tea party next weekend and am really unsure what to cook! I'm really liking the idea of the honey and blackberry tarts and the truffles but I don't think I'll have time to make truffles. Any thoughts on a quick and easy to make menu?


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