Librarian’s Choice – Tea Party Books

This new delicious collection of books is from Sapphia, an Assistant Community Librarian based in Moor Allerton.

This collection of books can help you create the perfect supper (dessert) club or dream tea party full of yummy sweets, baked treats, cocktails and interesting activities to keep everyone entertained. It might mean you will spend some time on it, but you never know you could be so good at it like Mrs Marmite Lovers that you can make a business out of it. At very least you’ll have fun eating and drinking all your delicious homemade goodies in good company.
I will apologise this list is full of the sweet stuff; I don’t have much time for sandwiches when there is so much choice in cakes and sweets!

Everything OzEverything Oz- The wizard book of makes and bakes by Christine Leech and Hanna Read- Baldrey

This is an amazing book full of ideas and charm; there are templates galore to help you create your very own world of Oz including a twisting Tin Man and a dancing Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion hand puppets and giant Poppies. You and your guests can feast on green lemonade and cherry pie in a facemask of eternal youth, surrounded by a field of giant poppies you can learn how to create.
View it all through a pair of your very own emerald glasses to view the glow in the dark jelly Emerald City. And when it all gets a little too much and it’s time to go home, fortunately this book also shows you how to make your own Wishing star and the all-important pair of Ruby Slippers!
There’s no place like home. Especially when there’s a tea party to be had.

Homemade sweetshopMrs Beeton’s Homemade Sweetshop: Our favourite sweets to make, give and enjoy by Isabella Beeton and Gerard Baker

This book with its beautiful cut out sweetshop window design has all the recipes for sweet treats to accommodate any tea party guest’s desires, including chocolate honeycomb, rose and violet creams, vanilla fudge and silvered orange slices. It gives you a great little guide to working with different types of sugar including the sugar stages and temperatures you need to get your sugar to, to create all the different types of sweets. The authors sweep through the history of sweets and how they came to be so popular, useful equipment to use for sweet making, methods of storage and gift packaging. Lots of nostalgic recipes to remind you of your own childhood favourite sweets and something yummy for your guests to nibble, whilst they wait for the tea to brew. Or even better, with your new found skills at gift packaging, a goody bag to take home.

secret tea partyMs Marmite Lovers Secret Tea Party: Exquisite recipes for the ultimate afternoon tea by Kerstin Rodgers

Ms Marmite Lovers knows more than a thing or two about Afternoon tea, whether it is a cream tea, a low tea or a high tea, there will be recipes of indulgence on every page of this book. The pioneer of underground Supper clubs from 2009, Kerstin Rodgers started the craze of Pop-Up restaurants and is still highly sought after due to the exquisite detail she puts in to all her events. This book helps you think about everything to create a fabulous vintage tea party, setting the table, lay out, making your own teacup candles and cake stands as well as how to read tea leaves. On top of this you get lots of yummy recipes like teacakes with rose water and cinnamon and mini cherry bakewells. There are also instructions on how to make a perfect cup of tea, giving you optimum temperatures, brewing times and recipes.

quinntessential bakingQuinntessential Baking by Frances Quinn

A lot of people will know Frances Quinn for winning the BBC’S Great British Bake off. A designer and a baker at heart, each recipe is beautifully executed and there are cute supporting illustrations throughout the book. Although these recipes do require time and dedication, you are guided through all techniques. The designs do also allow for a few imperfections, whist still looking like showstoppers. My favourite recipes include the bonfire cupcakes, with glazed sugar fire and carrot candle cakes, with real looking chocolate candles and edible melted white chocolate wax which would be perfect for a birthday or celebration. You can even pretend to light them with the edible chocolate biscuit tipped matchsticks. (Recipe also in this book!)
You would be sure to impress any tea party guest with these bakes, just make sure you have quite a bit of time and don’t get too disheartened if yours doesn’t look exactly like the picture. Frances gets to spend all day on hers, practicing and practicing till it’s photo ready.

Vintage sweets bookThe Vintage Sweets Book by Angel Adoree

Angel Adoree takes all the flavours from your favourite childhood sweets such as jazzies, cola cubes and white chocolate mice and helps you to not only make those sweets yourself but also have an adult alternative, a cocktail! My favourite cocktail recipes in this collection are the Rhubarb and Custard cocktail- with advocaat and brandy and the Rocktail- a cocktail using the classic seaside rock and ginger liquor. The book is also full of little finishing touches that you may want to add to your tea party including spinning tops, cocktail monkeys, organza pom poms and harlequin puppets. It’s time to be an adult, but still have that childhood wonder.

friends at my tableFriends at my table by Alice Hart

Friends at my table is a book full of moreish rustic meals, set out according to the season so that you can do exactly as Alice does, and use the 12 separate menu’s on all kinds of occasions including a wedding shower! These meals are mostly savoury and a lot more wholesome but are great at helping you cater for a larger group. On top of the recipes and lovely summery hazed photography there’s lots of great activities that Alice encourages you to incorporate at your supper club. There are some fab ideas such as wild swimming, how to forage for food, light a pit fire and even how to play basic beach cricket. This I accept may be a little far-fetched for some of us, best not to have our guest poisoned on a foraging trip or almost drown in a dangerous river! But it’s about thinking outside the box. Take advantage of your surroundings, and the company you have around you. This book has great tips on how to keep you and your guests entertained as well as well fed. And not to disappoint you on the sweet pudding front, there’s a recipe for a black forest Sundae. Delicious!

Domestic goddessHow to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking by Nigella Lawson

From the lady that states, ‘I don’t believe you can ever really cook unless you love eating.’ A list about making food for guests had to include Nigella Lawson. This is the book that started a new obsession with baking luxurious food that we knew would certainly be calorie laden but used great fresh ingredients and recipes that made you feel indulgent and comforted. These bakes are definitely something you want to show off to guests. There is a white chocolate rocky road, a damp lemon cake and a winter plum pudding with clear instructions and tips for a great result. These recipes try and get you to fall in love with baking, taking your time and allowing you to be fully prepared, so that when it comes to the eating, you can share the joy with your guests. Sexualising the food and the baking equipment, like Nigella, is at your own personal risk. Remember we are all adults now. We are at our very first step to becoming a domestic Goddess or God.