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Village Food & Drink

The joy of tea

Posted on October 21 2012 at 2:35:56 0 comments

Vintage tea


As the business grows and grows, Constance Wallace is bringing traditional tea parties to an-ever increasing number of people – and owner Diane Cooke is delighted with the response.

“Everyone seems to love the concept of an old-fashioned tea party with all the pretty decorations, vintage linen and china, and piping hot tea served from a teapot,” she smiles.

Diane, who launched Constance Wallace three years ago, believes that “proper” tea is something for every day, not just high days and holidays – and indeed, clients are using it for christenings, weddings, funerals and everything in between.

A recent “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” saw 17 small children enjoying jelly in tea cups, mini cakes from china stands and strawberries dipped in sugar while Diane has catered for all sizes of event from afternoon tea for 100 people in a marquee to an intimate tea for two in a residential home.

“The call of ‘Put the kettle on’ applies to every time of day and season of life,” says Diane. “Tea wakes us up in the morning, revives us in the afternoon, calms us in the evening, celebrates good news and soothes bad news.”

One of the keys to Constance Wallace’s success is that Diane is constantly coming up with innovative ideas to develop the business – recent brainwaves have included a special menu for early morning events, featuring warm muffins, BLTs and smoked salmon bagels.

At this time of year when the nights are drawing in and we are looking ahead to Christmas, thoughts turn to cosy afternoons by the fire – and Diane has tapped into this by making candles in tea cups to add a warm and festive glow to any room.

She has also created a special menu for Christmas events, with turkey and cranberry sandwiches and hot mulled wine.

The shop at Tardebigge Court has also been revamped, with an extended range of vintage accessories to hire and buy. There’s a wider range of china, and Diane has also obtained a traditional 1950s pram for hire, which is a big hit at baby showers!

These events have become very popular of late, and Diane is often invited back to cater for the baby’s christening.

A new website is up and running, with plans underway for an online shop selling Diane’s vast selection of handmade or restored items such as table linen, cushions, aprons, bunting and knitted tea cosies.

And the vintage party plan (like a Tupperware party but with china and handmade items) is still proving popular.

“Peggy”, Diane’s 1958 Austin van, has passed her MOT with flying colours and is being treated to a makeover this winter as a reward – and it’s a good thing she’s healthy, as Diane is travelling ever further afield, with upcoming events in Leicester and Berkshire.She has already taken bookings up to 2014.

“The most important thing is that I’ve met lots of lovely people,” she concludes. “There is no greater compliment than being invited back to do another event, or recommended to clients’ friends.”

Tel: 01527 540111
Open 10am–5pm Weds – Sat

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