The REAL TeaseMaid since 2011! Take a peep at my blog: a sweet and sexy cocktail of Tea and Tease, a cupcake and cream-tea blog with a burlesque twist. Let's face it, afternoon tea is the most fun you can have with your clothes on! So read on for some tasty tit-bits that you're not gonna get from the 'old dears' at The Tea Guild.... ;-) If you fancy coming along to my monthly Clandestine Cake Club, see the link below. And don't forget to check out the date of my next 'Avon' retro cosmetic party "Cake It On".... Love from The TeaseMaid xox

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Shoreditch Clandestine Cake Club - Meeting 5: "Whodunnit?"
Do I pass for Miss Scarlett?
Far more people than expected descended on an unsuspecting, dimly lit pub last Monday night. I had chosen the location for its red velvety walls, dark turquoise furnishings and plenty of wood as I thought it would be a good place for a Cluedo-inspired Cake Club. The theme was pretty much any 'super-sleuth' you could think of but considering Cluedo was first made in 1949 and that's pretty much my favourite era, I chose the glamorous Miss Scarlett for my own costume inspiration:

Others went with Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple and Mrs Peacock:
Madeline as Poirot and Caroline as Marple
The lovely Polly as Mrs Peacock, complete with Peacock feather
The cakes were absolutely fantastic and I was so impressed with the different interpretations of the theme. I had opted for a fairly simple 'Miss Marble' cake as I had a lot of other things to do for the evening...namely my hair..! However, the array of cakes was totally amazing and I wish I could've taken pics of them all. Here's just a few:
'Miss Marble' and 'upside-down Professor Plum' cakes
'Tom Banana-by Midsomer' cake, Belgian Chocolate Moustache cake and 'Columbo coffee cake'
Pistachioed Moustachioed Belgian Choc cake, 'Colonel Custard and Miss Scarlett cake' and 'Mrs Peacock cake'
Martha's sponge cake with jelly gun!
My initial plan had been for us to split into teams of two and play Cluedo - I brought two boxes of it with me and tons of pencils and prizes. But the pub was so dim, we couldn't see a thing and there were really far too many of us. Thankfully I had a back-up plan of my 'fill in the blanks of the famous detective's name' game. It even included a picture round :) It was obviously quite difficult as can be seen by these ladies trying desperately to work out if Colombo even had a first name (Incidentally Debbie, Bergerac's first name was not 'Cyrano de') haha
After 2 tiebreakers (it really was nail-biting stuff) the winner received a brand new CSI box-set. (By 'new' I mean, it was in plastic packaging...it was actually Season 1 but it's not bad for free!) I also had an array of little prizes in evidence bags. You can just see the mini Cluedo playing cards and magnetic bookmark with a noose on it. There was also a Miss Scarlett compact mirror:
The rest of the evening was spent discussing our favourite detectives and enjoying cake, although I'm pretty certain that in the darkness everyone was suddenly expecting to trip over my bleeding corpse and have to find out Whodunnit. I might save that for my birthday party....
At the end of the night, Zoe ran off with my rather fetching Crime Scene tape and I forgot my tupperware so I took cake home in evidence bags:

Thanks so much everyone for coming and eating cake in the dark and expecting to be clubbed over the head with a candlestick at any moment. And thanks so much to Lynn Hill for devising the Clandestine Cake Club and giving me a reason to get people together to act nuts and dress-up once a month. Hope to see you all at the next one :) xx
Go to http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/ to join the network, then click on my Shoreditch group to join us :) For info on how to do hair and make-up, go to my vintage site at http://www.make-upbake-up.blogspot.co.uk/ xx

Monday, 10 September 2012

'The Park Lounge' at The Milestone Hotel, Kensington
Despite the fact that we just had a heatwave, we have crossed the threshold into September and that means it's Autumn. Does anyone else remember years ago we'd be getting ready for our new school term and purchasing new tights and jumpers and a 'big coat'? As the years have passed it's like the seasons are getting later and now September is fairly summery for us. Even most of winter is quite mild until we get to Jan and Feb and freeze our asses off... Oh, bring back cold September mornings with the smell of burning leaves in the air and chestnuts underfoot!
Anyway, musing aside, I absolutely LOVE Autumn - it's my favourite time of year. All the great things happen: Halloween, Bonfire Night, My Birthday (to name a few. E-mail me for details of the latter...) and of course you can mull cider and wine so you have a great excuse to drink all day, especially if you're at a market or in the park.
I've decided to start reviewing some great autumnal places to fit in with the time of year and I recently went to The Milestone Hotel, basically because in the pics on the web it looked like Sherlock Holmes' drawing room, or a place where Oscar Wilde may have sipped champagne and dreamed up 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'
You can see what I mean: rows of books, soft lighting, velvet and giant paintings - The Milestone really didn't disappoint. The only thing is that photographs of places tend to make us imagine there are blanks to be filled in with our minds so I pictured this room with its grandiose decor as much larger than it was. It was gorgeous but it's really only the size of someone's lounge in their house.
That's quite nice though - it's not a negative. Less space = less people and noise (yes - I am an old person and I want to be able to hear my conversations...) so me and my guest (the lovely Amanda Sutton from Amanda's autopsies who I met during Taxidermy and Tea, see here for that review and her details http://afternoon-tease.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/taxidermy-and-tea.html) thoroughly enjoyed it.
The problem with reviewing tea for a magazine or similar publication is they treat you really well because they know who you are. Amanda and I were treated like royalty with a free full afternoon tea as well as champagne. The food was truly delicious with the typical finger sandwiches: smoked salmon, egg and watercress and ham and mustard to name a few. However there were a couple of very strange circular chicken mayonnaise sandwiches that had been rolled in chopped almonds that neither of us particularly liked (you can see them in the pic). Perhaps if they were Coronation Chicken circles the almonds would make sense, but with only mayo the combination was a bit strange.
The cakes were gorgeous but I think it's fairly difficult to go wrong with any kind of cake! We kept ourselves busy with mini eclairs, Black Forest cupcakes, almond financiers and coffee macaroons etc, and the room was very silent for that little episode...
Despite it being gorgeous it was also filling, so we had to ask for a doggy bag to take the rest of the cakes home. The Milestone provide you with a little carrying box plus handles so you can take them home in a dainty little case - however, I totally forgot to bring ours with me so that was a little fail right there :(
All in all it was a lovely ambient place to have a civilised afternoon tea with beautiful decor, gentle piano music drifting in from the conservatory and very helpful staff and I certainly want to go again and take tea in the conservatory itself (it has a totally different feel to the Lounge and would be lovely after a shopping trip with the girls):
Head to the conservatory if you want to extend your summer but if you want to speed up the cosiness of autumn then do what I did and go to the Park Lounge xox


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