To celebrate Amnesty International’s 50th birthday this summer, the charity picked up on the “baking” zeitgeist and came up with its own take – AmnesTEA – an off the peg, fundraising event to raise money for human rights. Although I’m not a member of Amnesty, my teenage son is and was happy to help me with some of the setting up before hand. I’d been to a couple of other cake events (via Clandestine Cake Club) and had enjoyed them so this was an opportunity to hold one of my own – invite guests and ask everyone to make a donation of at least £5 to Amnesty International.
Any excuse to get the best tablecloth out, bake a cake, make some fancy biscuits and invite my neighbours and friends to come over. I prayed for good weather following days of very persistent rain. We were not to be disappointed. Once the morning rain had dried up, we had a hot, sunny day on which to enjoy our tea and cakes.
We had a brilliant jazz pianist in the form of Toby Nelms – a student at the Royal College of Music. His extensive repertoire was impressive and made the event feel quite special. The following weekend he got a booking to play at Clarence House. Not bad!!
I must have made at least 25 cups of tea on the day. I’d bought Tregothnan tea as I wanted give my guests a special treat. The first few cups I produced were frankly undrinkable with people politely asking could they have builders tea please. I quickly realised that the best way of drinking this ‘special’ tea was in fact without milk. I recovered my composure and from then on in, the Tregothnan Afternoon Tea went down a treat with my guests. Their Afternoon Tea is a blend of hand-plucked leaves and imported Darjeeling. It has a delicate refreshing taste with a citrusy note. I’ve never visited The Tregothnan Tea Estates in Cornwall but hope to one day.
We raised £110 and even after everyone had taken the leftover cake home, we still had loads of lovely cake left. (Note to myself for next time, invite a lot more non-bakers and maybe auction off cakes to the highest bidder!!) As we were expecting a house guest the following day – I didn’t have to worry about making any desserts for the next two weeks!!! Cake keeps remarkably well and can be served again with the addition of summer fruit, crème anglaise or just as it comes.