Saturday, October 6, 2012

High Tea for Habitat

September was High Tea for Habitat month. A whole month dedicated to the art of high tea and fundraising for Habitat for Humanity in the Australian and Asia-Pacific region. Naturally I held my very own afternoon tea where friends tasted a range of teas and nibbled on some of the delicious treats I had prepared. Before we get into that, how much do you know about the origins of afternoon tea?

Anna Maria Russell, aka the Duchess of Bedford, is credited with having been the inventor of the afternoon tea. In the early 1800’s she decided she simply couldn’t wait for dinner and needed a snack. It was around this time that tea had gained some popularity and was a little more common. She had a snack prepared for her of some sandwiches and cakes with a cup of tea. She enjoyed this so much she started to invite her friends for afternoon tea and of course if it was popular among the noble classes, it was also popular among the upper classes and the middle classes. But what’s this got to do with high tea you ask? Good question, I say! It all has to do with the height of the table. Taken at a dining table it is a high tea. Taken at the coffee table etc it is a low tea. These days the term ‘high tea’ tends to be given to any tea party with tea, cake and sandwiches that is a little more classy than your average afternoon tea. So popular is high tea that most lovely hotels host them regularly on weekends and some on weekdays. If you are lucky enough to live near a beautiful old fashioned tea room, well you can have high tea anytime!

Now, back to my high tea. Over the course of the month a grand total of $505 was raised for Habitat for Humanity. The day itself was a lovely success. We had several games, some of which you might like to try if you ever host a tea party.

The first was a word game where participants had 30 seconds to compile a list of as many words as they could that ended in the sound ‘tea’. For example; quality, equity and tasty. The winner took away a gorgeous little Maxwell and Williams infuser teapot.

The second game was a tea guessing game where four little Chinese teacups had been filled with different varieties of tea. One point was awarded for every correct ingredient guessed. This game went down to the wire in a Mastechef-esque elimination with a fifth tea. The first to guess an incorrect tea ingredient was eliminated. This nail biting round went down to the wire. A tea with close to a dozen ingredients was chosen and with just two ingredients left (blackberry leaf and red thistle flower) we had a winner who took with them a gorgeous Maxwell and Williams infuser teapot and mug.

One of the most popular treats on the day was the Apple and Caramel Baked Cheesecake. The recipe for this divine desert comes courtesy of fellow blogger and soon to be published author, Not Quite Nigella. You can access the recipe here.

A great afternoon was had by all and more importantly lots of money was raised for a very worthwhile cause.

Check out some beautiful photos of the day taken by the lovely Jen of jen hostetler photography

Thank you to everyone who made it such a special day!

Chocolate Cake Pops

Elderflower, lemon and mint cordial

Chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate and salted caramel frosting
Vanilla cupcakes with boysenberry swirl icing

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