Is it a bit cheeky to post a pic of homemade Hot Cross Buns post Easter? Then again, I seem to recall “skiting” (is that the word?) in the Op Shop Show-Off was permitted. There were several afternoon tea inspired posts in last weeks thrift store treasure finds on the Op Shop Show-Off so I dug around to see what I picked up at various 2nd hand stores, garage sales, & op shops.
As a little sweetener to your Afternoon Tea: In this post I’ll let you in on a hospo secret: the best time the year to have that world famous Afternoon Tea at The Fairmont Empress in Victoria BC Canada.
But first, a casual cuppa courtesy of This Mum Rocks
The tea cosy was picked up at the same time as the scone holder from the Westport Salvation Army. Am loving both. One small caveat about the hot cross buns in the pic above: I didn’t make them. They were however made in my kitchen by my good friend Shara who came to visit for part of the Easter long weekend.
Tea pot found at the Carterton Salvation Army shop about 10 years ago. Small chip in the spout, but works great.
I’m detecting a bit of a theme here, as I found the cream and sugar set at the Masterton Salvation Army.
Mum picked up about 10 of these little plates for on one of her own NZ op shopping mission when here on holidays….found on a day trip to Woodville & Dannevirke. Like I said in previous posts, Op Shopping is in the DNA
Funny thing: Looking back I don’t think I paid more than $5NZ for the whole lot.
So now, a bit of advice for taking Afternoon Tea at The Empress from someone who used to take the Tea Bookings (note: its been 10 years since I worked there, things could’ve changed a bit)
- Best Time of Year (aka the quietest and cheapest): Last 2 Weeks in January. Avoid July-September if you can, and days like Valentines or Mothers Day. Too many people. 800 Afternoon Teas in a day @ $50-60 a pop.
- Best Time of Day: about 3pm…in the busy months, July & August they would routinely have “Afternoon Teas” at like 11 or 7 which I thought was kinda weird
- Dress Code: Smart Casual. No Jeans Please or White Running Shoes. Think about it for a minute, you are going into one of the nicest hotels in the country and you want to wear a fanny pack to Afternoon tea??? Make the most of it and dress for the occasion
- Asking for seconds: Umm, its meant to be light refreshments, not an all you can eat buffet. “Its a refreshing afternoon treat. For a great follow-up meal, you may wish to consider dining with us in the Bengal Lounge” (which had a great atmosphere, my fav of all the dining options at the Empress)
- Take someone who will appreciate it. Toddlers, and bored husbands breathing through their noses might not be the best choice.
Have an Afternoon Tea setting that’s more casual than chic?
I’d love to see…Share with us on the Op Shop Showoff!