Afternoon Tea on the Thames

Afternoon tea is quintessentially British, and it seems to be a big craze at the moment in London. I’m not particularly keen on it (how in-British of me, I know) as I don’t particularly drink hot drinks and I prefer a big tasty lunch to sandwiches and cake, but when I was came across afternoon tea on the River Thames with a guide that would inform me of Muslim history in London, I thought it would be quite fun. As a cruise linked to Eid I decided to buy myself and my mum a ticket hoping she’d enjoy it too. My sisters, my sister in law and her mum also joined us.

The meeting point was at Tower of London and after we were all checked in we were able to get on the boat. Once we were in our seats we had tea to start with and then the some delicious looking food.

As we enjoyed our food and the view, the guide started telling us about some of the connections of Muslims to the city of London, which was quite interesting. When we reached Westminster Bridge the boat turned around to go back towards the port. By this point I’d had enough to eat so I grabbed my camera and went above deck. The sun was out and with the cool breeze it felt so refreshing. We passed some iconic landmarks that sit on the banks of the River Thames.

After spending some time above deck taking in the sights and some photos we headed back downstairs. The organisers held a competition that my sisters and I (and it seems no one else) entered so we won a big box of chocolates, as the odds were definitely in our favour!
As we docked back into the port we gathered our things and headed for the exit. It was a lovely afternoon that we all really enjoyed, and I thought it was a real treat to actually go on a boat down the River Thames instead of just watching the waves from the shore.

Let them eat cake

I went to a cake show in London this weekend with my sister and niece. I’m not much of a baker but I wanted to see all the creative designs that would be on show, and eat some delicious cake of course. And I can honestly say that I wasn’t disappointed! There were some amazing cakes, as well as other seriously delicious looking treats that were enough to make my mouth water.

On arrival we were greeted with the huge, happy face of Roald Dahl’s BFG made entirely of sugar, with great colour and detail.

Sugar BFG

There were cooking classes going on with famous tv chefs as well as general sessions to help create treats from well known brands, We didn’t join any of these sessions, preferring to take a look around the stalls. There was almost everything you could think of related to desserts on offer; from cake embellishments and tools, to edible buys like cupcakes, macaroons, meringues and pastries.

I thought some of the cakes on display were great and you could see a lot of time and effort went into making them. Available were kits and tips on how to make and decorate them as well as demonstrations. The biscuit Eiffel Tower was impressive as was the level of detail that seemed to go into some of the sugar craft pieces.

As we wandered we tried some samples and brought some tasty goodies, trying not to get carried away and buying one of everything. We also boarded a red double decker bus set out for afternoon tea.

There was also a cake and cupcake competition that the public could vote for so we walked the aisles wowed by the entries. The theme was myths, legends and fairy tales and there were some great creations. I think my favourites were the Frog Prince, the pretty peacock cupcakes and Disney cake.

After spending most of the afternoon and too much money we headed home with delicious goods, dead batteries and weary but happy smiles. It was a great show and there was something for everyone, avid bakers or not.

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate

Just before Easter I went to a chocolate fair in London with my sister and niece. We were excited about all the possible chocolate creations we’d see and we weren’t disappointed! There was was a big range of beautiful and clever designs which were a treat for all our senses.

Ticket

Our favourite stall was one that had chocolate in various shapes and forms that we thought were really fun.

I think what I really like about these are that they have been dusted with cocoa to make them look rusty.

We also saw a collection of other chocolates in interesting (and slightly strange) shapes, from chocolate samosas to face prints.

Some of the chocolate looked so artistic and beautiful and just too good to eat. I especially love these colourful blocks

Chocolate

We came across other clever and pretty ideas too; chocolates named after Shakespeare’s leading ladies, elegant balls and textured cubes.

Aside from chocolate there were so many other delicious looking and sweet smelling treats; definitely something for everyone.

One of the best things was that we were able to have a taste of most of the products before buying, and we didn’t hold back!

We all really enjoyed the day, taking photos of all the lovely things to buy and taste. We bought home a range of goodies for ourselves and for family whilst trying to not to be tempted to buy one of everything! I still have lots more photos but I’ll have to post about them another time.

I would definitely recommend going to a chocolate festival for those with a sweet tooth and a love of eye candy. I’m currently thinking of going to the one that’s being held towards Christmas to see what other fun ideas that might be presented.