It may seem that I had given up posting on the blog for Lent, but let me assure you that this was merely a function of not having anything to post about, followed by having lots to post about and then getting overwhelmed at what was an increasing time between posts and then worrying what my “first post back” should be and how I should say it and what my excuse ought to be. But then I thought I’d just get on with it and type the first thing that came into my head. And the result is this paragraph. Hmm. I think I spot a trend occurring. So moving on…
This weekend I went to a 30th birthday party of a very good friend of mine. Beforehand we’d been told that the party was being put on by Vintage Patisserie. Now I hadn’t heard of them before, but apparently Angel, the founder, appeared on Dragon’s Den and did rather well. The basic concept was a completely personalised vintage tea party experience, including special cocktails drunk out of tea cups and a bevy of beautiful sandwiches. They take over a room in the upstairs of a pub in London’s trendy Shoreditch and set the whole thing up like a post-war celebratory event. Not only do you get food and drink, but there are opportunities for dressing up as well as a chance for the girls to get their hair and make-up done in the style of the period.
Now I’m no style maven and whenever I frequent vintage shops, and frequent is a deliberately ironic word to use, I tend to wander around without the first clue as to which patterns are kitsch fun compared to those which are just kitsch crap and generally wondering why the smell of jumble sales has burgeoned into a big industry. Despite this and having hair too short to be styled (believe me, I’ve tried) – even I had an absolutely brilliant afternoon. I would put the reason for that solely down to the attention to detail that had been lavished on the occasion. There were cupcakes and bunting with pictures of the birthday girl, old school board games littering the table, a gloriously eccentric collection of teacups and china as well as the impeccably turned out waitresses – all seamed nylon and victory curls. But beyond that, I had my own special needs sandwiches and scones (I’m wheat intolerant) and couldn’t have felt more looked after – but in that good service way, not that irritating and ingratiating way. It’s very rare for WF catering to actually taste good, but I can tell you that those scones with clotted cream and jam were like a personal gift to me, something I never thought I’d be able to eat again (if you don’t know, WF cooking usually leads to rather dour, dry and dense desserts).
The best thing for me though, was to see this entrepreneurial individual, making a go of a niche business with passion and obviously succeeding with gusto. There was a great feeling in the room for the entire duration and I’m sure that Angel will receive repeat business from some people who attended. And that’s why brand and “soft” attributes are sometimes more important than the dreaded P/L sheets – if you have a passion and a skill, and you are a genuine person (and don’t let yourself get taken for a ride) there is every opportunity for you to excel in whatever you put your mind to.
And that’s something I really can get behind.
Check out Vintage Patisserie here: www.vintagepatisserie.co.uk
And if you do get in contact with Angel, tell her the guy with the red bow tie sent you!