Lady MH hosted the spring tea for the Victorian Tea Society at Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe and Afternoon Tea. Months in the planning, Lady MH reserved the entire tea room for 15 lucky guests to revel in a Royal Afternoon Tea to celebrate the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Since the tea was held on Sunday, May 20, many of the ladies spent the previous day watching the nuptials on TV before taking their hats off to (or putting their hats on, as the case may be) Prince Harry and Meghan at the tea party!
The timing of the Royal Afternoon Tea party not only coincided nicely with the wedding event itself but Lady MH somehow managed to arrange for some English weather too! Though we didn’t get rain, the May gray was too good to be true!
The tea party commenced with the singing of the English national anthem, “God save the Queen.” Since this was an English-American wedding, I wondered why we didn’t dispense with all tradition and also sing the “Star spangled banner” …? However, the menu was an English-American fusion of tea delights so all was forgiven for this little oversight. 😉
NOTE: The photos that follow reflect only the vegetarian menu. Overall, I enjoyed the vegetarian menu very much but I want to point out that Shakespeare’s also offers a vegan menu! Had I known, I would have chosen the vegan menu since that option is not usually available at tea houses.
The roast chicken vol au vent was an homage to the royal couple’s engagement day since Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle over a roast chicken dinner. The vegetarian version of the roast chicken vol au vent was filled with roasted vegetables!
Branston pickle, a sweet and sour chutney or relish of chopped vegetables (traditionally: carrots, rutabaga, cucumbers, and cauliflower) in a “brown sauce,” was served as an accompaniment to the sausage rolls. I had never had it before and it was sweet, sour, and crunchy with the distinct flavor of Worcestershire sauce which, by the way, is not vegetarian. I don’t know for certain whether the Branston pickle served here actually contained Worcestershire sauce because I didn’t get a chance to ask but it certainly tasted like it. Just a heads-up!
The selection of desserts were wonderful in concept and execution and appropriate to the theme of the royal wedding. That said, those of you who know me will appreciate the irony of the selections:
- Syllabub: Syllabub was included on the menu as a tribute to tradition. Originating in the 16th century, syllabub is a quintessential English dessert that consists of whipped cream with sugar and wine (in this case, it was Champagne). I think I was the only one who could taste the Champagne. 😉
- Banoffee pie (banana and toffee pie): The inclusion of banoffee pie on the menu was a nod to Prince Harry’s fondness for everything banana. Apparently, the royal couple almost ordered a banana wedding cake which, in my opinion, sounds even worse than fruitcake!
- Princess tiara shortbread: Everyone’s favorite British (Scottish to be exact) biscuit but my least favorite cookie! 😦
To end the Royal Wedding Tea celebration, all guests were served a “slice” of Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding cake, lemon elderflower cake with lemon buttercream frosting.
This Royal Wedding tea party boasted the largest attendance of any Victorian Tea Society event to date. Members and friends of the Victorian Tea Society came together to share the experience of afternoon tea which this plaque in the Corner Shoppe summed up quite completely. Thank you Lady MH and co-hostess, Lady K., for hosting a royal occasion that will be remembered for years to come and congratulations to the royal couple!