My dear friend Francesca turned 21 last week. She is not a yardie or a 21 shots kind of girl (just one of many reasons why we are best friends….) so her mother, Susan, threw a lovely summer afternoon tea to celebrate. Floral patterned tea cups, saucers and matching side plates, flutes for bubbles and rounded tumblers for Pimm’s packed full of cucumber, strawberries and blueberries. Flowers on the table with beautiful plates and two tiered cake stands.

Susan made scones with jam and cream, dainty, rounded cut scones – unlike the sort of free form dollops I usually make. There were little triangle sandwiches made by Francesca’s Nana. One plate with peeled, sliced cucumber and the other – my favourite – cream cheese and chopped crystallised ginger. Francesca’s aunt made savouries, small squares of puff pastry, sliced mushrooms and pine nuts atop a creamy base.

There were meringues sandwiched togther with cream and placed in pink cupcake cases. I likened them to Marie-Antoinette-macaron meringues. Should I ever make meringues (the total mastery of baking with egg whites might be necessary) mine will be served just like Susan’s. But when hers are so light, with a wisp of marshmellow inside, not overly sweet and we have a cake tin of them at the flat I can’t see this happening any time soon…

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