This post contains information about DFWI events and follows on with a look at Biggin WI’s forthcoming contribution to its group centenary display of “tea through the ages” and I should warn you that some of the pictures may contain calories.
The Derbyshire Federation of Women’s Institutes has several events on the calendar to celebrate the DFWI’s centenary. Here are the dates. Costs and other information, including how to apply, to follow nearer the time.
6th March – Centenary Annual Council Meeting – The Winding Wheel Chesterfield.
13th April- Celebration Service, Derby Cathedral.
12th May – Showcase event – Chesterfield
19th June – Centenary walk – Ashover
4th July – Centenary Afternoon Tea – Chatsworth
2nd September – Holiday in Northern Ireland (5 nights 4* accommodation)
27th September -Variety Show – Winding Wheel Chesterfield
10th October – Centenary Lunch – Hassop Hal, near Bakewell.
20th October – Centenary Annual Federation Meeting, Trent College, Long Eaton.
4th November – Celebration Service, Tideswell (St John the Baptist)
12th December – Evening Reception in The Painted Hall in Chatsworth House followed by Festive Fayre in The Stables Restaurant.
I am sure that I shall become more confident about the spelling of centenary as the year progresses though I was rather more interested to discovered that when Yorkshire celebrated their centenary they invented a new fruitcake recipe and that there’s even a WI rose that made its debut in 2015.
Meanwhile the Biggin WI is thinking about its contribution to the group display for the Centenary Exhibition at the Winding Wheel on the 6th March. Our allotted area is “tea during the 80s and 90s to the present” – Time to look in the back of cupboards for tea related stuff!
We have some ideas including menus, cookery books (Delia for the 80s) as well as crockery (remember when Portmeirion botanic china was all the rage?) I know that there are several ladies keeping an eagle eye on our local charity shops. We need to have everything assembled by the 27th Feb.
Apparently afternoon tea occurs between 3.30 and 5.00 pm. It was invented by the Duchess of Bedford- who was troubled by hunger pangs in the afternoon. The Ritz has been serving afternoon tea since 1906 and it still offers this treat (only £71.00per head but there is a pianist who plays whilst you dine.) Betty’s prides itself on being the “home of afternoon tea” but has only been serving its culinary delights since the 1920s – I can sometimes be found with my nose against the window of Betty’s shop in either Harrogate, York or Ilkley admiring their confections as well as being tempted by a fat rascal so can assure readers of this blog that Betty’s has perfected the art of cake making. Essentially cucumber sandwiches along with egg or cress sandwiches were the traditional approach – clearly best in triangles with no crusts; scones (obviously) and lets not get into the argument about whether or not the cream or the jam goes on the scone first; pastries and cakes – battenburg or Victoria sponge by preference if you were respectable.
Since the 80’s the afternoon tea has grown-up into a full blown treat to be eaten at a lovely venue with a beautiful view and probably with a doggy bag tucked into your handbag to carry away the excess of calories. Nowadays cucumber sandwiches are not on the menu though there are plenty of other choices. You might have brownies and traybake or meringues along with the cake and there’s usually some yummy sort of desert. Scones aren’t always sweet either, these days you can have a savoury scone as part of the cream tea and there might be something fizzy to drink if its a very special treat. The BBC Good Food website has 38 recipes that cover everything from choux buns to sausage rolls – research, it would have to be said, is not helping my diet. It doesn’t help either that many of Derbyshire’s finest tea rooms market their afternoon tea with pictures of cake plates laden with tempting looking food – though I am generating a list of places where we might like to go. Chatsworth House apparently does a Wedgewood themed afternoon tea with blue macaroons delicately decorated with white icing – it’s not quite as expensive as The Ritz…
And now I’m off to weigh myself – I think I’ve gained half a stone just reading about all those cakes and am no where closer to suggesting what we require for our contribution to the display – perhaps just a set of scales and a sign saying “I love cake.”