Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Frome and the Vintage Bazaar

On Saturday I enjoyed my first full day off since opening the tea room. Luckily, we have a couple of very good weekend girls who have worked there longer than me and really know their stuff; phew.

What luck that my day off coincided with the Vintage Bazaar in Frome; it's only held a couple of times a year and I wasn't able to go to the last one, so I was really keen to get along this time. Plus hubby and I were looking forward to seeing the re-modelled Cheese and Grain where the Bazaar is held (the last time we were there was to see Billy Bragg and the work was still being done.)

The first space you come across on entering the building is the much, much larger cafe area. The cakes looked fabulous but we wanted to check out the vintage offerings first so I snapped this quick photo and we moved on to the main hall.
The space feels much lighter, brighter and airier now, and there's a lot more room to move between the stalls, which makes the whole experience even more enjoyable.
So many lovely stalls selling so many lovely things

DC really wanted me to buy this picnic set, but the £65 price tag was a little more than I wanted to spend. In the end I came away empty handed; how did that happen?
After a quick pitstop for cake and coffee in the lovely cafe (the brownies are deeeelicious, I need their recipe!), we headed off for a little wander round lovely Frome and in particular Catherine Hill with it's fabulous collection of one-off shops. Ahhh, lovely lovely lovely.

And then my iPhone declared itself to be out of space so no more photos could be taken. Grrrr.

Anyway, Frome is lovely and I would thoroughly recommend a visit there if you are in the vicinity (or even if you're not - it's well worth a bit of travelling time); if you can time your visit to coincide with the next Vintage Bazaar, then even better!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Let Me Eat Cake!

Well, the grand opening of the tea room went tremendously well; we were busy pretty much all day long (an odd lull from about 1.30-2.30pm, but things soon picked up again), and today has seen a steady stream of customers once more. I'm so very pleased with how it has all gone, and I think I'm running on adrenaline at the moment having barely had time to stop for the past few days (but all in a good cause.) I'm amazed that I've been working in the tea room for two whole days and have yet to sample any of the cakes on the premises! Still, it will do my profits and my waistline the world of good if I can stay away from the sweet temptations.

Anyway, I'm a busy bee even when I'm home after a day at the tea room - last night I had to come home and make two batches of scones as we nearly sold out yesterday and this evening I have to make a batch of butternut squash soup. It's all go in the food industry, don't you know!

Here are a few snaps from yesterday's grand opening. Since it was so busy, I didn't get the chance to take any photos once customers had started arriving (there were even some trying to get in before we opened); I wish I had managed it as at one point every table and chair was taken and there was a fabulous, buzzy atmosphere. But never mind, these snaps will have to suffice.

The fabulous Easter nest cake that a friend in the village made as a gift for opening day

There are cakes and Easter biscuits on the dresser now; must take a new snap.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Eyes and Teas

So sorry for the blogging hiatus, but I do have two very good excuses:
1) Last Wednesday I had LASEK laser eye surgery
2) I've been spending lots of time decorating the tea room

This is just a short post to let you know that I am still here, but my eyes are still blurry and using the computer isn't a joyful experience at the moment. Plus, it's tea room opening day on Monday and I'm spending lots of time up there getting things ready, not to mention having to do lots of shopping to get it all stocked (it's a good job I like to shop!)

Anyway here are a few photos instead of words

My eyes, about 6 hours after surgery - don't they look sad?!

The glamour of it all - sunglasses indoors at 9.30pm.
 The tea room from the outside on the day I took it over.
 And inside. Cluttered, much?!?

 A couple of days later, with the dresser that hubby and I bought using money given to us for our wedding.
Blackboard paint.
 And one of the tables sporting its lovely new oilcloth, all set for you to join us for afternoon tea (low-fat version, no food...)

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

It's hard, but someone has to do it...

Becoming the proprietor of a tea room is a hard task, but one I'm willing to take on. I'm a trooper, it has to be said. Especially when one of the onerous tasks is baking and taste-testing a variety of oh-so-horrid foodstuffs. Take pity on me; please?

Millionaire's Shortbread. Attempt No.1
Rice Krispie cakes. For the children, you understand...
Homemade sausage rolls (upside down for some reason)
Mozzarella, tomato and basil pesto panini
Millionaire's Shortbread. Attempt No.2. I see more attempts in my future. It's a real trial having to taste-test these bad boys.
Fruit scones, as made by hubby
Cheese scones, also made by hubby
Chocolate Dotty Cake

Add to this the quiches that hubby made, and you get some sort of idea of the ordeal we are currently living through. It's hard, but someone has to do it.