The guest of honor was called Alice, her guests went to town with their outfits and their evening was finished off with a cocktail lesson.
“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”
I was recently asked to speak on local radio (which terrified me, but I got through it!) about the renewed interest in home baking and how John Lewis last year saw a whopping 480% increase in sales of cake stands.
Darby & Joan hire cake stands as part of our event hire business and we also make bespoke stands to sell. A tiered cake stand piled high with sweet treats can make any table look elegant & can lift even the most humble shop-bought pastry into something worthy of a Parisian patisserie.
I have to say that the majority of stands currently for sale on the high street could be so much nicer, most seem to be made from cheap materials and by using uninspiring or ubiquitous patterns. So, either buy a genuine vintage stand, buy one of ours or from a similar company to us, or have a go at making one yourself. It is really simple, a few easy steps & you can have your own tiered cake stand, unique and designed by you.
Stuff you will need:
- plates, I generally use a tea plate, followed by a starter plate & finishing with a sandwich plate or saucer on the top.
- a three-tier cake-stand fitting, I buy mine from eBay. You can find chrome fittings which are quite contemporary, gold filigree ones for a more traditional stand and I have recently found a supplier who has coloured ones which are lovely.
- a tape measure.
- a cordless drill with a 6mm diamond head drill-bit.
- a pencil
First wash and dry your plates and then measure the diameter using the pencil to mark the middle.
I always drill my plates on top of an old wooden chopping board covered with a tea towel. Its really important that the plate doesn’t slip. A good tip is to pour a little bit of water onto your plate to keep it and the drill bit cool. If they get too hot…disaster!
Slowly drill through the middle of the plate. Take care when choosing your plates, any hairline cracks or chips can weaken the china and will result in…disaster!
When they all have holes in them, you can assemble the stand, starting with the bottom plate. Put a washer onto the screw (I use flat bottomed ones as the other kind can poke out too much and you will have a little wobble on your stand), and pop the screw through the bottom of the plate. Put a squashy washer on the top of this plate and screw on the cake stand fitting. Simply repeat this until all three of the cake stand rods have been attached.
I make two tier stands, three tier stands, four tier stands and love putting a teacup on the top of some of them for an Alice in Wonderland syle finishing touch. Perfect for sweets or little chocolates. (although I have to say that someone once asked if it were an ashtray…words fail me!)
There, thats my Blue Peter moment then…
Elton Old Hall is a beautiful Grade II Listed Manor house in Derbyshire,very close to Chatsworth House. They offer luxury self catering group accommodation in their amazingly gorgeous property. You can choose to do as little or as much as you like there, from the kid’s treasure trail to the Elton walking guide, from visiting beauticians to Go Ape – there’s plenty to make children, and big kids, smile. The owner of the property, Juliet, can recommend suppliers & companies who can come to you to offer a host of lovely things to entertain you.
Darby & Joan are happy to come to you at the house to prepare a vintage tea party. Have a look at our website for menu ideas and our gallery page to give you an idea of what we are about & how we work.
We can promise you won’t be disappointed!!
Here we are & another year is upon us; another grand gesture of resolutions made for 2012 - some will be broken before the end of the month I am sure (maybe it will just be too difficult to avoid Rioja & surely life is made sweeter by discount shopping on The Outnet), but there are a couple of Darby & Joan related promises I have made to myself that I am excited about keeping.
One of them is to try & write a blog post every couple of weeks. This may be too frequent for some of you to bear reading & may click on “hide post” or hit the delete button as soon as you see our name pop up, but others amongst you may have a spare few minutes to catch up with what has been happening with D&J, & for those of you I hope you enjoy looking at images of shoots we have styled & photos of events we have been involved with & maybe getting some ideas & inspiration for your event. Lastly I will always be name dropping fabulous photographers, stylists, event organisers, cake makers, venues, designers, suppliers & florists that you really can’t live without.
We have been so lucky over the past few months to have worked with such inspiring, helpful, talented & fun people & have been featured in quite a few wedding blogs which is something that we are really proud of for such a young company.
Rather than write a piece for each shoot, here are a few pics from some of them.
Happy New Year everyone. x
Photography – Lucy Stendall, vintage wedding dresses & accessories – Unforgettable Vintage Bridal Gowns, styling, china, glassware, accessories - Darby & Joan Ltd, Make up, hair & model styling – Miss Sanni
Photography – Amie Parsons, Dresses and men’s hire – Gracie Bleu Bridal, Flowers – Tineke Floral Designs, Stationery & styling – Sweet Words, Cakes, chair covers – Cakey Wakey , Vintage china & glassware - Darby & Joan Ltd, venue – Shottle Hall, Hair pieces, jewellery – Tattered Rose, event co-ordination – Emma Bespoke Events
Photography – Butterworth photography , Cakes – Yummy Little Cakes, Event Co-Odination – Adore by Chloe, styling, vintage china & glassware hire - Darby & Joan Ltd , venue – Eastbridgford Hill, Stationery – Pocket Typewriter,
If I had to use a handful of adjectives to describe Anna & Lisa from the delectable Food Fairies I would say: beautiful, talented, creative & nothing is too much trouble. Ok, the last doesn’t fall into the adjective category, but you get the picture!!
Food Fairies is a Derbyshire catering company with a passion for delicious food. What I love about them is whilst they have an seemingly endless menu to choose from, they encourage their clients’ to share their own ideas & so offer a bespoke menu too.
They pride themselves on using locally sourced ingredients where possible, &, all their dishes, whether sweet or savoury, are homemade.
Food Fairies & Darby & Joan…
Whether your event is a buffet, a wedding breakfast, a formal dinner or you are hosting a drinks party & would like some deliecious canapes providing - I cannot recommend them enough. We have been fortunate to work with them at several events recently & want to shout from the rooftops about them! They cover Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire & beyond.
From cupcakes to layer cakes, platters of cheeses & cold cuts to trays of lasagne & huge bowls of salads, crostini smothered in tapanade & fresh tomatoes to mini beef wellingtons – I promise you will be spoilt for choice & will be thrilled with the personal service they offer. x
Morning all. Its 645 on Friday morning, an early blog! I have been up & about since 4am, my mind is whirring & working overtime with everything that is happening at the moment with Darby & Joan - exciting times.
Have you Derby folk heard of a lovely, relatively new restaurant on Sadler Gate, The Wonky Table? Its an intimate, friendly place to eat, having an ever changing menu with dishes made with largely locally sourced ingredients – & the cocktails are (in my opinion!) the best you’ll find in Derby. They have a function room upstairs which can be hired for private events, which I where I come in!
A couple of weeks ago D&J provided the vintage styling, vintage china & finishing touches to a vintage styled hen party. The girls had requested a champagne brunch & were treated to eggs benedict, fresh fruit salad, pastries & tarts with endless cups of coffee & tea. The ladies had a fabulous few hours & thought it was a gorgeous treat. They said it was especially nice because it gave family members from both sides of the bridal party to meet up & gave friends old & new the chance to get to know each other before the big day.
As it was such a success, The Wonky Table & Darby & Joan are hoping to make vintage styled get-togethers a regular event. I can’t think of a nicer way to celebrate your occasion if you want to plan your event during the day. Perfect for a hen party, birthday celebration or just an excuse to get the girls together for a champagne breakfast or vintage afternoon tea.
So, please contact either myself at D&J or Holly at the Wonky Table & we will be happy to discuss menu ideas & styling with you.