Afternoon Tea Fundraising Party for Derian House

Team work makes the dream work when it comes to afternoon tea on a massive scale!

When I decided to do something to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice, the obvious answer was to do something involving food. Everyone loves afternoon tea, so that was the plan: proper afternoon tea served at tables in the garden with a charge for the food in order to raise money. Simple eh? Derian House Afternoon Tea Party

Derian House Afternoon Tea Party

My poor KitchenAid didn’t know what had hit it that week!

It was a big job but I was up to the challenge. So the invite went round and people were signing up. I made lists. Lists of lists. But all of the organisation in the world is no good unless you have amazing people helping you out, and I had them in spades. Derian House Afternoon Tea Party


I was working on the assumption that it was going to be a perfectly sunny day so my mate Suzanne was the reality check I needed – she is a whirlwind of organisation so before I knew it she’d measured up the garden, borrowed a massive gazebo, done a seating plan, made 20m of bunting and signed up her mum to help. HERO!

The baking

I baked with military precision, starting about nine days before, making fruit cake first followed by freezable items. Of course I hadn’t considered how much there was and so Suzanne had to empty half her freezer for me as well!

I had set up a table with all of my ingredients on and a few days into baking, Andrew walked past it and it collapsed! Amazingly the four bags of flour on there didn’t burst open but it was a right old mess! I also had 18 blocks of butter and six dozen eggs (plus two pots of egg whites) – basically we had no food in the house except for ingredients.

Derian House Afternoon Tea Party

The ill-fated ingredient table

Derian House Afternoon Tea Party

Having to buy 18 blocks of butter is pretty embarrassing!

So what did I bake?

  • 1 x large fruit cake
  • 4 x trays brownies
  • 2 x Victoria sponges
  • 1 x apple bourbon cake (which got eaten prior because it stuck to the tin)
  • 1 x sour cream and spice cake
  • 50 x scones
  • 3 x lemon and poppy seed loaves (one of which is still in freezer)
  • 50 x meringue kisses
  • 30 x salted caramel mini cupcakes
  • 50 x gingerbread biscuits
  • 50 x oat spiced cookies
  • 1 x chocolate cake with fudge icing
  • 50 x pesto pinwheels
  • 50 x feta filo cups

Plus on the day we made chicken sandwiches and ham wraps! Honestly I was sick of the site of my kitchen!

Derian House Afternoon Tea Party

Scones, my nemesis!

Derian House Afternoon Tea Party



As soon as I said I was planning this, my lovely friend Michelle offered the use of vintage china. It really, really made a difference and was sooo pretty. Michelle and her business partner run Ella Jayne’s Emporium in Horwich near Bolton. Derian House Afternoon Tea Party

If you are after pre-loved, upcycled or shabby chic furniture, or want to hire china for your big event, speak to Michelle and Kieran.  

As I baked, Andrew did an amazing job clearing the house and garden up, friends came and put gazebos up and decorated them with bunting and balloons, and slowly but surely everything started to come together.

Derian House Afternoon Tea Party

Cutlery, napkins and Derian House info ready to go


The lovely folk at  Domu gave me this amazing Vonchef drinks dispenser for the event. It is lightweight plastic which is great for me as I’d be terrified of smashing a glass one. You can have up to three separate drinks in there and there is an ice holder at the bottom which means you can keep all of your drinks cool without diluting them. Derian House Afternoon Tea PartyBarbara from Gribbin and Bear supplied some orange and cardamom cordial to serve up in it which is delicious: orange with a little je ne sais quoi! She also kindly donated some gift sets of her artisan preserves for the tombola.

It was an amazing event, everyone turned up (about 45 people), the rain stopped and the sun shined for the first time in days! I saw old school friends and ex-work colleagues I haven’t seen in years, friends and family. I brought the record player down and played rat pack tunes all afternoon, much to the amusement of one of my youngest relatives who’d never seen a record before! Derian House Afternoon Tea Party

Derian House Afternoon Tea Party

Serving up!

Derian House Afternoon Tea Party

Eyeing up the cake table!

Derian House Afternoon Tea Party


Lactalis UK provided us with a cheeseboard of epic proportions! A huge Cornish brie, Galbani Dolcelatte and vintage Seriously Strong Cheddar. I was even able to give some to a local homeless project as we had so much!  Derian House Afternoon Tea PartyDerian House Afternoon Tea Party

Friends also baked so I must send big thanks to Corrine, Llinos and my sister’s friend Morgan who added to the general deliciousness of the day! Derian House Afternoon Tea PartyDerian House Afternoon Tea Party

Massive thanks to my mum who organised the biggest tombola ever. She got everyone she knows to contribute and we had bottles of everything from Mr Muscle (we won!) to Grey Goose (we didn’t win!) Thanks also to Aunty Pauline who baked and jammed for us to raffle and sell off.

Everyone seemed to love having the food served to them on the beautiful china, Andrew kept the tea and coffee flowing and there was no shorted of people going back to the cake table and cheese table for seconds!

Derian House Afternoon Tea Party

Look at my dad, he is so photogenic!

Derian House Afternoon Tea PartyDerian House Afternoon Tea PartyWe’d raised loads of money on the day, then Suzanne turned into delivery woman and took plates of cake and cheese to friends in exchange for a donation! Money was still coming in this week, but it looks like we have made £740 which is amazing.

Thank you to everyone who contributed and the businesses who supported us. Derian House is an amazing charity for sick children and their families up here in the north west and they do the best job for those who need them.  

Would I do it again? Lets just say, next year we BBQ!



Posted by Claire

She eats. She drinks. She cooks. She travels. She learns. She tastes. She bakes. A foodie with exceptional taste! Always looking for the best food and drink producers from far and wide. Chocolate brownie queen. Judge: International Cheese Awards. Cheese fiend! Travel lover. What better way to discover new food, than to travel to it. Massive fan of The Archers. Crazy cat lady and proud. NW England / Manchester / UK Twitter & Insta: She_Eats_Blog Facebook: SheEatsBlog


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