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  • Winchester Eats

Halloween Afternoon Tea

The amount of English people that dismiss Halloween as a recent "American thing" never ceases to surprise me. The origins in this country stretch back some 2000 years to the Celtic Festival Samhain, marking the end of summer and the harvest season and the start of the long dark winter season ahead.

Whilst I am not quite that old, it was always a massive part of our childhood growing up. I have to say that I envy today's children in so much that they have an easier life when it comes to the traditional carving of vegetable lanterns - pumpkins are far easier than the swedes we were given to hack away at... Mind you, it used to take us hours with even the sharpest knives, so I might reintroduce them in our house (just without the sharpest knives)...

I have obviously passed my love of Halloween down to my offspring, and my youngest in particular would happily swap any birthday or Christmas celebration for this ancient spooky festival (I have checked his forehead for horns, there are none)...

This year obviously Halloween is going to be a slightly watered down affair. Trick or Treating is not recommended for fear of passing on the germ that comes straight out of a horror film itself... Whilst we might not be out and about on our annual trick or treating pilgramage, there's still plenty we plan on doing to mark the 31st October, and that definitely includes a Halloween Tea...

Back in July, we were gifted a very special afternoon tea (bone china cups and saucers, plates and all) by Winchester company The Cup and Saucer. It was a real highlight of the Summer, and I have gone on to recommended Victoria and her teas to so many people we enjoyed it so much.

Victoria recently got back in touch to ask whether my three ghouls would like to sample one of her Halloween Teas that she is offering between now and Halloween (although she has said she is happy to offer them afterwards too if you need a slightly later date). A spooky themed tea, just for them? As you can imagine they weren't about to say no.

As with the more traditional afternoon teas Victoria offers, she delivers everything you need for to the doorstep (and insists you don't even need to do the washing up afterwards!), in this instance we received a rather exciting picnic hamper, which included skull goblets, a witches cauldron, spooky paper plates and napkins, plenty of spiders and slime, and masses of lovely Halloweeny things to eat.

When someone offers me something to review like this, I always like to take a few nice shots before anything gets eaten. You have no idea how difficult it was in this instance. Many of my photographs contain my five year old's hand, so desperate was he to get stuck in, which I think tells you pretty much all you need to know...

The Cup and Saucer's Halloween Tea consists of a spooky cake stand with a selection of sandwiches with child friendly fillings such as cheese and tomato sandwiches, egg mayonnaise and ham. There were also ghoulish cupcakes aplenty, jam tarts topped with all manner of jelly hideousness (teeth, brains, fingers and eyeballs anyone?), along with scones that come with spookily coloured cream and various slimes (OK, Jam if you must know)... The treats didn't stop there, and there was also a bag of toffee popcorn, some snakey sweets, and (completely reminding me of my childhood) some toffee apples...

I have to say that my plans for setting it all up on the table for them to enjoy didn't really materialise and the three of them enjoyed a rather impromptu spooky picnic on the floor... For my five year old to get this excited about food is quite a rare thing believe me!

If like us, your travel plans for next week have been postponed, and you are still trying to explain why trick or treating won't be happening (Nearly. Every. Single. Day) then I would really recommend one of Cup and Saucer's Halloween Spooky Teas as a little half term treat.... They will really remember that this Halloween at least if nothing else!

*Disclaimer, we were gifted a Halloween Afternoon Tea for three children by The Cup and Saucer. All words, pictures and opinions are very much ours.


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