It’s been 10 delicious. years. Can you believe we’re that old already? Neither can we!
Yesterday was a significant day for the magazine – the first event in our 10th anniversary celebrations… And what a decade it’s been. I’ve been editing delicious. for three-and-a-half of those years, and I feel privileged to do a job I love so much. My goal is to inspire more people to cook – whether it’s a quick recipe to rustle up after work on a Wednesday night or something more complex that inspires you to spend an entire afternoon in the kitchen.
But back to yesterday’s event…
delicious. in the Long Room: tea doesn’t get posher than this
It was an afternoon tea in the hallowed Long Room at Lord’s, a place usually reserved for members only. I confess I’m not a cricket aficionado so I needed a little convincing when the idea for the event was first mooted. But the moment I set foot in that room four months ago, trying to imagine what our event would be like, I was awed by the atmosphere. Full of light and overlooking the vivid emerald green of the cricket pitch outside, the walls covered with paintings of famous cricketers, it’s a room where you can sense (almost breathe) the history – a slice of British tradition that goes back generations. I knew immediately that we had to do it.
Cakes fit for a doll’s palace
Our event was what I call a proper afternoon tea, created by Thierry Besselièvre and his team of chefs at Lord’s: champagne first (courtesy of Veuve Clicquot), finger sandwiches (egg, ham, smoked salmon, without crusts – proper posh sarnies), mini scones with strawberry jam and glossy scoops of clotted cream, and the sort of petite cakes and sweet treats no one ever makes at home. All served with tea from The Rare Tea Company. Founder Henrietta Lovell treated us to her tips for making the perfect brew. Did you know that if you use quality tea you can brew it not once but several times? The trick is to use exactly the right amount of water and not to leave the tea to stew once the brew has reached the desired strength: brew and pour. According to Henrietta, the Chinese believe brew one is for your enemy; brew two is for your servants; brew three is for your wife; brew four is for your mistress; brew five is for your business partner and brew six – the best – is for yourself. Not quite sure what to say to that…
A string quartet were playing in the corner. I’d spotted the cellist arrive an hour before, wearing a natty suit and dark glasses, his black cello case slung over one shoulder. If I hadn’t seen the four of them with their violins, viola and cello I’d have thought they were members of a band of a very different nature, rather than a group playing mellow jazz. In a slightly surreal moment, I think I heard the theme tune from Fawlty Towers at one point – no reflection on the food and service at Lord’s, both of which were impeccable! See for yourself in the video below…
The inspiring Naomi Thomas
There was another important reason for us hosting the event. It was in aid of Breast Cancer Care, a charity close to my heart and one delicious. has been supporting for several years. One of BCC’s ambassadors, Naomi Thomas (left), gave a talk about her experience of coping with cancer. Naomi is 31 and, having beaten breast cancer in her mid-20s before becoming pregnant against the odds, she discovered she had secondary cancer and that it was terminal. Her baby son was born just six days before the diagnosis.
You’d think Naomi would be tempted to hibernate with the sadness of her situation, but far from it. She is one of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met, and her face shines with hope and zest for life. She told me how she’s packing in all the experiences she can – including, recently, abseiling down a cliff. “I’m not afraid of dying,” she said with a big smile, “so daring activities hold no fear for me now.”
Naomi’s story helped to inspire people in their bidding for the impressive array of gifts donated for the silent auction, among them a Pure Radio, a Cuisinart ice cream maker, a Le Creuset casserole, weekends away at luxury locations and dinner at L’Anima restaurant in London, to name but a few. Altogether, the event raised nearly £2,500 for Breast Cancer Care.
Each table had a chance to have their photo taken with the Ashes (the two Australians present seemed particularly keen on that opportunity – I can’t think why), then, after tea, tours ensued of the country’s oldest sporting museum. En route, a quick glimpse inside the dressing room (no cricketers in evidence – sorry, girls) followed by a few moments on the members’ balcony for the world’s best view of the world’s best cricket pitch.
And I have to mention our 10th birthday goodie bags (above). We’ve just had them designed and made especially and I do believe they’re gorgeous. Look out for a chance to buy them off the page in delicious. magazine soon. How you can help If you’d like to throw your own Strawberry Tea in aid of Breast Cancer Care, click here for a great recipe from Thierry Besselièvre, head chef at Lord’s.
Fancy coming to our next, spectacular 10th anniversary event?
It’s at BAFTA, it’s a red-carpet moment and it’s going to be the best Friday night in September! Let’s just say it involves a slap-up three-course meal, lots of wine and fizz and a screening of Chocolat. Tempted? Find out more here.