Heroine Training Tea Party at Lovecrumbs: a Tea-cap

Heroine Training Tea Party at Lovecrumbs, a Tea-capWhat happens when you mix my favourite café in Edinburgh with a group of literary-minded ladies?

Just add tea cake and you have the very first Heroine Training tea party. I had no idea what would happen, where the conversation would roam. And roam it did, swirling into a conversational cocktail fit for a modern heroine.

With Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey as a starting point, we hopped from emoji strategy to running races in amusing costumes, from defining what we do without pretension, to the self-consciousness of style in different cities.

Heroine Training Tea Party at Lovecrumbs, a Tea-cap

Who comes to a literary tea party?

Something that surprised me is that every guest arrived alone, ready to mingle and meet new heroines. What brave tea guests we welcomed! Something that did not surprise me is that cake was a primary incentive for attending. With many a cocktail party on offer, tea and cake proved a fine shake up [pun intended].

Heroine Training Tea Party at Lovecrumbs, a Tea-cap

Heroine Training Tea Party at Lovecrumbs, a Tea-cap

Photos by @helen.c.stark

What does a literary tea party entail?

The magical thing about the literary-minded is that when we convene around one table, connection occurs, with or without discussion of literature itself. At my literary tea parties, the conversation is salon style, peppered with passages from our selected text.

Oh! Mr. Tilney, how frightful! – This is just like a book! – But it cannot really happen to me.” 

– Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, Chapter 20

Heroine Training Tea Party at Lovecrumbs, a Tea-cap

What’s in our Edinburgh Par-tea favour bag?

Heroine Training Tea Party at Lovecrumbs, a Tea-cap

Along with the debut of official Heroine Training totes [big enough to fit several novels, heroines], our guests were treated to goodies from some of my favourite local businesses.

Isle of Skye Candle Company

An essential part of my winding down routine is lighting a Sleep Sensation candle from the Isle of Skye Candle Co., whose scents are inspired and created by nature. They included their signature air fresheners, to carry a little piece of the magical isles in your car!

Heroine Training Tea Party at Lovecrumbs, a Tea-cap

Helen C. Stark

One of my favourite illustrators on Instagram captures the charm of my hometown in her Colouring Edinburgh book, and postcards to match! [top right]

Flamingosaurus Rex

A gallery as whimsical as its name, Flamingosaurus Rex features local artists from Scotland and the UK in a curated collection of gems. Have a browse of their diverse array of artists!

Heroine Training Tea Party at Lovecrumbs, a Tea-cap

Hannah Zakari

My go-to boutique for darling gifts and insanely cute cards, Hannah Zakari gifted their bespoke Greyfriars Bobby goodies, featuring the pup who is the pride of Edinburgh.

Heroine Training Tea Party at Lovecrumbs, a Tea-cap

Golden Hare Books

Golden Hare showered us with goodies, including an inspiring essay on “bookshops and the delight of not getting what you wanted”. Top tip for UK bookworms: order your book presents from Golden Hare’s online shop! Their curated collection fails to disappoint, and every parcel arrives lovingly wrapped, no extra fees tacked on! And if you’re lucky enough to be an Edinburgh local, do peruse their thriving calendar of bookish events.

Where are we heading next?

The beauty of the Traveling Tea Party is that it might just be in your hometown next! On 11 June we’re popping up at San Francisco‘s Crown & Crumpet, and on 13 July we’ll be at Waterstones in Bristol. Will you be in attendance?

Heroine Training Tea Party San Francisco

Early bird discount tickets for the San Francisco Pride & Prejudice tea are available until 4 June. Reserve your seat here.

P.S. Care to join me for tea sometime? Join the VIP list to take the first peek at the events calendar.

The Top 5 Plays that Shaped My Life

The Top 5 Plays that Shaped My Life

Why did I write a course inspired by the theatre?

Well. Because I loooooove the theatre.

It gets me giddy to the extent that I can’t articulate quite why because I’m too freaking excited.

That’s not a very compelling answer though, so here is my series of the top 5 plays and performances that have shaped my life – and what I learned from them.

Why I Love & What I learned from The Phantom of the Opera

Why I Love & What I Learned from Pippin

Why I Love & What I Learned from Into the Woods

Why I Love & What I Learned from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Why I Love & What I Learned from Sleep No More

I will be releasing the rest day by day, so make sure you’re subscribed on YouTube to catch them.

Leading-Lady

Registration for Leading Lady is now open. Read more and enroll now!

Finding a Hobby that You Actually Enjoy + My Princess Groot Outfit

Finding a Hobby that You Actually Enjoy + My Princess Groot Outfit

Introducing the newest Guardian of the Galaxy, Princess Groot!

While I fashioned my Groot crown to attend Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, it occurred to me that making Disney-inspired outfits is a hobby.

It fits the definition: something I enjoy, that I do regularly, even though that regularity is enforced through the cinematic calendar rather than the weeks on my Passion Planner. Most importantly, sitting down to ‘do my hobby’ doesn’t feel like a chore!

Finding a hobby that you actually enjoy:

Becoming Princess Groot

Finding a Hobby that You Actually Enjoy + My Princess Groot Outfit

Guardians of the Galaxy proved a tricky costuming prompt for me.

Since it’s one of Steve’s favourite movies ever I asked for his advice.

Steve: You should be Gamora. She’s awesome.
Me: But I don’t own any trousers!

I thought about how it would be cool to be a female Star Lord, but… I don’t have any trousers for that either. Or any clothes in the right colours and shapes, and the premise of this project is that I don’t purchase new pieces just for the outfit.

Finding a Hobby that You Actually Enjoy + My Princess Groot Outfit

I started googling the characters, and others’ costumes of the characters.

There were some pretty realistic full-body Groot suits, but what caught my attention was how Groot’s head is like a crown.

And a crown is fit for a princess. I donned my Groot-coloured shoes, and suddenly it became obvious that my vintage Laura Ashley florals would be perfect for the part.

The crown itself is some cardboard from the box that my Heroine Training tea party totes arrived in, decorated with my colouring pens, some sticky notes, and brown paper, and affixed with string.

Finding a Hobby that You Actually Enjoy + My Princess Groot Outfit

P.S. Find a hobby with me? Start a project of your own in my Leading Lady summer camp.