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