I'd never actually heard of a Kitchen Tea before Mum told me we were throwing one for her god daughter, Lucy, who is getting married in December.
Now, I can most accurately describe a Kitchen Tea as a baby shower... for your newly-wed kitchen.
It's an afternoon spent sampling dainty little cakes, sipping tea from floral-patterned china cups (actually using saucers too!) and cooing over shiny new tea towels and salad bowls given as gifts for the marital kitchen.
It all felt gloriously Betty Draper, I'll take any chance to don a summer frock and some lipstick in the middle of the day and eat cupcakes for lunch.
It was also a perfect opportunity to pry open Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess.
An occasion for dainty cakes calls for a dainty-minded woman, who sure as hell knows a thing or two about pretty little cakes that up the feminine factor. When Nigella breathes that 'for all floral and other artistic effects, darling, you need to start with a level base' I listen, just because she called me darling in her recipe description.
Even though Nigella makes the word gooseberry sound naughty, I have to praise her, for her fairy cakes were simple, light and luscious. Topped with a family cream cheese icing recipe and a fresh spring raspberry, they were the perfect afternoon tea indulgence (I'm starting to talk like her now too aren't I, soon I'll be plugging Twinings)
If you'll excuse me, darlings, I'm off to hot roller my hair and fluff the pillows before Don comes home.
Raspberry Fairy Cakes:
adapted from Nigella Lawson's 'How to be a Domestic Goddess'
makes 25 mini cupcakes
125g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs
125g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
3 tablespoons milk
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Place all the ingredients except the milk in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the milk and continue mixing until combined. The batter should have, as Nigella describes, a "smooth and dropping consistency", which is rather thick. Spoon the mixture into the mini cupcake papers on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until they have risen and are golden brown on top. Check with a skewer, if the skewer comes out clean, then they are ready. Cool on wire racks.
125g cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
Whisk the cream cheese, butter and the lemon juice together in a medium bowl until combined and smooth. Gradually sift in the icing sugar, whisking as you go, until the icing is smooth, thick, white and glossy.
When the cakes are cool, spread the icing over the top and place a fresh raspberry in the middle.