Showstopping Afternoon Tea: Crafting Memorable Celebrations


In August 2023, Peter enlisted the specialized expertise of Pearl Lemon Catering to masterfully orchestrate a traditional afternoon tea, meticulously tailored to celebrate his mother’s 90th birthday. This case study offers an in-depth exploration of the collaborative endeavours and detailed planning that went into delivering an exceptional culinary experience, meticulously designed to commemorate this significant milestone with the reverence and celebration it deserved.

The Scope of Work

The initial scope of the agreed-upon work included the following components:

  1. Selection of three tea varieties.
  2. Utilization of traditional-style crockery.
  3. Preparation of traditional finger sandwiches.
  4. Preparing scones and spreads.
  5. Baking cakes and slicing into individual portions.
  6. Creating spreads.
  7. Artfully presenting afternoon tea.

To fulfil these requirements, our responsibilities encompassed recipe development, crockery sourcing, ingredient procurement, and team training. Here’s a glimpse of the training provided:

Catering Case Study Afternoon Tea for 90th Birthday

Costing the Ingredients

Crafting a quote and determining the total costs associated with this event emerged as one of the most complex components of the planning process.

Axel and Lydia embarked on the meticulous task of developing the event’s menu and sourcing all necessary items, aiming to consolidate suppliers to one or two. Subsequently, they faced the challenge of modifying recipes to cater to a gathering of 25, necessitating the acquisition of specific ingredients.

Moreover, the financial analysis for the ingredients had to include the expense of acquiring new pottery, which was required to match a traditional aesthetic, diverging from the sleek and contemporary crockery the team typically utilized. Fortunately, they could repurpose the same traditional-style pottery used previously for the Brompton event, easing this aspect of the preparation.

Leading Up to the Event

The majority of the dialogue was conducted via email, supplemented by some exchanges on WhatsApp. Peter maintained consistent contact with Deepak and Jude while the internal team managed their discussions in a distinct chat.

As Lydia took charge of ordering crockery and monitoring shipments arriving in Axel, Axel found himself sourcing ingredients locally. Intriguingly, a number of suppliers lacked the necessary scones and spreads.

The following crockery was procured:

Catering Case Study Afternoon Tea for 90th Birthday
Catering Case Study Afternoon Tea for 90th Birthday
Catering Case Study Afternoon Tea for 90th Birthday

Setting Up at the Venue

Arriving 30 minutes ahead of schedule, the Pearl Lemon Catering team began their meticulous setup for the celebratory gathering in August 2023, honouring a special 90th birthday. Before the event, a comprehensive discussion with Peter ensured a shared vision and expectations for the day.

The team efficiently arranged the tables, each adorned with elegantly curated place settings, tiered stands, and traditional tea sets. The spread featured a selection of finely crafted delicacies, including scones, cakes, and assorted sandwiches, all displayed with aesthetic finesse. Bowls brimming with various spreads and toppings for the scones further enhanced the table’s visual allure.

This rigorous level of preparation is a testament to our unwavering dedication to excellence, creating the perfect backdrop for an exceptional and unforgettable traditional afternoon tea experience.

We were able to great the beautiful spread below


Hurdles and Obstacles

One major challenge our team encountered was the non-arrival of the initially ordered crockery. Lydia had to endure a waiting period and go through the process of filing claims to secure a refund. However, the original crockery never came. In a hopeful yet uncertain move, she placed an order for an alternative set, and the entire team held their breath in anticipation of its timely arrival.

The Outcome

Arriving 30 minutes early, the Pearl Lemon Catering team set the stage for an afternoon tea in August 2023 that would celebrate a significant 90th birthday. After a detailed discussion with Peter to align on expectations, our team meticulously prepared the setting, a testament to our commitment to excellen

Tables were efficiently arranged, each adorned with elegantly curated place settings, tiered stands, and traditional tea sets. A selection of delicacies, including scones, cakes, and sandwiches, was displayed with finesse, complemented by bowls filled with various spreads and toppings for the scones, enhancing the visual feast before the guests.

As family and friends gathered, the atmosphere became imbued with warmth and laughter, transforming the event into more than just an afternoon tea but a celebration of shared memories and affection. Guests, enveloped in the joy of the occasion, delighted in the array of culinary treats, each bite a testament to the artistry and passion behind the preparation. The air was filled with stories and toasts, celebrating not only a 90th birthday but a lifetime of moments cherished and shared.

This event left an indelible mark of joy and satisfaction on all attendees, underlining the resounding success of the celebration orchestrated by Pearl Lemon Catering. The unanimous appreciation and joy evident in the feedback from guests underscored our dedication to delivering an exceptional and memorable afternoon tea experience, meticulously tailored to honor Peter’s mother on her landmark birthday.

The careful planning and flawless execution meant that each culinary creation was enjoyed to its fullest, contributing to the festive atmosphere. The guest of honor, Peter’s mother, was immersed in a delightful journey through the timeless elegance of a traditional afternoon tea, a fitting tribute to her 90 years.

Reflecting on this event, we see it as a precious opportunity to further elevate our services, setting a new benchmark for excellence in London’s afternoon tea offerings. Every detail, from the nuanced flavors and presentation of our teas to the aesthetics of our table settings, was meticulously reviewed to refine and enrich the experience. Our ambition is to continually redefine the essence of afternoon tea, ensuring an unparalleled culinary adventure for our discerning clients.

This celebration stands as a powerful testament to our unwavering commitment to providing exceptional service and creating lasting impressions. It reinforces our dedication to continual improvement and innovation, promising an extraordinary and unmatched afternoon tea experience for the connoisseurs of London.

afternoon tea
Catering Case Study Afternoon Tea for 90th Birthday

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