Behind the scenes of Random Café is a team of 9 volunteers who meet and discuss new ideas to help Random grow and save more good food from being thrown away. As most of you know, we hold pop up cafés on the first four Saturdays of the month. Every now and then there are five Saturdays and instead of there being nothing the team decided to plan some Random events.
The first event was to be an afternoon tea on Mother’s Day weekend. Everyone loves an afternoon tea, but where to hold it? There are a lot of lovely venues in Watford so we had a few places to consider. We are “Random” Café so we really wanted somewhere unique and different. After a brief discussion, we decided to approach Watford Museum and see if they would like to be our first venue. Sarah and her team absolutely loved the idea and even said we could have the room for free.
Venue sorted! The next steps were to find a massive amount of crockery to fit the theme and work out the menu for the day. Being part of The Real Junk Food Project (www.trjfp.com), and wanting to use as much intercepted food as possible, we needed to plan a flexible menu we could tweak nearer the day. We decided a traditional afternoon tea menu was the way to go. Sandwiches, scones, yummy cakes and chocolates. Each time we intercepted food from the supermarkets we squirreled away any tasty treats we could use on the day. Broken Easter eggs to coat our chocolate balls, cake mixes, chocolates and sweets all were put to one side.
Over the next few weeks everyone kept their eyes peeled for teacups, sugar bowls and plates each time they went into a charity shop. Two of our team even went on a road trip to Thetford and came back with a huge haul of side plates, cups, saucers and mini cafetieres. Plates were drilled and made into cake stands and a new collection box decorate especially for the occasion.
We arranged with a local baker, Kingshill bakery in South Oxhey, to collect any bread they had left the day before. They support us regularly by saving bread and cakes for our café, their breads are delicious- try them out. We had to buy some ingredients on the day, butter, cheese, ham and eggs as we rarely get “use by” foods.
The day came and all the planning and making was put together. Sandwiches made, tables dressed with vintage teacups, recycled bottle lights, jelly sweets in beautiful sugar bowls and a little gift for each guest. The teapots were gathered on the lovely antique bar that greets you in the museum foyer. The room looked amazing.
Everything went smoothly and so many guests commented how wonderful everything was. Quite a few bought the bottle lights off their table and some took extra cakes home to treat other family members and friends. Our first afternoon tea was over and all the hard work of the Random team and support of the Museum team paid off. An event enjoyed by everyone.
Well done team, what shall we plan next?