Afternoon Tea at Fairlop

On Saturday 6th July 2013, hundreds of people basked in the glorious sunshine as they enjoyed an array of amusing and wacky entertainment at the Fairlop Fair. The annual free event at Fairlop Waters in Barkingside, included circus entertainment, a host of stalls, Georgian-era games and of course tea parties. The Fairlop Fair was originally held annually in the 18th century, attracting hundreds of thousands of people in its heyday and only just returning in 2011 after a 100-year gap.

The day begun with setting up our special tea tent for the tea parties with traditional colorful bunting being hung and setting up the tables with lovely patterned tablecloths and beautiful vintage tea crockery. Guests were seated and presented with an array of fancy snacks including a delicious traditional Victoria sponge cake served alongside a special tea blend, an Assam-Darjeeling fusion – subtle but satiating.

There were many Fairlop-themed parlour games and activities throughout the duration of the tea parties. The party started out with the now infamous icebreaker coin game which allowed everyone to get more acquainted with one another; followed on by the Fairlop question round with everyone answering questions upon their personal experiences with Fairlop. A game that gave everyone giggles was the Story Making game in which all of the guests had to write a sentence each and at the end a story was created although some turned out to be more wacky than fairytale. Another enjoyable activity was the Fairlop Quiz that had certainly given guests more of an insight into the rich history of Fairlop.

A special feature of the tea parties was the Fairlop Memories – a way for everyone involved including those visiting the fair to write down any particular memory they have of Fairlop, which then would be added to the growing art installation ‘Fairlop Memories’ board. Fairlop Waters was an idyllic location for the tea parties, it was wonderfully calm, but bubbling with ambiance. The guests seemed to really enjoy the parlour style games as it really allowed for everyone to interact with new people. Overall the day was full of fun and joy for all.

Henna Babar

Here are a selection of photos from the day:

© Photo credits: Connie Taylor Photography

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