Loving Liberty of London
WORDS:: CHYKA KEEBAUGH
IMAGES:: LISA ATKINSON
One of my very favourite places to visit in London is Liberty...
It is hands down one of the most amazing shops that are not only steeped in history but full to the brim with so much beautiful product I can never walk away without armfuls of shopping bags! My love for Liberty started young; I have the fondest memories of being dressed in Liberty print dresses as a little girl and loving every floral filled minute of it! It is one of those fabric collections that keeps growing and growing and no matter what combinations of prints and colours you put together, everything looks fabulous.
I was so excited to start seeing Liberty printed product around the shops. Especially the paperware - from plates to cups to napkins, you can get your hands on a variety of designs and sizes and get that Liberty themed table dressing look amazing. Most party shops will stock the Liberty Paper range by Meri Meri, I bought mine from Bed Bath n Table, but I have seen them around and am instantly drawn to their prettiness, beautiful imagery and just gorgeous floral collections.
I was keen to have a little gathering amongst girlfriends before my European summer and with London as my first destination - a liberty-themed tea party was what was in order! Moving away from traditional china tableware for this luncheon as my paper plate collection was just so much cuter! I am all for mixing it up and creating a little surprise for guests, and this printed paper collection did just that (and was so easy to clean up afterwards!)
Laying my table with an assortment of liberty coasters created a playful look - using some for drinks and some just for fun. Paper cups pretended they were vases and I popped in gorgeous, short-stemmed garden roses, dainty printed bonbons added a little fun to the table, I kept my cutlery and glassware mismatched but subtle, introduces various shades of tinted glass, as well as sweet pink gingham, handled cutlery.
Keeping my menu simple and traditional, it was an afternoon tea after all! I wanted the hero of the table to be my Liberty inspired cake. This cake was decorated with such artistic precision to match an iconic liberty floral. A work of art in itself, it worked in so well surrounded by white china tableware and mismatched paper wares. This amazing cake was created by the lovely Andrea at A.T.Bakes, who took my theme and created something truly beautiful. Andrea is a local Melbourne based baker and I couldn't help but fall in love with her cakes through Instagram. Once everything looked as pretty as a picture - it was time to bring on the food!
A Liberty Inspired Afternoon Tea
- 300g (2 cups) self-raising flour, sifted
- 55g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
- 125ml (1/2 cup) thick cream
- 125ml (1/2 cup) lemonade
- 40ml (2 tablespoons) milk
- Jam and whipped cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 220C. Lightly grease a baking tray
Place the flour, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the cream and lemonade and mix to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured workbench and knead lightly until combined. Press the dough with your hands to a thickness of about 2cm. Use a 6cm round cutter to cut out 8 scones, place on baking tray and brush the tops with some milk. Re-roll scraps to make a few extra scones. Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Serve warm with your favourite jam.
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup raspberry jam
- 300ml thickened cream, whipped
- icing sugar mixture, to decorate
Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced oven. Line two 12-hole, 1/3 cup-capacity muffin pans with paper cases.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, vanilla and sugar in a small bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition (mixture will separate at this stage). Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in half the flour. Stir in half the milk. Repeat with remaining flour and milk until combined.
For 1/3 cup-capacity muffin pans use 2 level tablespoons of mixture. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Alternatively, for 1 tablespoon-capacity mini muffin pans use 1 tablespoon mixture. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Stand cakes in pans for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Using a sharp knife, cut a 2cm-deep x 3cm-wide piece from top of each cake. Cut tops in half. Spoon 2 teaspoons jam into each hole. Spoon cream over jam. Arrange cake tops over cream to form wings. Dust with icing sugar. Serve.