Back in 2011, Ruby (@RubellesMoon) and I formed a strong friendship through Twitter (where else?!) thanks to our love for social media, food, cooking, living healthily, blogging, music and…being wheat/gluten intolerant. Wanting to enjoy life and make the most of it, having an intolerance can sometimes be a challenge so we bonded through our experiences and advice; plus, I loved Ruby’s blog and got plenty of inspiration from it!
Despite living hundreds of miles away from each other, we decided to join forces and host a Big Chocolate Tea Party in my hometown of Thirsk. Combining our passions for baking, organising events, bringing people together and of course doing it for a very worthwhile cause, we made it our mission to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust.
Ruby and I spent weeks organising the event, deciding on recipes, arranging the location, designing and posting adverts, spreading the word madly through our social networks and getting all our mates and family on board, and emailing food businesses to help us out. Since Ruby and I are both wheat/gluten free, we wanted to make all of our own recipes as exciting, interesting and tasty as possible, so people wouldn’t know and we could enjoy them ourselves!
We approached companies such as Rude Health, Doves Farm, Green & Blacks and Splenda, who all very generously send us a lot of products for us to use for our own mass baking session for the event. #Brownies from Sheffield and Mama Doreen’s Cupcake Company in Harrogate sent us some of their amazing chocolate brownies and cupcakes, while local chocolate companies such as The Nut Free Company, Lauden, The Tiny Cake Company and Toftly Treats all donated very generously and provided some delightful raffle prizes. Finally, we got Mad Hatter Tea Company and Beanies Coffee on board too to provide drinks – the tea company also allowed us to use his renowned Alice in Wonderland props, hence why we themed our event on being a Mad Hatter’s Chocolate Tea Party.
The event was a lot of hard work, a lot of fun, and a great success. The satisfaction of seeing family, friends and guests come to our afternoon of home-baked chocolate goodies with a nice cup of coffee or tea, all having a good time while helping to support The Sick Children’s Trust, was priceless. Not only did Ruby and I have a bloody good time together taking over the kitchen for hours and dressing up as vintage waitresses, it was a fantastic experience while raising money and contributing to such a brilliant charity.
Check out our whole gallery of the event here >> Mad Hatter’s Big Chocolate Tea Party.
Follow up in 2013:
I was approached by the lovely Caroline O’Doherty, of The Sick Children’s Trust Campaign & Appeals, to be part of their first ever ‘Twinterview’ as part of their campaign to kick off a new year for the Big Chocolate Tea Party. On Wednesday 29th January this year, over an hour @BigChocTeaParty asked me various questions about how we organised and promoted our event, shared advice and offered recipes ideas over Twitter, while others joined in the conversation – it was a great experience and it was brilliant to be part of a live campaign activity in the hope of encouraging people to host their own this year!.