Earlier this week I wrote about my plans for Valentine’s Day and shared an idea for a thrifty DIY date night at the movies – if you missed my post, you can check it out here. With cinema prices rocketing I’ve come up with a way to enjoy a romantic evening with your Valentine without spending a small fortune on tickets, food and parking! And today I’m DIYing another popular Valentine’s Day date; a luxury afternoon tea. Afternoon tea is one of my favourite activities and I’ve spent many hours searching online for afternoon tea voucher deals but the prices seem to go from £15 upwards per person and that’s just a little more than I’d like to spend on a date. However, I love to treat my husband – and I know that he enjoys cakes and scones as much as I do! – so I’ve thought of a way to make a more personal version of afternoon tea that you can enjoy at home. This would be great for birthdays and anniversary celebrations too so check out the recipes and give it a go yourself! What better way to show someone you love them than by baking their favourite treats and taking time to plan a luxurious afternoon tea at home? Just get out your best crockery, lay the table and fix some sandwiches and you’re ready! You don’t need any special equipment but you can make the occasion extra special by using a classic cake stand and I’ve chosen this heart-shaped slate cake stand from Linea Home to display my cakes, scones and finger sandwiches.
I’ve used a blueberry and lemon muffin recipe to make my cute pink cupcakes (I’ll be sharing the recipe and method on the blog this Friday so you can recreate it for yourself on Valentine’s Day) which took only half an hour to bake in the oven. The scones are a classic element of afternoon tea but instead of plain scones with jam, I’ve gone for the savoury option (which hubby and I both prefer) of cheese scones spiked with wholegrain mustard – yum! I also hard-boiled some eggs and mixed with mayonnaise to make my husband’s favourite sarnie but I’ve poshed it up by cutting it into delicate fingers, just like a real afternoon tea at a hotel. A nice alternative to sandwiches is a wrap, and here I’ve rolled up a wholegrain tortilla with chicken, finely sliced chorizo and lettuce. I rolled it tightly rather than folding in like a normal wrap, and I’ve cut it into four pieces to turn it into finger-food for the afternoon tea. I think that the colourful swirls look very pretty on the plate stand and are something a little different.
In terms of drinks there are two options; get the teapot out and brew up a delicious cup of tea or go for the bubbly! If you fancy a cuppa, you can make it more of a special occasion by putting out a jug of milk and pot of sugar and using proper teacups and saucers. If you want a fizzy option, I’ve come up with a couple of recipes to make a cocktail and a ‘mocktail’ (in case you need to drive anywhere later!) for your special someone.
First I mixed up a ‘Pink Kick’ mocktail, which is fiery ginger ale, a teaspoon of sugar-syrup to balance out the tartness of the ginger, and a glug of Apple and Blackcurrant Appletiser. I’m a massive fan of ginger and apple drinks, especially at Christmas, but I wanted to give my favourite mocktail a sweeter edge for Valentines day, and I love the pink colour that the combination of drinks has created. Add a striped paper straw and a couple of ice cubes and you’re done! In order to make a delicious glass of alcoholic fizz to accompany your afternoon tea I’ve created the ‘Cherry Apple’ cocktail, which is made with one shot of amaretto liqueur and splash of lemon juice, topped up with sparkling Apple and blackcurrant Appletiser. Here I’ve added three cherries on a windmill cocktail stick, but you could use a pink paper umbrella to make the drink look really kitsch! Let me know what you think of these ideas for a thrifty afternoon tea and I’d love hear what money-saving tips you have for enjoying Valentine’s day so leave please me a comment below.