A winner’s story: Zoe Notara gets a tea party to remember

An afternoon with friends and a spread of delicious baked delights…

It was an absolute pleasure to read all the entries to our bespoke afternoon tea competition and deciding a winner was the toughest of asks. In the end it was Catherine Hawkins’ moving tribute to her friend Zoe that touched our hearts most. “Zoe is one of those amazing people who’s always looking after others and putting them first,” Catherine told us. “She’s an art teacher who never stops trying to encourage and inspire her students. Unfortunately she’s had a bit of a tough time recently, so I’d love to do something to make her happy.”

We were only too willing to help and hope that the very special spread we laid out – with a custom-made Victoria sponge meringue cake as the centrepiece – made Zoe’s day.

Almond and black olive frangipane tartlets
These dainty tartlets are refreshingly different, truly irresistible

Mini cheddar, walnut and thyme scones
What’s a tea party without a scone?

Zaatar-sumac chicken and pine nut finger sandwiches
Succulent and ready to eat, our rotisserie chickens are deliciously versatile and make these sarnies easier than ever to make

Zoe’s Victoria sponge meringue cake
All eyes were on the very well-deserved prize

Worth a swirl: Presenting these muffins is an easy-peasy three-step process:

One: pick up muffins in store.
Two: decorate with chocolate icing or lemon buttercream (and go blueberry crazy).
Three: devour.