Learn to make bread with Room Forty
Room Forty Autumn Newsletter
It’s certainly been a challenging time for Room Forty, but we’re safe and well, and we hope that you and your families are too.
I don’t think we’re out of the woods with new issues arising this week around gas supply and food deliveries but our relationship with our local suppliers and butcher (Rowles) are good and we’ll always find a solution to a problem!
During the first lockdown we had to quickly diversify to keep our little boat afloat and in doing so we found a lot of new customers with our boxed afternoon teas. In fact the good news is that the boxed teas are here to STAY, alongside our full service afternoon teas, our crockery hire and our baking school, which is back up and running – more of that to come later! (Next boxes are on 8 October and I just need to add more dates to the website this weekend!)
Of course, we couldn’t have done that without your support which has been phenomenal and has kept me from taking up a nice normal job!
Our little team has expanded, we’re delighted to have the lovely Paula on board (literally when we did a wedding on a boat!) There’s also been amazing support from our delivery drivers, Steve, Darren and Natalie who made the lockdown tea in a box get to you still fresh on the day.
DIARY DATES - LADIES DAY 12 December 2021
Join us for a Christmas themed afternoon tea with shopping from lots of lovely stalls!
We’ll be there with the full tea room from 12-4 at Padgate Community Day. Afternoon teas can be booked in advance to enjoy the full experience or you can order an afternoon tea in a box to pick up and take home that day! Book on our website, Eventbrite or our facebook page for a sitting at 12.30 or 2.30. We’d love to see you x
New classes for autumn/Christmas 2021. All priced at £65pp and are fully inclusive and accessible regardless of age, experience and skill!
Baking class vouchers can be purchased as a gift and private parties can be booked at your home or we’ll find a venue – eg for a corporate baking class.
We make Focaccia and a Cheese and Walnut Bread as well as enjoying a demo (and eating) my delicious scones.
Room Forty HQ Wednesday 29 September 2021
Pain au chocolat / Croissants
Lymm Village Hall 9am -12 Sat 23 October 2021
Stollen and other festive treats
Lymm Village Hall 9am-12 Sun 21 November
Liverpool at Mossley Hill 6-9pm Wed 15 December
More details to follow, but I have had preliminary discussions with a jeweller who would like to do some crafternoon teas with us. Could it be a Christmas gift voucher idea for someone you love?
How many for a tea party?
Because it takes around 8 hours to make every single afternoon tea (more if there are special diets in the party) we do ask for a minimum number of 10 for a full-service afternoon tea. We’re happy to deliver just the food, or the food and crockery too, but we do like to help you enjoy the occasion more by serving it to you.
Cake Craft Kits are back
Great for kids and perfect for fun loving adults (or party events) cake craft kits are available on request and will be a big feature once again in the 12 day lead up to Christmas.
They contain everything you need to have some extraordinary cake decorating fun.
The Sherston Overnight Loaf
Being the sort of chap that Mitch is, ‘interesting’ you could say, or ‘a bit special’, he likes to check out local bakeries when he is out and about (and often volunteer to work there for a morning?). He was recently down in the Cotswolds and here is his report
‘Chipping Sodbury is the HQ of the Hobbs House Bakery and top bakers they are. You may remember them being featured as The Fabulous Baker Brothers on TV some years ago.
There are branches of Hobbs House dotted around the Cotswolds and their bread is worth seeking out if you haven’t time to rustle up a White Delight. They also post out their croissant and pain au chocolate frozen to bake at home – check them out, they are an excellent treat.
Their Sherston overnight loaf is really something special. It is an old family recipe developed by their great grandfather Thomas Herbert at a time when it was difficult to get hold of yeast in the 1920’s.
What sets it apart is the length of prove which is said to improve flavour. It does make a lovely loaf of bread and we think it makes the best toast. Ever.
Through the reach and power of Room Forty’s persuasion here is the recipe. It takes a bit longer than normal to make, in fact it takes much the same time as it does to make a sourdough, but the results are worth it. Give it a go
Mix all the ingredients together and knead into a smooth, stiff dough.
Cover and leave in a cool place for two hours
Shape the dough and place in a large (2lb) bread tin, cover and leave overnight to rise in the fridge (or for about 8 hours)
Remove from the fridge (the loaf will have risen slightly) and place somewhere warm to carry on rising (which could take any time from 1 to 3 hours)
Heat the oven up to 240 degrees (or as hot as you can get it)
Dust with flour and slash the bread then bake.
After it has been in for ten minutes turn the oven down a notch to 210 degrees and continue baking. Total baking time will be 30 – 35 minutes
Remove when baked, allow to cool and voila!
And this one definitely made us all delighted as it was a challenging venue (on vintage 1930's tugboat 'The Danny' at Acton Bridge!)
"We hired the service of Room 40 Vintage Tea for our wedding reception recently. We were not disappointed! Jen & her team were extremely professional but with a very personable edge. The food that we ordered was excellent, and the cake and cream tea were to die for!
All of our guests were extremely complementary and thought the experience was amazing. We could not recommend Jen/Room 40 highly enough, the perfect recipe for success for any party/celebration!!!"
Jan and Wayne
It's time to celebrate all those milestones we've missed over the last year!
Autumn is here and so is my newsletter - at very long last!
Grab a cuppa and have a read. I do hope to see you soon, whatever the event make sure there is cake at it!
Let me know what you think!
You might still like to grab a latte on your commute, but with the average UK resident drinking 876 cups of tea every year – enough to fill two bath tubs, it remains the nations favourite drink.
And that’s what is at the heart of what is seemingly the nations favourite pastime during lockdown, ordering afternoon tea deliveries.
It is no surprise then, that Room Forty have been inundated with orders for our 5 Star rated, award winning afternoon teas, and we're celebrating National Afternoon Tea week with a super special edition on 15 August, after a couple of weeks off with the family.
Covid has has a huge impact on our business, some good and some bad. For the first month we couldn't have worked if we had wanted to as there were no ingredients and of course we couldn't do all the weddings and events we were booked in to do.
What did happen though was an opportunity to do things differently and after I took a little time and found suppliers of ingredients and sustainable packaging I was able to restart in a different way, delivering afternoon tea in a box. Lots of people ordered them as gifts for people who were isolating or to celebrate their birthdays, anniversaries and even funerals, and many have already returned again and again - and for that we are delighted.
However, since the restaurants have reopened we have seen a significant drop in the number of box orders, but that balances with the fact that we’re able to hire our crockery again and we’re taking bookings to serve our afternoon teas again in people's gardens.
We are also looking forward to getting back into the community centre to restart our bread making workshops this autumn!
Afternoon tea week is the perfect excuse to book for your afternoon tea at home, with or without the crockery, it is a real tasty treat. Book on our website - use the tab across the top that says order, and we'll deliver Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Indulge yourself in a large home made scone with jam and clotted cream, plus an individual Victoria Sponge from the award winning Room Forty Afternoon Tea.
A perfect lockdown treat, a thank you gift or a corporate team reward.
Available to collect from our home in Woolston, Warrington
Book yours here
Bake – along Tuesday 9 June Vegan friendly meringues that are gluten free too!
Nothing says summer than a light fluffy cloud of meringue with strawberries and cream, preferably smashed up and served as a pile of Eton mess.
Traditionally made with whipped egg white and caster sugar, a vegan friendly version definitely didn’t seem possible so I was dubious to say the least.
But, amazingly it worked as well as ‘normal’ meringue AND it tastes delicious too, quite toffee- ish!
What’s the secret? Well, this is where it gets a bit weird. It is actually the water from a can of chickpeas. I told you it was weird, but don’t dismiss it because of that, you really will be wowed to try it!
I’ll be baking this week at the fabulous JD Kitchens showroom using their Neff slide and hide ovens, so do join me live at 12.00 noon via the Warrington Guardian Coronavirus Facebook page.
1 can of chickpeas (use the chickpeas to make hummus or throw in a chicken casserole or roast them for a snack!)
Caster sugar 300 g
Cream of tartar (not essential if you can’t get it)
You definitely need an electric whisk for this, some baking paper and a piping bag is useful, but you can do dollops with a spoon if you don’t want to pipe it.
Jen Perry; loves discovering beautiful vintage china, eating cake and drinking proper tea.