You may remember Angel Adoree from her fabulously Forties Vintage Patisserie
pitch to the investors on Dragon's Den
. If not, to summarise, she is rather fabulous. A vintage obsessive, stylist and hostess of many a fine tea party, Angel eats, drinks and breathes the glory of a bygone era and she does it beautifully.
Angel shows you how. Pic: Octopus Publishing
Angel turns fantasy tea party dreams into reality, offering her Vintage Patisserie customers the complete experience, including dance, music, make-up and of course a delicious menu. Her latest project, The Vintage Tea Party Book, is not just about tea and cake – it's about a lifestyle.
Covering everything from personalised invitations to turning your home into the perfect vintage tea party venue and with recipes like Asparagus Egg Custards with Parmesan Wafers and Lemon Scones with Lavender Cream, if you love to entertain your girlfriends in style, this is the book for you.
There are even tips on how to do your hair in a victory roll, apply false eyelashes and achieve the perfect rouged lip – really, what more could a person want?
We spoke to Angel to find out more:
Congratulations on the book, which is stunning. What inspired you to write it and is the finished product everything you hoped it would be?
Thank you! Yes, I'm delighted with the finished product. It's really a true reflection of the journey that the Vintage Patisserie, my company, goes on to create the perfect tea party. The book really captures the style we have here and I can only thank our publishers for allowing us to have creative freedom with this project. The book reflects my life, which I made into a business and I take and have taken inspirations from the past and present.
Is it fair to call you a vintage obsessive?
I would say so. Vintage is the trendy word now, but I've been collecting old stuff since I was 13. I used to joke that I needed to go to AA, being Antiques Anonymous. I'm truly addicted to finding a bargain at a boot sale.
What does your family make of your love of all things vintage?
I'm really lucky to have a very supportive family. My mum giggled when I bought back my first fur coat at the age 13 from a charity shop (well actually it was the 2nd fur coat I owned - my mum bought me one at age 6!). I'm guessing like most parents they thought it was a 'stage' I was going through and my dad a few years ago asked me when I was going to get a proper job!
Toasted chocolate hearts. Pic: Octopus Publishing
As well as doing amazing tea parties, you offer vintage clothes personal shopping service – what top tips do you have for would-be vintage clothes shoppers?
I don't do that as much these days, but that's how I started my 'Vintage' journey. I used to do an event called the 'Angel-A' Vintage Experience, where by the old school I live in was a boutique and I cooked for everyone, served them wine and in return they bought lots of clothes from me that I picked from them! It ran for seven years and people that still know me often ask me to bring it back!
Picking clothes for people was a talent that I had, but there is also a confidence as a host that they give to you. And that's my biggest tip, you need to wear vintage items with confidence and also be open to trying different items on. Even when I'm shopping for vintage clothes I take 20 items in to a changing room and if I'm lucky one will fit! And if you don't LOVE it... don't get it. But if you do, make sure you take it home... chances are you will never have the opportunity to meet that dress again.
What qualities do you think a great host/hostess has to have?
1) Be organised. You need to woo your guests and not be in the kitchen all the time
2) The devil is in the detail. Putting a rose on each person's tea cup, or making truffles with their name engraved on them are what people remember.
3) Do not forget to enjoy your party - if the preparation is done, all you need to do is love, laugh and dance the tea party away!
Doing this for a profession is slightly different I may add. Points 1 and 2 are still very important, but you must be attentive but not intrusive. It's a balance that a true hostess will know intuitively!
There are sections in the book on 'Tying the perfect headscarf' and 'Victory Rolls' (the iconic feature of 1940s hairdos) – who taught you to do all these fabulous things?
Practice, practice, practice! There are great you tube tutorials to learn vintage hairstyles and then it's a matter of putting in the hard work and getting a bit of arm ache!
Do you ever leave the house without your hair done or perfect make-up?
I'm the same as everyone else - of course I do!
More than just tea and cake. Pic: Octopus Publishing
Can you tell us about the most fabulous tea party you've ever hosted?
I have to say this is a hard one, as all our events are fabulous and are for occasions, and I leave feeling truly fulfilled that I've made each guest happy and been part of their journey. The one that was most personal to me was my mum's 60th birthday tea party, where all the family got to experience what I do. My aunties and cousins had their hair done and everyone including my staff danced the afternoon away!
Have you arranged parties for anyone we would know?
I hate this question! I always feel shameless in telling people I've done tea parties for Myleene Class, Paul Smith, Erdem, Kim Jones, and met many more at some wonderful events we have been blessed to run.
If you had to pick only one recipe and one style tip from your book to share with our readers, what would they be?
This is a hard question as the book works by combining lots of items together, but for visual impact and taste I would suggest the Salad Cemetery. It's delicious and people love eating it!
For style, I say get that red lipstick out of the drawer that you think does not suit you! It does! There is a red for everyone... and baking with some Ella in the background and a ruby lip makes the cakes taste better you know!
What next for Angel Adoree and The Vintage Patisserie?
We are in final negotiations for a few incredibly exciting projects, but I can't jinx anything yet! I promise to keep you posted!
The Vintage Tea Party Book (Octopus Publishing) is out now, priced £20.