And then came the tea party… A chance to have a little more sleep before spending two hours on getting ready, to socialise a bit with the wonderful people I’ve met and to take a couple more photos (which again ended up being of myself more than the other things, but there are some other things too!). All of this plus the special announcement which, as someone attending the tea party, I was privy to before the rest of the world was told.
Despite having a lot more time to get ready, I still ended up rushing a little because I took my breakfast that little bit too slowly and casually – but still managed to get ready with some time to spare. Bonus of this was that the non-Lolita roommates had disappeared by this point, so we could parade in just bras and pettis whilst getting ready and not have to worry about conquering the bathroom and all the mirrors. :P This was my opportunity to not only wear Sheherazade, one of my dream dresses, for the first time since I got it, but also to make a dream coord from the past (albeit with some modifications) a reality. I love how it all turned out and the ring I received as a thank-you for volunteering couldn’t be a better match to this entire ensemble.
Because the venue was changed to one which my TPC event veteran friends weren’t familiar with, as well as due to weather being on the wet side (even if it stopped almost every time we needed to be outside), we took an Uber there. And let me tell you, The Royal Horseguards hotel, where we had our tea party, could not have been swankier if it tried! From the second of entering I felt transported back in time, as if I was an upstairs character from Downton Abbey enjoying an outing to London. I am super impressed and while I have no comparison with the venue from previous year(s), I would definitely love to go back there next year.
|Photograph by Giulia Hepburn|
|Photograph by Giulia Hepburn|
Although we got there for 1 o’clock, the advertised start time, it wasn’t until 2pm that people were allowed in, by which time I was feeling positively hungry. All of this was somewhat contained by all the time available for taking fancy photos, but after something like five hours since breakfast I was desperate to get some food.
Fortunately, I survived the wait and was rewarded with some truly delicious afternoon tea. There was no seating plan, which meant that most people stuck with their groups of friends, however, because I thought that the table where my hostel friends were was already full, I ended up sat at a lovely mix table where I knew a handful of people, but also got to meet some new ones. The organisers have given everyone two postcards, a set of Wicked and Whimsy stickers, a pin (not sure if everyone had a Rose Marie Seoir one, but everyone definitely got a pin) and… Lolita bingo! Even though they stated clearly that there were no prizes involved, it made for a fantastic ice breaker and a little activity to provide a little fun. We were all so, sooo gutted that there wasn’t a single witch hat around at the tea party, that kept being the one box we were missing to complete our bingo – and there were loads the day before!
For a moment after the food arrived there was a relative quiet at our table and even the chatter around seemed to have quieted down a little, narrowed down to a gentle sound of cutlery ringing against each other and teacups being lifted and then put down on their saucers. The food was as delicious as it was adorable, many had a hard time eating that little bumblebee, although some eventually did it – I couldn’t, more so because I was worried it’d be too sugary for me than anything else. But I feel like I made up for this by nomming my very rude-looking nip cake very early on, so maybe it’s not so bad? ^^”
|Because it isn't truly British if there isn't something at least a tiny bit rude.|
Like nip cakes :P
Throughout the event, after that first hunger was satisfied, everyone was chatting and taking photos. The special guests have brought some items that have not sold out the day before, although I didn’t see anything that tickled my fancy so my wallet breathed a sigh of relief. Instead, after filling myself with all this deliciousness, I proceeded to chat a bit more with a now smaller Polish squad (only two plus myself attended the tea party - it would’ve been nice to have all five, but maybe next time) and take photos with my accidental twins. Just like on Saturday I was expecting to bump into someone wearing the same print, I totally did not expect to find not just one, but two other Lolitas wearing Sheherazade (although I guess I could’ve guessed that if I tried harder). It’s amazing how we all styled it slightly differently, which just goes to show that what you do is limited only by your own imagination – and possibly financial capacity. :P
|Photograph by Lady Sloth|
The tea party went by so quickly, it felt that the moment it got into its full swing, everyone was called back to their seats for the raffle, closing speech (including that special announcement) and the final group photo. Maybe it’s because on Saturday I really was awake for a very long time and the event itself was a little longer as well as fuller with a variety of activities, but the tea party felt much too short. This time I didn’t win anything in the raffle – but I really wanted to win either the blouse from Lady Sloth or the Haenuli overskirt, which means that I’ll probably get those myself at some point.
And then they said it! I had my suspicions from the moment the organisers said that they had a very special announcement happening at the tea party, so to me it wasn’t as much a surprise as it was a confirmation, but for anyone who doesn’t yet know: next year, for the 10th anniversary of the Tea Party Club, the special guest will be the one and only Angelic Pretty. It’s a cliché, but the room really did explode with cheers and applause, and quite a few more exclamations of “I knew it!”, not just my own. I am grateful to my past self beyond words for being a shallow little creature that will do a lot for a pretty ring, because volunteers get early access tickets – and despite the early access being limited to silver and bronze tickets only, nothing stops me from getting a silver one in the early access and then trying to win the general sale bloodbath for a gold one and sell on my silver one. Such an evil plan, but what else is a Lolita to do when her favourite brand is announced as the guest of honour?
After a few final photos, as well as some goodbyes, most of us headed back to the hostel to change. Whilst we did go to the official afterparty, I wasn’t feeling the club that night – fortunately, I wasn’t alone and in a very small, but amazing company we went for a dinner and then returned to the hostel for some sleep and final packing. Throughout the journey from the tea party to the hostel, as well as the following morning, before we all went our separate ways, all we could talk about was what to wear for next year. Do we create something mind blowing with the AP we already own or do we buy something new? And what about that horrible unknown between January and next August, when AP could release literally anything, from something new and fantastic to a strategic rerelease? Too many things to consider, but I will say that on the train back I have had my first serious idea for what I could wear. I’ll keep it secret for a while though… ;)
And that is it: purely magical weekend in London filled with the loveliest people and the frilliest clothes. I am grateful for the people I’ve met as well as for the chance to catch up/get to know better those I’ve met before. I am in the process of editing a video showing off my Wicked and Whimsy haul, so although I mentioned a thing or two, you’ll see it all soon, so stay tuned for this. Adjusting to my boring reality is still difficult, that weekend was a combination of an emotional homecoming and being injected with a powerful drug that offers the best and purest of highs that I now have to live without for the next year, but I’m hoping to channel this desperate search for a Lolita high into this blog. At the moment I have only ideas, however, those will be turning into actual posts, so don’t go anywhere far.
If you got as far down as here, thank you. How are you feeling? Good? Or in a similar post-event blues situation? What event did you last go to? Or maybe you’ve just heard something that you’re excited about? Share your thoughts in the comments, I honestly love a good chat! Until next time, take care ^^