We held our own Fabulous Summer Tea Party for the first time yesterday at Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville and we are delighted to say it was a resounding success. 

Despite the drizzle, guests weren’t put off with over 100 people gathering in the garden room to spoil themselves with a spot of afternoon tea. Patients, their loved ones, NHS staff and local supporters all came together to enjoy a cosy afternoon in the garden, admiring the planting whilst sheltering from the Great British Summer. There were also smiles and laughter all round thanks to the Aldbury Morris Dancers, who danced on brilliantly as the bunting fluttered over their heads!

It was a joy to welcome Anneka Rice to the garden too, who has long supported the charity. Not only did Anneka spend time chatting to as many people as possible throughout the event, she also made short work of her afternoon tea. We were so pleased to hear that she enjoyed her time in Horatio’s Garden and loved her passionate, scone-themed Instagram last night – it seems it’s #sconeswithjamfirst for Anneka, but we’re open to alternatives! 

As the afternoon went on more people continued to arrive, with many commenting on how beautiful the garden and garden room looked for the occasion. Thanks to our fantastic volunteers, including groups from McAfee and Baxters Healthcare Ltd, preparation for the tea party was well underway on Tuesday morning. We were most grateful to One Off Services for offering their vintage tea sets for the occasion too, which certainly helped to create a suitably charming atmosphere! Everyone worked incredibly hard to ensure everything was ready for guests, with tasks including popping up the bunting (no mean feat!), arranging an infinite number of cups, saucers and tea stands and making fresh sandwiches. 

Their dedication certainly paid off though and it was lovely to receive such kind comments from so many, including Bobbie and Henry Aubrey-Fletcher. Bobbie wrote: 

‘What a happy afternoon Henry and I had with the team today. We so enjoyed ourselves, to say nothing about the completely yummy tea of which we ate an embarrassing amount…  

Thank you very much for asking us; needless to say we were star-struck by Anneka! Despite the rain the garden was looking terrific too, and although we searched hard for a weed we of course saw none! It is such a special place – how lucky Buckinghamshire is to have a Horatio’s Garden.’ 

It’s wonderful to know that Horatio’s Garden is supported by such thoughtful people. By simply joining us for an afternoon tea in the garden, you have helped us to continue to bring the restorative power of gardens to many patients and families across the UK.