Flower Arranging and Afternoon Tea at Villandry London

I remember how desperately I tried to conjure up a way to disguise my chuckles a couple of years ago, when my Mother in law first mentioned to me that she had spent the day at flower club. Most of us familiar with the sensitivities of married life will be well aware of how brazen a move this was but the unrepentant laughs were seeping out from my pores like helium from a rapidly deflating balloon.flower bouquet arranging class Villandry

It wasn’t the concept that tickled the laughing zones of my brain, I must add. It was really just the title, “Flower Club” but I giggled in the full knowledge that no flower audition of mine would ever make the cut to get into a club like this.

flower arranging class London

Pumpkin stopped giving me flowers after he found out I couldn’t keep them alive for more than two days and when my best friend got married a few months ago, I sensibly stuck to cutting stems, so apprehensive was I about hovering near the bouquets and ruining her thoughtful efforts with my hopeless flower-arranging skills.Villandry London BarVillandry Cafe Great Portland Street Zomato meet up

So really, the recent invitation from Zomato UK and Villandry Great Portland Street to participate in a flower arranging class could not have been any more timely, especially when they promised our efforts would be rewarded with afternoon tea.Villandry London almond orange cakes

Villandry was one of the venues I had explored as an option for the same friend’s hen party not so long ago so I was curious to see what it was like. Pumped full of hayfever medication, I arrived in glorious sunshine to a large entrance full of delicious, foodie treats, calorific cakes and colour-coordinated bouquets for sale, a perfect central London location for our afternoon of education.

And today’s class contained all the essentials for a blogger flower-arranging class: bloggers, flowers, a florist, a watering can and of course, DSLR cameras and smart phones!blogger events London

Flower arranging at Villandry

Villandry Moyses Stevens flower bouquets

After an introductory demonstration from the flower-arranging brains behind Moyses Stevens, who create the arrangements for Villandry, we got started with positioning hydrangeas here and peonies there with some foliage thrown in for good measure.Moyses Stevens Flower Arrangement

I will not pretend that mine was a standout piece because frankly, once you take the proverbial pen out of my hand and stop me from writing, I am left with very few creative skills. I can’t draw. I can’t paint and I certainly can’t arrange flowers but all things considered, I was quite pleased with my efforts! My bouquet is not displayed from the best angle in this photo but the first and last images of this post give a better view…flower arranging class Villandry

Stems were chopped and bouquets immersed in water before being tied up (by ourselves I should point out for reasons soon to become apparent) and then we finally proceeded to take our seats for afternoon tea.

Afternoon Tea at Villandry, London

Villandry Cafe Flowers

I was rather excited to find that we each got our very own 3 tier stand full of edible delights, which felt rather indulgent as they are often to share.villandry cafe afternoon tea

The sandwich selection was a smidgen dry for my liking (but I can take that so long as I will still get good cake) and instead of the conventional two small scones, we got one whopping huge one instead. It was nicely warm with a decent level of crumble but was a little too filling for me, as of course, I had been eyeing up my favourite platter.

I managed to make my way through the mini salted caramel tart (there’s no point going for a “save the best till last” approach when it comes to afternoon tea in my opinion), a creamy, raspberry meringue and tried just small bites of the polenta cake, chocolate chimney and mini cheesecake.villandry london afternoon tea desserts

The good news is that flower arranging and afternoon tea packages are available for you to book as well and this would be a great idea for a hen do, baby shower or Mother’s day treat or heck, just for a summery Saturday.

I can picture myself returning to Villandry for a moment of me time, grabbing a herbal tea and large piece of cake from the dessert counter and spending the afternoon reading (or blogging probably!) But if you are feeling more sociable than this, they serve up some well priced dining options including a weekend Prosecco brunch or a Monday night lobster evening!London flower arranging class

As I walked to Bond Street station, I noticed a trail of water behind resulting in me sheepishly pausing on a corner of Cavendish square, debating what to do with the soggy gift bag I had been carrying the flowers in. Fortunately, the leakage had occurred because I had accidentally been holding my bouquet at an angle and all was well once I fixed this, which meant that I still had a pretty flower arrangement to bring home to Pumpkin for safe keeping; they lasted a lot longer under his watch than they usually do under mine!

Have you ever tried flower arranging?

Click to add a blog post for Villandry Great Portland Street on Zomato

I was a guest of Zomato UK and Villandry for this event but rather like my flower bouquet, all opinions are entirely my own.

36 thoughts on “Flower Arranging and Afternoon Tea at Villandry London

  1. I went to Villandry recently and was so impressed with the quality of the food and wine. You’ve created a gorgeous bouquet there, Shikha!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 1, 2015 — 7:33 am

      Thank you Suze! It was quite cathartic actually and I could see how it could become quite an addictive hobby! I want to return and try the regular menus as a lot of people have been saying how good the food is there! Have you blogged about your experience there? I’ll try and catch up with it if so!

  2. Well done Shikha! I dread to think what I’d be like at something like flower arranging, but I’d still give it a go if afternoon tea was involved lol. Those cakes look delicious!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 1, 2015 — 7:36 am

      Hehe, you’re a woman after my own heart Keri! Thanks so much for the encouragement ☺ The meringue and salted caramel tart were definitely worth the hayfever symptoms but actually, I ended up enjoying the flower arranging a lot more than anticipated!

  3. What a fabulous combination. Flower arranging and afternoon tea. All rather quaint. xx

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 1, 2015 — 7:40 am

      Pretty good combination when you think about it and yet it had never even occurred to me that these two activities are paired up anywhere Zoe! I definitely felt like a sophisticated lady when I came home – though I highly doubt I’ll be making them myself without help again at home! :mrgreen:

  4. Lovely shot of you and your gorgeous flowers! Sounds like a very ladylike way to spend an afternoon – I’m sure your Mother-in-law would approve! 🙂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 1, 2015 — 7:44 am

      Hehe, she certainly did approve of the activity but I’m hoping the affectionate mocking doesn’t end up putting me in the bad books! Thank you for your lovely compliment Suzanne ☺

  5. I must admit the thought of ‘flower club’ or ‘flower arranging’ would make me chuckle too… But secretly I wouldn’t mind giving it a go as I love flowers! (Terrible for us hayfever sufferers huh?!)

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 1, 2015 — 7:50 am

      Hehe, I think we have a similar sense of humour Connie! I love flowers too but it’s hopeless with the hayfever – this summer at a picnic in the park, my eye puffed up so much that it looked like I’d been beaten up! Luckily this time, I came prepared and left intact :mrgreen:

      1. Oh dear, that’s very bad indeed! Hope you had the sunglasses handy… Poor Pumpkin, hope he didn’t get weird looks!

  6. LondonKiwiEmma July 26, 2015 — 6:36 am

    I love that is the flower arranging all goes awry you can always console yourself with cake afterwards – genius idea!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 1, 2015 — 7:52 am

      Great isn’t it? They couldn’t have designed it any more perfectly for someone like me if they tried! Maybe all classes should follow a similar formula Emma?! ☺

  7. The cakes sound delicious! Your flowers look great- so clever! Glad you got them home in the end.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 1, 2015 — 7:53 am

      Aww thank you Katie! Yes, a little part of me was thinking how utterly ridiculous and embarrassing it would have been if the flowers weren’t even able to make the 20 minute tube ride home so that was a close shave!

  8. This sounds like such a lovely idea for a hen do/baby shower. I absolutely love flowers, but I have a feeling I would not be great at the arranging side of things! (Your bouquet looks beautiful btw.) And anything with afternoon tea included always gets my vote!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 1, 2015 — 7:55 am

      Haha, thank you Emily but I can assure you it would have looked very different without the help I had! I agree it’s a lovely idea for a girly day out but I was surprised at just how hard I had to concentrate! Maybe I was just justifying the upcoming cake to myself!

  9. Like many of your blog posts, I giggled the whole way through this! It looks as though you have hidden talents S as the outcome was beautiful! Having done all of the flowers for our recent wedding I know this is the kind of thing my mum would love as a present

    Polly xx
    Follow Your Sunshine

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 1, 2015 — 7:57 am

      Oh wow Polly! That’s so kind and sweet of your Mum – she must have worked so hard on them but I bet they were the proudest arrangements she’s ever come up with ☺ Thanks for the kind words – there were certainly better arrangements that came out of the class that day but u was just thrilled to bits that my bouquet actually resembled a bouquet!!

  10. I remember school days of flower arrangement and making herbarium 🙂 Lovely post as always Shikha! (www.ishitasood.blogspot.in)

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 1, 2015 — 7:59 am

      Oh wow, you learned it in school Ishita! That’s good – we did it just on one occasion and I have a feeling I didn’t pay much attention so it was good to have a recap here at this class! Thanks so much for reading ☺

      1. I did but I don’t rem it either 🙂 nevertheless thanks for taking me back to it!

  11. oh man. I could use some serious flower club lessons over here. i always start off confident when get receive a bouquet and then….err.. :/ hehe pretty, pretty photos!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 1, 2015 — 8:08 am

      Hahaha Annie, I can totally relate to what you’re saying! I love receiving beautiful, colourful flowers but only a few days later, they’re wilting and falling apart so this time it was quite fun being able to make the bouquet and then hand it over to my hubby for safe keeping! Thanks so much for reading ☺

  12. Love this place and beautiful flower arrangements too!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 10, 2015 — 10:34 pm

      Glad to hear you liked it too Becky, as it was my first visit but really enjoyed the buzz of this restaurant!

  13. Glad you managed to make a pretty bouquet after your flower arranging worries! Sounds like a fun day and of course, even if you had failed with the flowers, the cake would have made it all better 🙂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 10, 2015 — 10:36 pm

      Exactly my thoughts when I agreed to go Ayla but the flower arranging turned out to be more fun than I’d anticipated and at least what I went home with still vaguely resembled flowers 😀

  14. Ohhh my mom would love doing this. She adores flowers and she is really good with them. I am just as you, not so good with arranging flowers hahaha I would love to do something like this, and the afternoon tea at the end matched perfectly! 😀

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 10, 2015 — 10:37 pm

      Yes, I can imagine that lots of Mums would be quite good and it probably is a lovely activity to do something like this with your Mum one day ☺

  15. I love that London is filled with such unique things to do like this. I love your arrangement and I give you lots of credit for trying something new! I have hardly any creative skills so I would definitely be apprehensive at first, but I would really enjoy learning how to arrange flowers! It would be so nice to have a garden and then make my own arrangements for my house. Perhaps one day!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) August 10, 2015 — 10:42 pm

      Yes it must be even more special when the arrangements are made from the flowers of your own home! One thing I can’t fault London for is that there’s always something fun going on, though I guess it’s probably quite similar in New York where you were before? I’m exactly the same with the whole not being creative thing – blogging is about as creative as it gets for me so I was quite nervous about how it would go but it was a really friendly, helpful set up so it worked out alright in the end ☺

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