Ria’s Teashop Secrets: A slice of the Sixties

The 1960s have inspired this three layer sponge at Ria's Rosy Lee Teashop
The 1960s have inspired this three layer sponge at Ria's Rosy Lee Teashop

Ria Chambers from Ria’s Rosy Lee Tearoom in Wellingborough on special events in September

We’re going to be working to a different beat this month in the tearoom as we’re transforming into the 1960s.

As a vintage tearoom we’ve always been able to move between the 1920s and 1960s, but this is a decade we’ve not yet had a chance to fully explore.

September is a good month as well for this as there’s a change in the air with the seasons, just like the many changes that occurred in the 1960s.

The state of flux during this decade even had an effect on something as simple as taking tea and cake.

Tearooms were in decline as they struggled against the coffee shops which were continuing to grow after they had been popularised by teenagers in the 1950s.

The pace of life in society was changing with more working mothers looking for ways to save time and labour in the kitchen.

Their help came in two different ways.

Cake mixes such as Betty Crocker were being imported from America, enabling people to make a cake quickly which still had that home-made finish.

These could be purchased in the new supermarkets where ready-made cakes could also be obtained, saving any cooking at all.

Some of the best sellers of the decade were Swiss rolls and Battenburgs, ideal grab and go cakes.

Readily available cakes in supermarkets and cake mixes both marked a decline in the art of home baking, except for in one aspect of life.

The dinner party was one event where the hostess could show off her baking prowess.

Popular showstoppers to finish a meal at the time included upside down pineapple cake and a three layer sponge.

These are among some of the things I will be baking in September to offer you all a slice of the Sixties.