Offering a cup of tea is a quintessentially Colchester, and English, way to make someone feel welcome. A tea party can be anything from gathering for a cup of tea and some cake to a more formal and organised event.
The Public Tea Party is shaped around a number of important tea party elements:
Special cups and mugs, in this case an eclectic collection of items found in Colchester's second hand shops.
An oven or stove, where cake is made and water kept warm. For this occasion the clay oven – built in a day – is situated outside and linked to live via a web cam. The oven and tea kitchen will be a central part of the final Colchester Inn.
A special or favourite cake. Recipes will be collected in a designed recipe book, printed in ink made form tea.
A series of public tea parties which invite individuals from very different groups and backgrounds to come together, and extend the tea party into the public realm.