afternoon tea with remodelista

June 30, 2012  in food styling, interior styling

sania pell at home with remodelista

A few Saturdays ago I had the pleasure of top interior design blog Remodelista, the sourcebook for contemporary living, as guests at my home for afternoon tea and a photo shoot. London Editor Christine asked if I could create a tablescape for them to feature, and with casual family summer lunches in mind I decided to create a look that was simple, colourful, informal and relaxed and based around growing vegetables and having raw ingredients on your kitchen table to make your own sandwiches as you sit. These are some of the photos from the afternoon, taken by talented photographer Rahel Weiss.

sania pell at home - kitchen

As it was a Saturday my children were at home and involved too and one of their favourites is egg and cress sandwiches. I chose a selection of eggs from my local Waitrose – quails’ eggs, lovely soft blue eggs and white eggs – which I grouped in pastel bowls. I hard boiled them all, so they could be peeled and sliced to make DIY egg sandwiches. The children grew watercress from seed the week before in pretty pastel egg cups. I sliced the farmhouse batch bread, buttered it and let the children peel the eggs and crumble and slice them onto the bread. They snipped and added the cress and sprinkled a few grains of sea salt on top and them devoured the crusty sandwiches with crumbs all around.

To decorate the table I painted terracotta pots from my local garden centre with emulsion paint in shades of grey, and used them as bowls to display radishes with their foliage still attached. I did the same went with organic carrots as they look so lush with the long stem and leaves still attached, adding to the display. I only have herbs growing in my little London garden at the moment so I bought growing lettuce still in soil in my local Sainsbury’s and replanted them in the painted terracotta pots, washing the leaves first and leaving scissors on the table nearby to snip the required amount off. The idea was you could harvest your own salad right there at the table. A painted wooden fruit box from my local market was used as a tray to contain some of the pots. It is one of the projects from my book The Homemade Home for Children.

sania pell at home - kitchen

Fizzy drinks were bought in old fashioned looking glass bottles, which I bought from Marks and Spencers. Striped straws add fun but in grey and white matched my kitchen decor. Fruit such as strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, and mint leaves too, were added to ice cubes creating a sweet little detail to our drinks.

sania pell at home - kitchen

I made the centrepiece simply with water-filled glass milk bottles (yes, we have a milkman!) with garden flowers and vegetables pushed down into the water, their foliage acting as greenery.

sania pell at home - kitchen

sania pell at home - kitchen

A Victoria sponge cake with whipped double cream spread over and strawberries generously piled on top is an easy pudding that looks and tastes delicious. The three little letter pebbles spell the word EAT and are from another project in my book.

the homemade home for children book by Sania Pell

A big thank you to Remodelista for popping by, (you can see the original post here), to Rahel Weiss for the great photos (see her folio here), to my friend Chrissie Holden for helping out and her culinary skills and to my children for gobbling it all up.

This informal lunchtime meal had a sprinkle of creativity, a dollop of fun and plenty of crumbs and was enjoyed by all.


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  1. GawgusThings says:

    love this setting, i really like the plant pots painted in that lovely shade of grey!

  2. tina says:

    Sania, that’s fantastic. I love Remodelista and what fun to have them round for tea and get them to photograph it for their post.

    Beautiful x

  3. Sania – what fun to work with Remodelista! I love the idea of putting vegetables in clear containers and combining their foliage with flowers, inspired! x

  4. Cathy Pyle says:

    Beautiful inspiration, as ever!

  5. maria says:

    I’m so inspired by your blog and have been coming back to it so many times since Holly Becker posted a link quite long ago. On Monday I will blog about you to show my friends and readers, and let them find you too 🙂 It’s in Swedish, but I guess you can read it with google translate if you’re interested. Have a nice weekend!

  6. Inge says:

    What an exciting afternoon you had, to work with Remodelista! It’s been a while since I visited your blog but you always inspire so many people with your lovely work. You’re so talented, your work is like eye candy! Love it!
    Have a great week, Inge x

  7. Polly says:

    Just discovered your blog and it’s so inspiring! Love the colour scheme in these photos! x

  8. Sania, this is lovely. I also want to be your guest and have lunch at your home one day :).

    Btw, I just bought your second book and I am in love with it. Its pretty much complicated journey. I ship the book from UK to Amsterdam as I visited Amsterdam at that time, then I got it faster. because if it delivered to Malaysia it takes almost a month :). it worth the journey though :).

  9. I really love the book. I have just finished making the wall hanging for my daughter’s bedroom and I’m delighted with how it turned out. I have recommended the book to all my blog readers.

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Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.

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