An Afternoon With T - the pop-up afternoon tea company that comes to your party
PUBLISHED: 00:00 20 July 2018
An old tea service owned by her grandmother set Tina Nunn on the path to a rewarding new career.
As a girl, Tina Nunn used to admire her grandmother’s tea service in the family china cabinet, never realising that one day it would set her on the path to a new career.
When her gran passed away, she inherited the tea set and used it when friends and family came around for afternoon tea. And she did it in style – macaroons, Victoria sponge and vintage frocks.
‘We turned it into an afternoon of nostalgia – I even had tea room music playing,’ said Tina. ‘Everyone loved it and said I was too creative for office work. That got me thinking.’
She had been working in the law, specialising in personal injury fraud. ‘To be honest, it wasn’t a very pleasurable way to earn a living,’ said Tina, who is from Middleton near Manchester. So after giving birth to her daughter, Heidi, two years ago, she took redundancy and wondered what to do with the rest of her life.
The result was her own business called An Afternoon With T. Through social media and with the help of her sister Kelly Cockram and friend and photographer Emma Boyle, word got around on social media and she started to receive bookings from people who wanted her to go to their homes and set up a ‘pop-up’ tea shop for special occasions.
‘Word got around and it just took off – everything from baby showers, to hen parties and weddings,’ she said. ‘We go in and set everything up with vintage clothes, bunting and personalised tags. We can even arrange waitress service and afterwards there is no washing up!’
Tina has a variety of different packages ranging from £10 to £20 a head depending on what clients want. As well as taking a full afternoon tea to people she also does tea in a box – some of the treats you’d get from an afternoon tea packed in a special box and delivered to your home or desk.
‘I initially had friends book me for their events, then started to get interest from new customers. It was so exciting. It started to grow and so did my tea set – it was no longer just the set I inherited from my gran. I even bought a 1940s radio for some extra nostalgia.’
Bookings came in from around the North West but there was business from an unexpected – and rewarding – source.
‘I then started to get interest from people who have a family member who can’t leave the house for one reason or another, serious illness or perhaps dementia,’ said Tina, who is 38 and married to Craig.
‘Last year I was asked if I would do a pop up for a lady who was going to be 90. She doesn’t leave the house but loved afternoon tea. I set it up and the smile on her face was of pure delight. I had music from my restored radio playing songs from her younger days.
‘The family loved it and I was waved off when I drove away from her home by four members of the family who told me how happy they were with my personal service. They booked me again for her birthday this year.
‘Another customer wanted it for children who are in wheelchairs and struggled to leave the house. They said it was so nice to be able to have a special occasion at home.
‘What turned out to be a good idea for baby showers has ended up being a valued service for people who do not have the luxury of leaving the house to attend a tea room or restaurant. I am proud of how it’s turned out and it seems to attract lovely customers.’ Grandma would be proud too.
* You can find out more about Tina and her terrific teas at www.anafternoonwitht.com.