With any luck, South Holland will have the best excuse for a tea party.
It will be a posh one, naturally, if either of the district’s two vintage tearooms is voted into the finals of the National Vintage Awards.
Both A Time to Remember, a small vintage tearoom at Silverwood Garden Centre, based at Sutton Crosses, near Long Sutton, and Spalding-based Vinteage, a pop-up tearoom, are nominees in the events, services and suppliers category of the awards.
Both will be hoping they receive enough votes to get them through to the final, and an awards night in August.
At A Time to Remember, where customers rave about dishes such as the mince and onion pie with its melt-in-the-mouth crust, it might be the traditional fare that swings it for them.
The tearoom’s regulars appreciate those little extras that make tea-time an occasion: loose tea served in a teapot with a strainer and china cups.
Vinteage, which is owned and run by Mary Haresign, has developed into a business specialising in catering and styling for weddings, shows and events.
Mary is a vintage enthusiast, from her ‘victory roll’ hairstyle down to her favourite 1950s style blue frock and shoes.
She has spent the past few years building up her vintage collections so that she can cater for weddings or events up to quite a large size.
Mary said: “My teapot collection keeps growing – I think I have got about 50 different pots now – and enough cups, saucers and side plates to feed 300 people.”
Her clients are looking for traditional cakes and sandwiches, but that VE Day favourite corned beef isn’t usually on the menu.
Mary says: “A lot of people just like cucumber, cheese and ham, the very simple fillings, and we do sponge cakes and cream teas.”
Mary, who works as a carer to supplement her income from Vinteage, says the pop-up tearoom is very much a family affair.
Her sisters Laura Hilliam and Helen Clarke help out as waitresses and even mum Janet Hilliam dresses up as a trolley dolly when she can.
Mary’s brother Joseph has a designer’s eye and helps with styling at functions and made pinnies for them all, while brother-in-law Rui Macedo, who works at Hedonism, is able to re-create hair styles from the 1940s and 1950s to keep the girls looking the part.
Mary says: “It would be nice to get short-listed for the awards, but I am pleased I made it this far really.”
Readers have until May 31 to vote and the finals night and awards presentations are in August. Visit http://www.thenationalvintageawards.co.uk/32829/best-event-service-supplier.html