Like this week’s royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the high tea event to be held at the on Wednesday (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) was a long time in the making.
The “hardware store for the kitchen” in Concord center sells every manner of culinary accouterment, but its proprietors have yet to host some sort of event where food is actually served.
“We’ve been talking and talking for years about doing something because it would be a lot of fun, and help draw people into the store,” said Bob Prestidge, who owns the shop with his wife Meghan.
Enter Visnja Zarak and Donna German…
The two women started Hostess Catering in Acton a year ago, and they're hoping to grow their business, so they recently stopped by the Concord Shop to pitch a high tea pegged to the royal wedding.
Zarak and German met a few years ago at their kids’ hockey practice, and while trying to keep warm in the stands they got to talking about their common dream of owning a catering company. Soon they set up shop in German’s commercially licensed kitchen in Acton, and now they plan and cater events around the region.
Zarak is originally from Australia, where she grew up following the royal family.
“I remember sitting around watching Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding, and I couldn’t get enough of it,” she said. “Moving here I’m constantly amazed about how enthusiastic Americans are about the royal family.”
With that in mind the two women figured a traditional tea would be a fun way for people on this side of the pond to celebrate the next royal marriage. Moreover, high tea has long been the specialty of such high-end establishments as the Four Seasons in Boston, and Zarak says it's time the concept came to the suburbs.
Their menu includes such staples as cucumber mint sandwiches and English scones with double Devonshire cream, lemon curd and preserves, plus some new additions like smoked salmon blinis with crème fraiche and fresh dill and a tea sandwich with curried chicken, golden raisin and coconut.
“It’s high tea with a twist,” Zarak said. “Some of the dishes are standard and others we’ve come up with ourselves.”
Last week the Concord Shop stocked up on mostly British-made teapots and Prestidge says the store also got approval from the Board of Health to serve food on the premises. “It’s a small price to pay if people enjoy this event, if it’s mutually beneficial, and gets people into Concord.”
Best of all, Prestidge adds, the food is free for anyone who stops by, and if the event is a success both businesses promise more to come.
The Concord Shop is located at 15 Walden St. More information can be found at their website.
Hostess catering: www.hosting-with-style.com