Ladies on Tour do Bath.

Is this seat taken?

What do you get when 16 Shoreditch Sisters escape London for Bath? A bloody awesome weekend that’s what! A weekend of military precision organisation – really what else would you expect from the WI?

We had a jam packed weekend, kicking off in the world’s smallest and cosiest pub The Bell Inn on Friday night with drinks.

Saturday started with a free tour of Bath organised by the Mayor ( just to clarify the mayor of bath didn’t personally organise the tour!) after a frosty start our tour guide warmed to us when she realised we weren’t a bunch of rabble rousers.
A tour of the Jane Austen museum was obviously on the cards, with the history of Jane and the rest of the Austen Clan. Possibly the best bit was the end where the Sisters got to run a mock in the dressing up box. Should I ever find myself magically transported back to 1817 I have my fan sign language down!

Come here often?
You’ve changed!

The evening was rounded off by a brilliant dinner at a cheeky little Italian place called Martini that did excellent cocktails. But the night wasn’t finished yet, oh no. These sisters like to dance. With the additional hour danced away at The Nest a random and cosy club it was pretty much the best Saturday ever.

Rachel’s loving her cocktail!

Phew if your exhausted after that, Sunday was the perfect blend of relaxing and eating. We visited Bath’s legendary Spa complete with roof top pool. Having learnt our lesson the previous day (at the walking tour), we denied all knowledge of each other in the queue to get in (no groups allowed). 3 hours of relaxation later and we were ready for some food. Like a boss, our tour organiser arranged only the fanciest afternoon tea at a Bea’s Vintage Tea Room complete with our own room and millions of cakes, it was a feast. There was quite the debate about the correct order of cream and jam placement on a scone, but luckily no fights broke out.

Thanks to our excellent President for organising a WI worthy trip.

Jodie’s travel agency comes highly recommended. Five star service!

Blog post by Jen Lane on behalf of Shoreditch Sisters WI

Sewing Bee Afternoon Tea Challenge

Our Sewing Bee subgroup decided earlier in the year to challenge ourselves to make an outfit to wear for a summer afternoon tea. Most people chose to make a dress, though there were a couple of skirts, too. A couple of us were unable to find the time to make their outfits, though of course they could still come along! I wore a circle skirt I had made from a round table cloth with a petticoat I’d made underneath and a ready to wear top. I had planned to make a dress but life got in the way this time!

A group of 11 of us descended on Sketch in Mayfair, just off Regent Street one Sunday afternoon and were seated in the Glade. Each room in Sketch is fantastically themed and even the toilets are like something from another world – big individual egg shaped cubicles which have to be seen to be believed. We chose our tea from the menu, before being brought our food by the charming and attentive staff. The tea at the front of the picture above was the regular afternoon tea for 2, and toward the back of the picture is the vegetarian version for 1. They also have nut free, gluten free and vegan afternoon tea available. We also had scones with cream and strawberry or fig jam, and were offered seconds, too! It was a lovely way to spend a summer afternoon with friends and the food was lovely. Sketch is a really interesting place to go to, even just for a drink – it has to be seen!  
Our next challenge is to make a glamorous evening outfit like a cocktail dress to wear to Nightjar – described as ‘a hidden slice of old-school glamour’ on their website – on Saturday the 12 of December.

By Louise Mullen for Shoreditch Sisters WI

Knot Just Knitting

This month our very own Minister for Crafts Louise joined us for a chat about what she would do if she was in charge.

Louise working on her Liberty Quilt contribution

Hey! So what are you doing there with the things and the needles and the craft?!

Hey! I’m sewing things! I’m doing some embroidery for the Liberty quilt we are working on.

Literally just this minute you have ousted our benevolent leader Jodie from the top spot and become President of our fine and upstanding branch of the Women’s Institute! Bloody go you. So I know you have organized an absolutely killer main meeting for us this month. I hear it’s being held in an amazing new venue. Where is it?

Um, this isn’t that exciting but I think Drink, Shop, Do would be quite cool.

You walk in and we’ve got ourselves a new bar person! Who is it?

Errrm, I don’t know, maybe I’ll just make the cocktails I feel like that’s better…!

In your wild exuberance at finally becoming President you order a round of drinks for everyone. What are we getting?!

Gin Cocktails. Oh and also the cocktails are in teapots!

Oh wait, shut the front door – looks like this party is catered and what a beautiful spread it has! What are we chowing down on?

Like, an afternoon tea style… with, you know little sandwiches – but AMAZING ones erm scones, hunners* of cakes.

NB *this delightful Scottish colloquialism translates as hundreds.

You have managed to wangle an absolutely amazing speaker for us. Who is it and what are they chatting about?

Mary Berry. Have we already had Mary Berry? If anyone else has already said that though I’ll have Rachel Khoo – that Parisian cook. She’s quite cool – OOooo maybe she’ll make the cocktails and Mary Berry will do the talking!

We have a little break and the dessert trolley is being brought round (yeah we have a dessert trolley now) what’s on it?

Caramel apple cake, pavlova, just ooooff chocolate éclairs, macaroons, just…you know, ALL THE CAKES.

Time for the second half of the meeting and we are learning a new skill! What’s it going to be?

I thought we could do something a bit practical, like, probably screen printing with Zeena Shah from Heart of Zeena.

Good call! Now it’s time for the raffle! OMFG… you only go and WIN! What is it?!

A pony.

A Shetland pony.

Its ginger and it’s got a wooly jumper on, you know? Like in that advert where they are dancing? One of them.

OOOOO What’s it called?!

It’s called Ginger.

Ginger the Ginger pony…*laughs*…so imaginative.

So it’s coming to the close of a stellar meeting and you’ve got one piece of advice to pass onto the ladies gathered there before you let them go back into the world. What is it?

Just keep sewing, just keep sewing!

Thank you so much for sharing your meeting with us. It’s been totes emosh and amazeballs.

The next Knit & Natter will be held at Leon in Spitalfields Market on Tuesday 9 June. We look forward to seeing you there! Maybe leave the pony at home though eh?

Blog by Katie Pepper for Shoreditch Sisters WI