12 May 2020
24th July 2018
JETAA North West Kimono Afternoon Tea in Chester
On July 21st, JETAA North West collaborated with SugarSalt Bakery and Kimono Keiko, both based in Chester, to bring together Japanese and British culture. We named the event Kimono and Japanese Afternoon Tea.
We had hired a room at The Unity Centre in Chester and upon arrival we were presented with a selection of beautiful kimono that we could choose from. Keiko then dressed us all in one. There was even jinbei for babies! You can see a picture of us all at the top of this article.
Though the kimono were stunning, some people chose to bring kimono from home. My kimono was an old and traditional one given to me by a student in Hiroshima on a trip to Japan this spring. I wore it at the event as a show of appreciation to my student, and as a reminder of the devastation that has hit the Chuugoku area recently. My obi was given to me by another student and friend from Toyama, where I was placed on JET, who passed away last year. My outfit had deep meaning for me.
Keiko then gave a demonstration of how to put on kimono. The explanation of different styles of obi was particularly interesting...
Afterwards, we sat down to exquisitely decorated tables for Afternoon Tea Japanese-style. We were treated to egg and ham sandwiches made on really mochi-like bread. There was also a beautiful selection of mouthwatering Japanese cakes: cheese cake, chocolate gateau, matcha swiss roll, custard cream-filled profiteroles, and a lemon and cream dessert. This was served with our choice of coffee, green tea, genmaicha, or English tea and a selection of biscuits...
Every part of the Afternoon Tea had been handmade and was served so politely, explained really kindly, and we were greeted with truly happy smiles throughout the day...
We were in heaven! How lucky we felt to have the opportunity to bring Japanese and British culture together in such a fun, and delicious, way! We made some really special memories.
I’d like to thank SugarSalt Bakery and Kimono Keiko, pictured below, for joining with JETAA NW and showing such kind hospitality and cooperation during this event. If you missed out this time, don’t worry - we plan to do something similar again in the future. In the meantime, JETAA NW have more exciting events planned for the summer which we’ll be advertising shortly, so watch this space!
Thank you for reading this. I hope you’re all well and anyone you know in the areas affected by the recent floods and landslides in Japan are safe.
Corrina Ellis - North West Chapter Chair