The Mind Cafe in Narrabeen hosted a happy little event last week with its first Devonshire Tea Party. The cafe has become a supportive hub for locals to join together and discuss mental health matters, and a leader in community inclusiveness.
The MoWaNa Northern Beaches Safe Space has been successfully operating from The Mind Café at 1346 Pittwater Rd, Narrabeen, on Friday and Saturday evenings since March this year as well as numerous other special events.
Jay Boon of Sweet Tea Vintage High Tea oversaw the quaint convention, which attracted a cross-section of the community, most of whom came fancilly dressed (as is the custom).
Jay told Manly Observer, “I love the romance of it. I love that it is such a beautiful, nostalgic thing to do.”
Is it important to dress up for the social gathering?
“Getting frocked up is definitely all part of the fun,” Jay affirms. “Some ladies even love to wear hats, it definitely makes it more special.”
Among those in attendance at the Devonshire tea gathering in the Mind Café, was the campaign group Cash Is King Northern Beaches, who arrived splendidly dressed in florals and aprons.
The group’s focus is on keeping a cash economy alive as we transition to a society almost entirely reliant on computer-controlled credit cards. As the recent Optus outage demonstrated, a malfunction in a computer mainframe can bring a digital system to a crashing halt and cause major social disturbance.
Group coordinator Deborah Bardwell told Manly Observer, “We fill our money boxes with small change and donate to Mind Café manager Guy to provide free coffees to those in need of ‘Coffee with Kindness’.”
The Mind Café was the overall winner of the prestigious 2023 Small Business Disability Inclusion Award on the Northern Beaches for both employing and taking into consideration those with a range of intellectual and physical challenges.
Owner-manager Guy Morel told Manly Observer he was very pleased to host the Devonshire tea event, and hopes to do another soon. Several of his team who live with intellectual and physical challenges helped serve the patrons.
“Devonshire tea is a much more relaxed affair [than High Tea],” Jay explained, “think scones, jam and cream with friends. High tea is what you’d put out if the Queen was popping over, ha! ha! All the very best fine bone china, silverware and pressed table cloths!”
Serving tea is Jay’s bread-and-butter (excuse the pun!). She told Manly Observer, “I can host a High tea or Devonshire tea anywhere.
“I bring all of the pretty tea cups, tea pots, cake stands, linen, etc. and fabulous home-baked scones, jam and cream, sandwiches and petite-fours to the party, bridal shower, birthday, baby shower, memorial etc. And the best bit: I even do all the washing up!
“But if people want something simple and want to save costs, they can just hire the tea sets from me and make their own food. ”
Jay Smith, Sweet Tea Vintage High Tea: https://www.instagram.com/Sweet_tea_vintage_high_tea
Mind Café, Narrabeen: https://themindcafe.com.au/