Tea and cake have long been associated with Women’s Institutes so it was apt that the Henley-on-Thames WI (HoT WI) branch celebrated the 100 years of the Oxfordshire Federation of Women’s Institutes on Friday with an evening tea party with bubbly at Sacred Heart Church Hall.
The speaker for the evening was tea expert, Kate Popham. Kate’s love of tea has taken her all round the world learning about all aspects of tea from sourcing, tasting, blending and marketing, to working on tea farms in India and Japan. She has written extensively about the subject too. She works as a tutor for the UK Tea Academy who are the only body in UK that trains people for tea certification. She said, “I will be talking about all things tea. I think the ladies will be surprised to learn that there are six different types of tea but they all come from the same plant and all teas have caffeine in them including green and white teas.”
Anne and the Doughboys entertained the group whilst they enjoyed their tea and cakes by playing light Dixieland jazz and Christina Agar won the best dressed competition winning a bottle of champagne.
Katie Woodiss-Field who is President of HoT WI said, “The WI is really good fun. It is quite difficult to get people to come but once they come along they join up and stay.”
Sara Abey who is the HoT WI Public Affairs Liaison member said, “In the past it has been difficult to establish a WI in Henley. Our group was founded in 2017 and gaining momentum. Now we have 31 members spanning the generations, aged 18-90. WI is known for its campaigning history, but it’s also about fellowship – having fun and being supportive of one another. In July Sarah Posey, Director at the River & Rowing Museum will be coming to talk to us.”
Fran Barter who signed up as a member on Friday said, “I’ve visited twice and they’re a great bunch. Cake is enough to get a girl out on a Friday night!”