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Languages through A Local Dialogue

on May 21, 2011

Languages played an integral role to the conversations that took place during the tea parties at Valentines Mansion, here are some excerpts of the conversations: ‘My mother tongue was probably a mixture of English and Chinese, and because my parents speak fluent English I kind of lost it along the way. Once I started school and learned English, my parents would respond in English so I basically have a 5 year old’s understanding of Chinese. Would you like to study it and learn it now? I am trying to learn it but it was really hard to pick it up, because it doesn’t have an alphabet. Do you have family still in China? Well my family are a bit of a bunch of gypsies; my family is from Malaysia, but originally from China so they moved around. So do you have extended family over there? Yes I have family in Malaysia but not so much in China. Two generations lived in China.’ ‘...

Artist creates ‘A Local Dialogue’ at Valentines Mansion

on May 11, 2011

From January to March 2011, Artist in Residence Sadia Ur-Rehman hosted six tea parties at Valentines Mansion as part of her project ‘A Local Dialogue’.  Over 150 million cups of tea are drunk daily in Britain today, we are now a nation of tea drinkers with tea being our most drunk and favourite beverage.  Ur-Rehman as a tea lover herself decided to host the tea parties for local residents, creating a communal space for local people to meet and discuss the local area. ‘’The idea for the tea parties came about from my own love of the beverage and how a good cuppa can be the setting for a really good conversation. I wanted to create a space where strangers could connect and engage over a conversation and I thought about an activity that all communities and cultures shared, and tea drinking seemed apt.” Each tea party served a different type of tea from a different  part of the world,...

A Walk to Remember

on Apr 28, 2011

On Sunday 17th April, local residents of Redbridge joined artist Sadia Ur-Rehman for a stroll in Valentines Park exploring key hotspots in the immediate vicinity. Sadia was joined by resident Mansion experts Nigel Burch and Georgina Green who were able to provide our explorers with fascinating facts and historical anecdotes about the park and Valentines Mansion. Our explorers were lucky enough to follow a trail of clues throughout the park leading them to an array of locations. Here are some pictures from the day. Photo credits: Michael Knott & Connie Taylor Time was also spent reminiscing about memories and many a fond tale was shared by our walkers throughout the walk.

A Local Dialogue Walk

on Apr 13, 2011

Explore the local area surrounding Valentines Mansion with Artist Sadia Ur-Rehman this Sunday, 17th April, 2pm. Follow clues as she guides you to key hotspots in the locale. Share stories, facts and memories as you investigate and delve into the vicinity. Free, but booking essential. Bookings: 020 8708 8100

Stories from our Persian themed Tea Party

on Apr 12, 2011

To set the scene we had a starting sentence; ‘On a cold and brisky Sunday morning in Valentines Park, Mr and Mrs…..’ Guests were asked to add a sentence each to the growing tale, here are our finished stories. Story 1 On a cold and brisky Sunday morning in Valentines Park, Mr and Mrs Jones were walking their dog, holding hands along the path. When a squirrel wearing a red coat and a mournful expression stopped them and said, ‘I am the Squirrel of Valentines Park! Who are you and what are you doing on my land?’ This park has been here for several hundreds of years but grey squirrels have not been here that long. ‘Let’s go for a swim in the lake’, said Mrs Ingleby who was now more interested in the guy standing next to her rather than her husband. Story 2 On a cold and brisky Sunday morning in Valentines Park, Mr and Mrs Patel went for a...

Traditional English Afternoon Tea Menu

on Apr 3, 2011

Good morning folks, it’s a bright and sunny Sunday morning, why not take a look at our last menu served up at the Traditional English Afternoon tea at Valentines Mansion for inspiration? We think it’s a perfect day for some afternoon tea. Enjoy!

A Traditional English Afternoon Tea at Valentines Mansion

on Mar 29, 2011

Persia in Ilford

on Mar 13, 2011

On Sunday 6th March, saw us hosting our Persian themed tea party at Valentines Mansion. We had Peggy Cassali a special guest from the local Iranian Cultural Society join us to provide an informative talk about tea and tea drinking customs in Iran. Peggy was kind enough to provide a demo of tea making and explained the rituals involving the different types of sweeteners available for tea from sugar cubes to mulberries to noghl (sugar coated almonds). Traditionally, tea is served from a samovar, a heating vessel originally imported into Persia from Russia, literally meaning “self-boiler”, guests were lucky enough to see the samovar in action as Peggy provided a truly authentic tea drinking experience in the middle of Ilford. Here are a selection of pictures from the day. To provide a little bit of nice historical context; tea found its way to Persia (Iran) from India and soon became the...