Afternoon whisky tea party image

A couple of years back, I started volunteering with Marie Curie Cancer Care here in London. I had initially spent a morning collecting money and giving people the pretty yellow daffodils they sell each March for their Daffodil Day and was so impressed with what they do, I decided to get more fully involved.

The charity really struck home for me. They do a whole load of things (from researching palliative care and running nine hospices around the country) but it is the fact they help thousands of people in the UK to have a peaceful end to their lives (often in their homes) that I noted most.

Me, my mother Faith, and our cat, with the original name of ‘Kitty’.

After losing my mother to cancer when I was 13, I was keen to support a charity that gives strength to families at such a hard time and which also allows a person to have dignity at the end. While my mother had very good care in our local hospital, it would have been much less traumatic for all of us if she’d been able to peacefully end her days at our house in the country, in the place she loved. Marie Curie allows this to happen for people and it means so much, to so many.

Since I started with the charity, I’ve come to know the wonderful fundraising team at the Hampstead Hospice in north London very well. They are an extremely positive bunch who do incredible work to help keep the charity running smoothly.

Every June and July, the charity runs The Great Blooming Tea Party events. People from across the country host tea parties in gardens, cafes, parks and just about anywhere really, raising funds for the cause.

So this year I thought, why not do a tea party but switch the tea for some whisky?

As the wheels started turning in my head, I began timidly approaching people to ask if they might be able to help me out in this venture. And boy, have I been surprised. I have only been met with positive answers and now I’m thrilled to say the event is ready to go ahead.

As such, I’m inviting you to join me at cocktail hotspot Opium Bar in London’s China Town on the 21 July from 3-7pm for a whisky afternoon tea!

To keep up the theme, Glengoyne has been kind enough to donate bottles of its Teapot Dram (available normally only at the distillery) and the fantastic team at Opium Bar will be creating a bespoke cocktail out of it which will be included in the ticket price (£13 ahead of time; £15 on the door).

Aline Stoffel, jazz songstress extraordinaire!

Additionally, the incredible Aline Stoffel has agreed to do a couple of sets of her alluring Brazilian jazz music with her renowned guitarist Marcos Vianna. I’ve seen Aline live before and can guarantee you’ll be mesmerised.

Finally, on the day we’ll be running a silent auction. I’ve already been promised some very special goodies for the item list, so be sure to stay tuned to the Just Giving page for more details. If you have something you might like to donate for the auction, please do get in touch on

To get discounted tickets ahead of time, head here. Simply click the ‘donate’ button and under ‘other amount’ put £13.  Be sure to fill your name in as well to be added to the guest list.

If you aren’t able to make it but would still like to donate, myself and the fundraising team at Marie Curie would both be wholeheartedly thankful. It costs £5.4 million a year to run just the hospice in Hampstead (and the charity has nine countrywide) and with 70 per cent of the funding coming from the public, every pound counts.

So, thank you in advance for your help, and for stopping by – from the bottom of my heart, it means so much to me and the families who will benefit from the kindness and care that Marie Curie Cancer Care nurses provide. I know it would have made my mother happy.