Tea is a unique intergenerational arts project that brings older and younger people together to recapture the stories and traditions passed down through families.
Tea focuses on food – on afternoon tea to be precise – with project participants sharing their memories of teatimes past – Lyons’ Corner Houses, sugar rationing, the advent of the avocado pear…
In May and June 2012, the project was piloted at Dora House for Over-55s in St John’s Wood, London.
The project saw tenants at Dora House working with design students from Wimbledon College of Art and Central St Martins and young chefs training at Le Cordon Bleu cookery school to transform the building’s communal lounge into a fully functioning pop-up tearoom.
Over the course of the 8-week project, participants told stories and collected recipes, cooked and ate together while they honed their perfect afternoon tea menu, and then, in the final stages, re-designed and decorated the communal lounge at Dora House. The resulting tearoom was then opened to the public for three days in June, and became the setting for a dreamlike performance designed and directed by Pilgrim and inspired by memories of afternoon tea.
Tea was conceived in a collaboration between Complicité and Geraldine Pilgrim, in association with Central & Cecil Housing Trust and was made possible by a grant from The Baring Foundation.
Tea is the winner of the 2012 National Housing Federation Community Impact Award