The Victoria and Albert Museum, Kensington
27th March, 2011

The V & A Museum commissioned us to create a conference high tea in response to the theme of the day: design and risk.
Most modern definitions of risk suggest a complex web of probabilities, in which odds are assessed and actions taken only on the basis of these calculations. Our tea for Running with Scissors celebrated a less common expression of risk: risk in relation to fortune.

With the uncertainty of fortune we make discoveries, unshackled from the rigours of prudence. We coupled this notion with a visual theme: theGeomantic Figures. These ancient divining symbols are made up of four lines on which either one or two marks is made, giving a total of sixteen permutations. Each permutation has a name, and a lore associated with it.

Each conferee received a card, which corresponded to one of the sixteen figures. This card determined precisely what food was available to each attendee, from a permutational system of eight different canapes. The options varied in number and also across a palette of savoury to sweet: some received more food than others, some more sweet than savoury and vice versa, and some a balance.

Tea was sourced from the Rare Tea Company and coffee from Monmouth Coffee.

The Menu

Cucumber sandwich
Porter beer bread, mushroom pâté, wild garlic crisp
Hay scone, apple raisins, hay cream
Lord of the Hundreds cheese crisp, watercress, rhubarb
Black tea microwave sponge, brown butter pureé
Alderwood-infused chocolate truffle, sourdough crust dust
Bergamot lemon Financier cake, sherbet
Caraway and blood orange shortcake