On Sunday 14th April, I was lucky enough to exhibit and speak at Zoe Lem's Vintage Wedding Fair at Bloomsbury Ballroom.
It was the most wonderful event. It was a real event - catwalk shows, live bands, Q&A sessions with a panel of experts (ahem... myself included!), and loads of fabulous wedding suppliers. Everything was there under one roof from dresses and accessories, to stationery, flowers, and cake!
What made this fair extra special for me was the good feeling that ran through the whole day. It certainly didn't feel like a day at the office as so many of the other exhibitors are dear friends of mine and I even made lots of new friends.
As you will see from the video below, by the incredible Union Videos, we didn't really stop giggling all day!
Roll on the next fair! Sunday 3rd November, stick that in your diaries now!
Hello there, you gorgeous lot!
It's been far too long since I updated you with the latest from Restoration Cake but I am hoping that you will forgive me... I do have a really good excuse... more on that soon.
To say that I was excited to have been asked to create a Wedding Cake for the wedding of a truly wonderful couple at Highclere Castle would be a massive understatement.
A wedding at Downton Abbey!!! I was going to be setting up a Wedding Cake at Downton Abbey!!!
When I first met with the Bride, she showed me a picture of the beautiful lace gown that she would be wearing and told me of the entrance that she would be making, gliding down that famous staircase to say her vows. I knew that the cake would have to be equally elegant for this setting.
The Bride had already fallen in love with my pearl-encrusted Gloria design so I adapted this for her big day. I used strips of lace to trim each tier and crowned the cake with large white sugar roses. All of this was the perfect complement to the pearl separators and hand-piped pearl motif.
Setting up the cake was an experience that I will never forget. We were ushered into the State Dining Room and shown to the cake table. The room is presided over by the enormous portrait of King Charles I by Anthony Van Dyck. I was beside myself with excitement to be in the presence of this amazing painting. We took a cheeky snap... it's not the most flattering shot but the emotion is entirely genuine.
As I worked to construct the three tiered cake, Tara's Theme from Gone With The Wind played for the Bride's rehearsal. It was all so romantic.
Pictures of the Bride and Groom cutting their Wedding Cake at the foot of the staircase have started to appear on Facebook and I hope that I will be able to share some of their professional shots with you soon. They are going to be epic... in the classic Hollywood movie sense of the word.
In the meantime, you shall have to make do with the pictures taken by my own photographer!
Can you think of anything more glorious than a wedding at Downton Abbey? I mean, Highclere Castle. It's every bit as beautiful but does not come with Carson the butler!
Congratulations to Mr & Mrs Dawson!
Oh and a big thank you to my handsome photographer, Chris!
I am so proud to have had the opportunity to work with Comic Relief in the run up to Red Nose Day 2013.
I wanted to share a few pictures of this adorable 1st Birthday Cake with you.
To celebrate 150 years of the London Underground, The Ideal Home Show has challenged both professional and amateur Cake Designers to create cakes inspired by this theme.
My own design, along with the designs of ten other professional Cake Designers, will be on display in the Seasonal Cookery Theatre at Earl's Court until 1st April.
As one of the expert judges of the Ideal Amateur Cake Decorating Competition, my design is not eligable to be included in the voting for the Professional Cake Decorator of the Year, but I wanted to try my hand at the same challenge as the entrants.
Firstly, I hoped that by putting my ideas out there and creating a cake inspired by the London Underground, I would be able to provide a little encouragement to the hopefuls bringing their own designs to be judged on Friday 22nd March. Secondly, this brief is fun! A cake inspired by the London Underground? Count me in!
Any amateur Cake Designers out there who fancy creating a cake on this brief should have a read of the details that you need on the Ideal Home website by clicking here. Basically, it all boils down to 'if you bring a cake to enter in the Ideal Amateur Cake Decorating Competition to Earl's Court on Friday 22nd March, before we judge the entries at 2pm, you get into the show that day for free'. Of course, there are also some fabulous prizes to be won in this competition, thanks to Kenwood!
So you have to know that, with a cake company named after a period in British history, I am something of a history geek, right? My cake design illustrates the most iconic moment in the London Underground's history.
I wanted to honour the thousands of Londoners who used the Underground platforms as communal air raid shelters during the blitz. I have always been moved by the idea of Londoners taking possession of the stations and gathering underground because they felt safe there. According to TFL, on one single night during World War II, 177,500 Londoners sheltered from the blitz in London Underground stations.
The cake itself is a four-tiered construction, each tier representing a layer further underground. The cake is crowned with the London Underground sign above a replica of Strand underground station. Below this are wartime posters and a photograph of the sleeping Londoners (which have all been printed on edible paper using edible ink). The bottom tier shows two 1938 design underground trains passing through tunnels.
Our last Ideal Amateur Cake Decorating winner won because she demonstrated an obvious passion for cake decorating. This is a trait that I can smell at 100 paces! If you love to decorate cakes, have a go at making something to enter. You have a few days left and I shall hope to see you in the Seasonal Cookery Theatre at The Ideal Home Show on Friday!
Get baking, you gorgeous lot!
My darling Chris and I have been married for two years today.
I wish I knew where the time had gone!
All I know is that I could not have made Restoration Cake into my full time proper, grown up, 24/7 job and career without the love and support of my Husband. I am beyond grateful to Chris for being my partner, my right-hand man, my artistic director, my airbrush technician, my driver, and my head cheerleader.
So I find myself lost for words. Thankfully, David Bowie came to my rescue.
I've nothing much to offer,
There's nothing much to take.
I'm an absolute beginner,
And I'm absolutely sane.
As long as we're together,
The rest can go to hell.
I absolutely love you,
But we're absolute beginners,
With eyes completely open,
But nervous all the same.
Nothing much could happen,
Nothing we can't shake.
Oh we're absolute beginners,
With nothing much at stake.
As long as you're still smiling,
There's nothing more I need.
I absolutely love you,
But we're absolute beginners.
But if my love is your love,
We're certain to succeed.
If our love song could fly over mountains,
Sail over heartaches, just like the films.
There's no reason to feel all the hard times,
To lay down the hard lines,
It's absolutely true.
I have far too many things to tell you about (those who follow the Twitter feed will know how much I have been running around town of late!) so I am going to start with an easy one...
The lovely people at Wedding Magazine have included my top tips for choosing your Wedding Cake in their 'Venue News' section this month! You can see my little contribution here.
Now if this little section has whet your appetite to hear more of my tips for choosing your Wedding Cake, you can read even more from me on the Wedding Magazine website. The online article has even more of my tips and suggestions.
Remember that this is YOUR cake and there are so many ways that you can make it fit perfectly into your big day. Choosing your cake should be the most fabulous and delicious item on your wedding planning to-do list. Have a read of my top tips and get enthusiastic about the biggest cake that you will probably ever commission!
I will be back later to catch you up with all the latest news from Restoration Cake...
As preparations are well under way for Red Nose Day on Friday 15th March, the staff at Comic Relief had decided to hold their very own Bake Off, with entrants donating to enter their best bakes and hungry office staff donating to eat up all of the delicious dishes on offer.
Well, they got to eat everything that was left after the judges had worked their way down the tables!
I was drafted in to judge the Showstopper Cake category (more on that later) along with Grace and Liam from All' Scone and Les O'Dea, the Operations Director at Comic Relief HQ who had been dragged away from his desk to eat cake... which I don't think he minded too much!
We began with a table full of Signature Bakes. There must have been 20 bakes to taste and our tasting portions got smaller as we went along and got increasingly full! Our winner was the most amazing ginger cake that I have ever tasted, with a little kick of black pepper.
Grace and Liam took the lead on the Technical Challenge round as we tasted different batches of Cherry & Almond Scones. Some entrants had even made their own jam and clotted cream!
But I still think that the Showstopper Cake round was the hardest round to judge. The entrants had really excelled themselves. We had pinstriped carnival cakes, harlequin cakes, and monster cakes! In the end, the winner had to be this amazing rainbow cake.
I have seen a lot of rainbow cakes over the last year. They are beautiful when done right but easy to get wrong. This cake won because, not only were the colours vivid and appetising but it tasted delicious too! The winner will be joining me in my next Wedding Cake 101 class as part of her prize!
IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO GET INVOLVED!
If you love to bake, please bake up a storm and raise some money for Comic Relief this Red Nose Day. Have a Bake Off competition at work or a Bake Sale at school. Bake whatever you can think of to sell and charge an entry fee for your Bake Off.
We even got into the spirit on Saturday at Wedding Cake 101! I hope that you will give this a go and raise some dough!
Yesterday, the very first Restoration Cake iBook went live on iTunes!
It's really there! CLICK HERE TO SEE IT!
The response that I have received has been truly overwhelming. I really cannot say thank you enough to everyone who sent me a lovely message on Twitter or Facebook. How rare it is that I find myself lost for words!
Favourite Cake Decorating Tricks and Simple Recipes from Restoration Cake is a collection of my various articles written over the last year or so, with glorious pictures by the fabulous Rockabetty Studios and gorgeous Laura Babb. All have been beautifully repackaged in an interactive iBook that swipes and moves and whizzes and bangs.
OK... it doesn't really whizz and bang but it's still pretty fabulous.
The iBook is priced at £2.99 which is the same cost as a packet of icing. I think this is a bit of a bargain but, if you want to get a little taste before parting with your hard-earned cash, there is a free sample chapter!
At present, the book is only available in the iBookstore for iPad (I'm a iPad user myself so am most comfortable in this format!) but I hope to cross over to other formats soon.
The process of formatting the iBook and getting it up on iTunes for sale has been a lengthy one. It has also been one that I have had a lot of help with.
Hey, I can write the thing but the technical side is not my thing at all!
So this is my chance to say the biggest THANK YOU to the person who made this possible.
To my darling friend, Clare - your hours upon HOURS of tireless work have made this little dream come true for me. You are phenomenally talented and the book is more amazing than I could have possibly hoped for. This would not have happened without your love and dedication and I am beyond grateful.
With any luck, this will be the first of many more publications from Restoration Cake and I look forward to getting started on the next one!
Good morning, you gorgeous lot!
It's been another crazy week here at Restoration Cake and, though I would love to share every single detail with you in 1,000 words, I will just tell you about one cake.
... But it's a good one!
Yesterday, I created a little treat for Valentines Day inspired by the beautiful Burlesque Artist, Miss Polly Rae.
Whilst leafing through the pages of the latest issue of Burlesque Bible Magazine, I found this picture of Miss Polly Rae in the most stunning pale pink and burgundy corset.
The design of the corset inspired me and I could see each of the various embellishments as recreated using various piping nozzles (OK, this is probably a Cake Designer thing!).
The cake that I created was covered in pale pink fondant icing, decorated with piped swags of burgundy beading, burgundy ruffles and a burgundy shell border. The cake was further embellished with fondant flowers made using my new cutters and veiners from Blossom Sugar Art and crowned with an oversized flower to match the one worn in Polly's hair.
Oh and the cake inside was Red Velvet... it had to be really!
So I think we should name this design 'Polly', what do you think?
Wishing you all the most fabulous weekend.
On Saturday 9th February, I will be appearing live on the Vivienne Lee Show on Meridian Radio!
Vivienne will be asking the questions and I will be picking six of my favourite songs to play out - and believe me, I have picked some really good tunes.
To listen live, you will need to tune in at 12pm by going to http://www.meridianradio.co.uk/ and clicking 'listen live'. There will be catch-up highlights available after the show.
You can even ask me a question live via email on email@example.com or by text on 07535 370800.
I was fortunate enough to meet two of my heroines in the closing months of 2012; Nigella Lawson and Mich Turner.
Meeting these two influential women marked a bit of a turning point in the way that I view my business and my aspirations. Firstly, Nigella gave me a piece of valuable advice for any dreamer; she told me to go for it. I asked Nigella what advice she would give to an aspiring food writer (albeit one who wants to write pretty much exclusively about cake with disregard of all other necessary food groups!) and she told me to write. Just do it.
I felt about ten feet tall.
This advice came at the most fortuitous time as I had just finished my regular article in Vintage Life Magazine; after contributing articles for a year, I decided to stop and concentrate on writing my book. Any writer, when put on the spot to offer advice to aspiring writers seems to say the same thing; if you want to write a book, then just start writing it! Simple, no?
I designed Wedding Cake 101 to be the ultimate in express classes for busy DIY Brides. For only £90 and three hours of your time, I can show you how to create a simple yet stunning Wedding Cake that will be perfect for your big day.
The next class is being held on Saturday 23rd February at 2pm and there are still a few places left.
Click here for all the details and to snap your place because, with this fabulous mention, they are sure to go!
I am thrilled to say that I have been invited to judge the annual Ideal Amateur Cake Decorator of the Year 2013 at the Ideal Home Show this Spring!
You may remember that I judged this same competition back in November last year and awarded a whole host of prizes to our lucky winner - this year is set to be no different and the prize fund is mounting day by day!
Are you a keen cake decorator? Fancy entering the competition for yourself? Here are all the details that you will need:
The theme for this year's competition is a celebration of 150 years of the London Underground. Use your imagination to create a cake that commemorates the heritage of the Tube... whether you take your inspiration from the trains themselves, or the name of a station (Angel, Elephant & Castle, High Barnet... you have 270 to choose from!), we want to see your edible works of art.
What a night!
The You & Your Wedding Party last night marked the end of a very long few days of caking! There is far too much to tell in one post so I am just going to keep in brief (by my standards) and tell you about the cake that I created for this glamorous event.
The team at You & Your Wedding Magazine are blessed with the most gorgeous space in which to work, create, and party. When I was discussing this order with Chris, he said "so the party is just in their office?" but this was to be no ordinary office party...
No-one was photocopying their bottom at this do!
As we approach the final hours of 2012, I thought that I should say a massive THANK YOU to all of the wonderful couples who have made this such an amazing year for Restoration Cake.
I feel seriously blessed to have met such a fabulous bunch of loved-up people and shared in the excitement of planning your Weddings. Thank you for all the lovely feedback, and for allowing me to share your comments with future couples on my Testimonials page. Hearing that you enjoyed your cake and seeing the pictures of you with the cake MAKE MY JOB THE VERY BEST IN THE WORLD.
So I cannot really thank you enough.
One of my favourite cakes of 2012 was the Tattoo Heart that I created for Rachael and Aaron back in May. The Wedding was so gorgeous that it was featured as one of Kat Williams' Weddings of the year on RocknRoll Bride. The pictures by Lisa-Jane Brown are seriously gorgeous so if you have not checked out the Wedding, the full write-up by Kat is here.
OK, you gorgeous lot, it was a fabulous weekend and I want to share the whole crazy ride with you.
Because I know that we all need a giggle on a Tuesday afternoon, I am going to start with Saturday night and show you what happens when a group of Wedding industry professionals get together.
This is what happens...
Huge thanks to the wonderful Sassy of Assassynation who decided that, with Christmas well on the way, we all needed to get together and party after the hectic 2012 Wedding season.
I am so excited to have announced the first 2013 Studio Session Class dates. I am even more excited to be adding a new class to the schedule.
Over the past year as a full-time proper professional type Cake Designer (and it still feels bizarre that this is my actual job, after a lifetime of caking as a hobby) I have had the pleasure of meeting many Brides in the throws of Wedding planning. Of these Brides, some choose to book my services for their Wedding, some choose to go elsewhere, and some tell me that they will be making their own Wedding Cake or having their Mum/Nan/Aunt/Friend make it.
Having been the Friend/Cousin who made the cake on numerous ocassions and having been the crazy DIY Bride who made her own Wedding Cake (all, I might add, BEFORE I became a full-time proper professional type Cake Designer), I know something of the pressure involved in supplying cake for loved ones.
Of course, I would never have done any of this if I didn't enjoy it. I love baking cakes and I love decorating them too. Even more than this, I love designing a cake and I really REALLY love seeing people tucking in to something that I have poured all of this love into.
So I got to thinking (two news posts in one day and I'm channelling Carrie Bradshaw) how wonderful it would be to be able to teach a class that would prepare the DIY Bride or lovely friend/relative for the task of creating a traditional tiered Wedding Cake.
I have designed Wedding Cake 101 to be an express class walking students through the basic assembly of a Wedding Cake. We will cover two tiers in fondant icing and then stack one tier on top of the other. This is a matter of basic structural engineering and once you are shown how to by someone who has done this 100 times before, you will feel more confident to go home and create something beautiful.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that I have added some 2013 class dates to my schedule!
Cake decorating really is my passion and I love having the opportunity to share this with some likeminded individuals - some of whom I can say are the most amazing and talented individuals... many of whom have become good friends of mine.
So I have announced a January 2013 date for my All Tied Up Bow Cake Class and a February 2013 date for my hugely popular Rockabilly Rebel Cupcakes Class AND I have also added a new class to the schedule...
...Wedding Cake 101...
This class is for DIY Brides and aspiring Cake Decorators. You can read all of the details here and I will post again all about this class and what you can expect from it this afternoon.
My Studio Session Classes are all about getting together and decorating cakes over a cup of tea or a glass of wine. The students learn a few new techniques and all my tricks of the trade. We all have a giggle and the students leave with cakes that they can really be proud of.
What a week it was! The Ideal Home Show at Christmas pulled in the crowds and left me feeling a little festive after watching the ice skating and hearing the Salvation Army Band playing my favourite Christmas carols.
The highlight of the show for me was the Cake Decorator of the Year Competition, which I was asked to judge alongside the wonderful Shelly of Cakes by Shelly.
We deliberated a great deal over which of the entries should be crowned the winner. It was a very close call but we decided that one entry really reflected the love and time invested by the entrant. It was clear that the person who had made this cake really loved cake decorating - a passion that Shelly and I share and are keen to encourage in others.
On Wednesday night, I appeared on the wonderful radio programme that is Harry & Edna on the Wireless!
I had worried that it might be difficult to find enough to say in order to fill an hour long show... I really shouldn't have worried! In addition to talking all things cake, we chatted about vintage styling, the best places to buy genuine and repro vintage, and the growing trend for vintage-inspired Weddings.
I also discuss my love of all things Restoration era and reveal where I buy my most fabulous hats.
You can listen again here...
For those of you who are not familiar with the simply amazing vintage Bridal shop that is Fur Coat No Knickers, I bet this title grabbed your attention!
I have loved this little corner of Kingly Court for some time now and am lucky enough to have supplied cakes for a couple of FCNK Brides. These have been amongst my very favourite weddings as it tends to be that FCNK Brides assemble a 'dream team' of suppliers and I end up working with such awesome folks as Elbie Van Eeden, Lisa Jane Photography, and We Heart Pictures (to name just a few).
It is because I love FCNK Brides so much that I am happy to offer a very special discount of 15% off a bespoke Wedding Cake to these lovely ladies!
If you are booked in to have a fitting at FCNK this weekend, you will find a little slice of Red Velvet cake in the shop to go with your bubbly, from me with love. I hope that you enjoy your FCNK experience as much as I did...
I should start with an apology. I have had this McFly song buzzing around my head for days and you may just end up in a similar state of mild annoyance by the end of this post. Personally, I suggest that you click on the link above and don't try to fight it.
The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza was created to be a Wedding Fair that was not a Wedding Fair. When I first spoke to Sassy of Assassynation about her ideas for the event, she was adamant that this was going to be something different. I signed up straight away to be a part of this!
Those of you who have been following the Twitter feed or Facebook updates will know that I am very excited to be designing a Christmas-themed cake for The Ideal Home Show at Christmas. This year's show will be held from 14-18 November at Earl's Court in London.
There is also an exciting opportunity for all of you aspiring Cake Designers out there - The Ideal Christmas Cake Decorator of the Year 2012 Competition!
The more you do something, the less scary it becomes...
This is me, terrified! The resulting pictures by Assassynation were awesome though.
I was interviewed for Meridian Radio at Destination Star Trek London as we waiting for the Klingon Wedding to commence and this is the first ever interview I have given where I don't sound petrified!
You can listen to my interview here. I am 51:33 minutes in if you want to skip straight to the cake chat but the show is a must-listen for any Star Trek fans as it features interviews with other people at the convention and loads of Star Trek theme music... which is wonderfully epic sounding!
After all the fun of Zoe Lem's Vintage Wedding Fair yesterday - and what fun it was, meeting so many lovely couples and suppliers as well as giving a little talk about vintage-inspiration in Wedding Cake design - it's time to look towards the coming weekend and The Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza!
Yes, I will be one of the 'Baad Ass Mother-Flockers' exhibiting at this unique Wedding event and Restoration Cake will be there with some of our designs on display and cakey samples for you to try.
OK, you gorgeous lot, it is so nearly the weekend that I think you can safely start shutting down and inching towards the door right about now...
Just tell the boss that you have a very urgent appointment and let's all get together somewhere warm for a cup of tea and some cake.
I'm guessing that both you and I need to put in a few more hours before quitting time so let's postpone until Sunday when I will be exhibiting at Zoe Lem's Vintage Wedding Fair at Old Sessions House, Clerkenwell.
Restoration Cake will be exhibiting a selection of Wedding Cake designs and handing out some tasty samples to wet your appetites.
Last night, a thousand souls braved the fenland mist and congregated in Ely Cathedral to hear a Domestic Goddess speak.
As Nigella Lawson took to the stage, she apologised and said that she would not be singing, in spite of appearances - the microphone that she was using did look suspiciously like it had come from a kareoke bar! Nigella was not in that hallowed space to sing; she was there to preach.
This is definitely the biggest and most complex Wedding Cake that I have ever created. I am not at all scared of a challenge and when tested to put my principles of giving a couple EXACTLY what they want on their big day, I am there with piping bag at the ready!
Those who have been following the Twitter feed will know that I provided the Wedding Cake for the first ever Klingon Wedding Ceremony to be held at the Destination Star Trek London convention last night. Whether this is something for you or not, I am sure that you will agree, this is one heck of a Wedding Cake!
When I launched my Studio Session classes in August, I hoped that people would want to come along and would have an amazing time.
Weeks later, I have hosted two classes - Rockabilly Rebel Tattoo Cupcakes and All Tied Up Bow Cake - and the response that I have had from my students has been truly wonderful. In much the same way as I get such a kick from hearing back from happy Brides and Grooms, to hear comments like these from students chokes me right up!
"I had a really great time and learnt a lot - you have certainly demystified the art of cake covering and I am no longer too scared to try it on my own."
Good afternoon, and Happy Thursday to you all!
It's so nearly the weekend...
I have had a tasty little mention in today's Thursday Treats on RocknRoll Bride.
We are settling into our new here at restorationcake.co.uk quite nicely after a few days!
The statistics show that lots of you have visited the new site and I do hope that you are liking what you find here. If you have any comments at all, you know that you can contact me any time.
Last weekend was the last of 'silly season' and I delivered two very different takes on a sugar lace wedding cake to two very different weddings.
You may have seen the pictures popping up on Facebook and Twitter but here they are again...
What do you think? Do you like it here?
This is the reason I have been so very anti-social over the last few weeks.
... well, that, and I had a Birthday and all...
I hope that you will all love this new website and will have no trouble finding your way around.
Here are my favourite new places of this new place...
I have gone into the shady world of merchandising! Have a look at the Shop. Ever since being totally blown away by Mary Portas' The Bottom Line on Channel 4, I have wanted to show my support for Great British manufacturing.
And what better way to do this than by actually manufacturing something!
I am so excited to launch the Restoration Cake Studio Sessions.
Since March of this year, I have enjoyed the opportunity to teach classes at The Make Lounge in Islington. Meeting so many wonderful, eager and talented students has been a constant source of inspiration to me throughout this incredible year and I have discovered a passion for teaching that I did not know I had.
When I found my new commercial kitchen came with a large table and ample workspace for several students, I decided to bite the bullet and throw the doors open to you to come and learn a few more tricks of the trade that I use on a daily basis.
I am not quite sure where the time is going. It seems like only yesterday that we were on Hop Farm, dressed in our 1940s finest and meeting with fellow enthusiasts and re-enactors.
One of the most wonderful aspects of The War & Peace Show is the presence of our veterans. These gentlemen are about the smartest dressed that you will ever see, sparkling with rows of gleaming medals, always gracious and eager to chat.
On the Sunday, I was lucky enough to meet a veteran of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. We spoke for some time and he offered to send me his memoirs to read.
There was absolutely no way that I could hope to fit all my stories about the War & Peace Show into one news post. My brain would not be able to handle this mammoth task and I fear that you would get very bored! Instead, I will attempt to serialise various bits of the event and share some fab pictures with you.
Today, I want to share some pictures of the fabulous people that I had the pleasure of meeting over the three days that I spent on the farm in Kent.
As the dust settles (literally, it was pretty dusty) after three days of excitement at this year's War & Peace Show and as I gather all of my photos and stories to share with you, I thought best to remind you all that this week is Vintage Life Magazine week!
This year's show is billed as the biggest and best military vehicle spectacular in its 25 year history - there will be loads going on, including tank rides for the adventurous amongst you and loads of vintage stalls for the less adventuring more shopping-types (like myself!). There will be music and dancing and loads of people dressed up to recreate the spirit of WW2.
Can you tell that I am just a little excited?
Today I was beaten by the machines. Sometimes, updating my website is a real struggle. I make no apologies for this because, though I am not brilliant at IT, I am quite good at making cakes.
The good news is that I have managed to add some more pictures to my Wedding Cake gallery AND update my events page with a couple more lovely classes at The Make Lounge for you to come along to!
In my defense and for being so rubbish with anything technical today, I am going to pop some pictures of my latest Wedding Cake creations below for you to look at. Keep Calm and Carry On, you gorgeous lot.
Claire: Ivory Embossed Lace with Sugar Pearls
Happy Monday to you all! It's set to be a very exciting week here at Restoration Cake... even more so with the little thump of magazines falling through the letterbox!
On Thursday 28th June, you can buy BOTH of these fabulous magazines with a contribution from your's truly.
... I’ve been to London, to look at the Queen!
What a weekend it was. For a Royalist, such as myself, the Diamond Jubilee celebrations have been like all of my Christmases come at once.
Ten years ago, watching all those people in the Mall, waving their flags for the Golden Jubilee celebrations, I knew that I wanted to be one of them someday. This weekend, I got my wish.
The weekend began slowly on Saturday. I had a visit from one of my 2011 Brides. It turned out that neither the Bride nor the Bridegroom got to eat any of their cake on their Wedding Day and this had upset them both greatly. I was commissioned to bake the same Chocolate Mud Cake again for them to enjoy on their first anniversary. I hope that they got to enjoy every single slice of the small cake I baked for just the two of them!
There is something about the sunshine that makes every day seem completely perfect. I say this even in spite of the fact that I spend most sunny days covered in factor 50 sunscreen and hiding in the shade because, though the sun may not like me, I like it when it shines. Suddenly, I find myself with a wardrobe bursting with colour and summer dresses that scream "isn't this just a LOVELY day?!"
So it was in this sunny state of mind that I headed on over to Maida Vale to deliver a Wedding Cake on Friday. Prepare for some serious Wedding envy because this Bride hired a dream team... her dress was from Fur Coat No Knickers, her make-uo by Elbie Van Eeden, her photographs by the wonderful Lisa-Jane, her entertainment provided by The Three Belles, and her cake by yours truly. Fabulous!
The brief for this cake was to tie the design in with the Bride's button bouquet. The buttons were in red, sky blue and white with quirky little details like little blue tea cups, polka dotted flowers and penny farthing bicycles.
Yesterday, the hubby and I travelled down to Portsmouth to set up my most Rock'n'Roll cake ever.
I made my very first Wedding Cake back in 2007 for the Wedding of two very dear friends.
This tower of 150 cupcakes was my Wedding gift to them and, though I did not imagine it at the time, it changed my life forever.
This is a post about Weddings. I am a massive advocate of a Wedding being a reflection of the couple getting married. This sounds a bit obvious, right? Of course a Wedding is all about the couple who say 'I do', right?
I am sure that we can all imagine the various external pressures that come into play when planning a Wedding but I am just going to talk about what I know and that is cake.
The cutting of the cake is one of those key Wedding moments. This picture will be one of those that you will keep forever but your cake is not just there to be photographed; your cake is there to be eaten and enjoyed! This is where I come in...
I want my couples to look forward to eating their Wedding cake. This is why I meet with each of my couples to discuss their Wedding plans and their cakey preferences and dietary requirements.
Here are some examples of what this looks like...
The couple told me that they did not like fondant icing on Wedding Cake. Their cake was buttercreamed and covered in White Chocolate Cigarillos and White Chocolate roses.
Gender stereotypes. Discuss. Sometimes they can be hard to escape, try as we may. So when I am asked to make cupcakes for a Gentleman's Birthday Celebration with the request that they 'not be too girly', I am in for a challenge.
Age stereotypes. Discuss. These are also tricky to navigate. Cupcakes for a boy would have been easy as boys tend to be 'into' something which gives me a motif to work with, be that a sport or character of some kind. In this instance, the cupcakes were for a Gentleman so I decided to stick with the classic sugar bows, opting for a palette of blue, chocolate brown, and yellow. These colours were chosen to complement the cupcake flavours of Victoria Sponge, Chocolate, and Lemon. I was particularly excited about the addition of a blue bow to my Victoria Sponge cupcakes - the blue of the bow against the white cupcake with the red strawberry jam centre made me feel all patriotic!
Those of you who follow my ramblings on Twitter (or who stay fairly on top of these equally rambling news posts) will know that last month my cake career hit a new high when I made a Birthday Cake for Dame Vera Lynn.
In this world of disposable celebrities (remember ‘whatsherface’ and ‘thingy’ off of Big Brother Celebrities in the Jungle on Ice?) meeting a star who can be truly celebrated for her achievements throughout a career spanning over seven decades comes with a certain gravity attached to it.
I will keep this short and sweet...
A year ago, we did this.
This is probably my most exciting booking ever. In fact, I am pretty certain that it is and I wonder if anything could ever hope to best it.
When I was asked by the wonderful Swingtime Sweethearts to make a Birthday Cake for Dame Vera Lynn, I was quite simply beside myself.
I was told that Dame Vera's favourite colour is baby blue so I created a three-tiered pale blue cake with a white sugarlace overlay, piped pearls, and blue ribbon separators. To feed the 150 guests at the 95th Birthday Celebrations, I baked the traditional combination of Chocolate, Lemon and Fruit Cake tiers.
So it's a mad week here at Restoration Cake. So mad, in fact, that this week has been blocked out in my diary under the title of 'mad week' for some time now!
I am not complaining in the slightest because I am so excited about the weekend that I could burst...
On Sunday, I packed up my dummy cakes, sample cakes, cupcakes, and bumpf and headed off to The Miss Vintage Wedding Affair.
In my head, I update this news page every day. I am always thinking of things that I want to tell you about and witty little anecdotes. Well, the last couple of weeks have been so busy (and, believe me, I am not complaining) that I have not had the time to sit and write anything down!
Thank God for Twitter! If you do want to keep completely up to date with the madness as it happens, you can sign up to follow me here.
I have been lucky enough to do some really fun things over the last few weeks. My modelling career has gone from strength to strength (insert giggles here) and I have delivered cakes to some fantastic people and to some gorgeous venues (I did my very first Wedding at the Savoy, which was completely beautiful).
I love making novelty cakes. I really love the challenge and problem-solving required to make cake look like something else.
In the past, I have made cakes that look coffee cups and dog bowls, boats and aeroplanes, severed hands and beefburgers. So when my dear friend Alexis (of OMG I'm Getting Married) asked for a dinosaur-themed Baby Shower cake for her friend, I was up for creating something super cute!
I have seen several Dinosaur cakes before. These mostly tended to go down the 'realistic' or scary route. What I wanted to create was a cute cuddly cartoony version; a Baby Dinosaur cake!
When I signed up to exhibit at The Alternative Wedding Fair, I thought that I would just be showing off my cakes... as it turned out, I was to do much more showing off than this! Check out my latest Vivien of Holloway fierce purchase...
I first saw the amazing dresses created by Elisabeth Armstrong at the first Alternative Wedding Fair, held very near to my family home in St Ives Cambridgeshire back in October last year. I was blown away by the beautiful and elaborate gowns as well as the unbelievably beautiful hats (because you KNOW I have a terrible hat addiction!). I emailed Elisabeth and very jokingly offered my services as a model, just in the hope that one day I would get a chance to wear one of these amazing outfits.
Yesterday, I was very proud to exhibit Restoration Cake at The Alternative Wedding Fair.
This was a Wedding Fair with a difference. The Brides who came along were all looking for something different for their big day. Though I love the glamour of a big traditional white Wedding, when Chris and I tied the knot, we knew that this would not be right for us.
We both live for music. I was literally raised in a music shop and Chris has toured the world (probably several times over) with bands. We met at a gig and Chris used to come to all of my gigs when I was in a band myself... a long time ago! We always have a few gigs lined up in the diary at any one time to look forward to.
So when we heard that Bush Hall in Shepherd’s Bush (a beautiful, intimate venue) was available for Wedding receptions, we knew that our Wedding would essentially be a civil service followed by a gig, with our favourite musician friends playing on the bill. My Dad headlined with his band and I got up to sing a few songs to close the night... ending with Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.
Of course. What else would we do? The people who know us individually and together as a couple really expected nothing less. This was not shocking. It was not intended to be. It was just us.
I wanted to tell you all about the fabulous service offered by my dear friend Lex, at Rockabetty Studios.
The pictures that I use most often on this website are the ones where I am posing like a retro pin-up girl. In my head, this is how I look all the time. I am always over-dressed for any given occasion and I pretty much live in red lipstick.
However, years and years of bad photographs have taught me to be camera shy.
... my close friends and those who have met me are laughing right now...