I've been meaning to write a new blog post for a while and what better reason than being shortlisted for the ideal home show??
Rewind ever so slightly... Sat in my studio when a little message pinged across from an old University friend Emily (and by old I mean me!!), with a link to a fabulous competition at the Spring Ideal Home show. The competition was to design a cake that would commemorate the upcoming wedding of Meghan and Harry this May. My initial thoughts? I won't have a chance, lets go pick the kids up from school! Hehe but then I decided what the hell (and I was definitely a little late for the school run.)
So it was a huge surprise when a few weeks later a congratulations email drops in proclaiming me to be one of the finalists and me going into a spin about making the hurried sketch a reality.
One of the first jobs given by Ideal Home, was to give the creation a name?! Well my son Harrison came to the rescue with what I think is a fabulous name 'Hang the bunting, pour the tea, time for a scone with me...'
So over the course of a couple of weeks turning the name and sketch into a cake is exactly what I did in amongst my weddings and what fun it was. This was my chance to let loose, to go crazy with all the fiddly details that I love. My design had to incorporate not only touches of British traditions but also giving some cheeky little nods to our new American princess. I wanted a theme of the great garden party, complete with afternoon tea, royal symbols and pretty wedding day roses.
So the bottom tier was all about London, where the couple with tie the knot in May. We had iconic land marks, the queens guard and other classic symbols of London. Finally to finish the tier I wanted to soften the stylized graphics with some delicate hand painting.
The next tier has to be my favourite and of course the most fun to make! this is our afternoon tea tier, complete with gingham table cloth! We modelled everything from little scones and yes it did lead to the debate about whether Jam or clotted cream come first?! To stacked cakes, chocolate éclairs, macaroons and teapots galore!! All of these are hand modelled, hand painted and glazed to look like real miniature delights.
The whole cake was about the little hidden details.... We had one of her Majesty's Corgi's, playfully scrabbling for a bone alongside Meghan's Beagle! We also included a row of hidden pigeons, the Queens classic hat and bag and a banana loaf, rumoured to be the couples favourite!
One of our favourite styles of wedding cake at Sara's Kitchen, are the hand painted variety. Over the years we've done so may wedding cakes that were completely hand painted to including little more subtle painted details in others. So we had to include some here! The next tier is the English garden tier, with pretty fluffy clouds floating above our wild meadow, painted with delicate lavender and blossom. So quintessentially English...
Next up we have our bunting, again hand painted to look more delicate and wind swept. This leads up to our beautiful white Roses. Now these were a personal touch and a nod to my own marriage a fair few years ago (cough 13 years!!). The day I got married was the 18th of June and leaving from my childhood home, my mum planted up the garden with beautiful white roses, aptly named 'The Wedding Day'. So because I can be romantic occasionally, I wanted to bring these in complete with cascading roses!
So finally we finished the cake with our signature teapot. We hand painted to match our miniature teapots, finished with cascading petals and a pretty label stating it's 'tea for two..'
To say I've enjoyed making this cake would be an understatement and I've been absolutely blown away by the love it's been shown. This certainly won't be the last competition I enter. Although I may not mention that bit to my hubby just yet as he's the one who drove it down to London, thank you! I'm so honoured to of been shortlisted and along side other such wonderful cakey peeps. I'll leave you with one final picture to show you the cake in all it's glory, along with a link to my Radio interview with the lovely Lisa Shaw at BBC Newcastle.
Please feel free to share this blog, pictures from my Facebook page, tweet it and generally shout about it with a few hashtags thrown in!!
Thanks so much each and everyone of you!