This weekend saw The Cake & Bake Show arrive in all its glory at Excel, London. A blend of the very best of the worlds of baking and cake artistry, it combines both of my passions.
As in previous years, it provided an opportunity for baking and caking fans to meet vendors, stock up on baking and caking essentials, see demonstrations from some of the biggest names in cake decorating and baking and, of course, enjoy some wonderful showpieces.
This year, I attended on the Saturday and, for the first time, I was actually working the show. I had agreed to look after the amazing Big Ben display by the talented and effervescent Rosie Cake-Diva, while she delivered her impressive number of demonstrations across the day.
Lying directly opposite the entrance, Rosie’s display featured a huge British Bulldog, dressed in his regal best and sat atop a beautiful handmade throne. Rosie had also created a second throne so visitors to the show could snap a picture sat next to her stunning creation. Something that the majority of visitors were delighted to do.
The work Rosie had put in to bring her display to life was incredible: she had built the thrones; decorated them using a wide variety of plaster-of-paris details crafted using real sugar moulds (I may have started telling people they WERE icing, so they’d be a bit more careful; sewn the cushions for the empty throne and matched these out of cake on Ben’s throne; and of course created a huge bulldog made entirely out of real cake and RKT, so fully edible.
As a result of Rosie’s hard work, her display was very popular and it was busy! Sooooo busy! I’ve manned exhibits before, but that usually just involves standing nearby and talking to visitors about the display, but throw in an interactive element and suddenly the job is a lot bigger! I literally did not stop talking to visitors and snapping their pics all day (other than a quick dash to the loo when Rosie was freed up to come and release me) and met thousands of people – many of whom were stunned to realise Rosie’s piece was made out of real cake.
For the most part, people were absolutely delightful, although there were one or two that perhaps were not used to such incredible cakes – wanting to touch or interfere with Big Ben. I had to channel MY inner Diva during those moments…
Due to the popularity of the exhibit, I didn’t get around to see much of the show, but I did at least manage to catch a few of my cakey friends for a quick hug and even managed to get my selfie with last year’s Bake Off winner – which was a non-negotiable for my attendance!
In last hour or so, after being on my feet all day, I felt my blood sugar plummet. So apologies if you were one of the people who tried to talk to me between 4pm and 5pm – I probably stopped making much sense!
All in all, it was a really fun experience. It was great to get to know Rosie a little better and the inner workings of show life never fails to entertain. Next time, I’ll know to have a supply of snacks on hand to keep me going though!
The Cake & Bake Show visits Manchester next at Event City, from 9-12 November. For tickets, visit their website.