All things Cake at BBC Show London

Friday, 31 October 2014

It has been a long, long week. Last Friday, after a hectic few days jamming, canning, labelling, preparing and with very little sleep, I packed up and set out  to the BBC Good Food Cakes & Bakes Show in London.

Amazingly good French cakes - By Babelle Cakes

The car couldn’t have been more full. After weeks of endless “to do lists”, “to take with us lists”, “not to forget lists”, we managed to fit everything in. I really thought it was going to conk out in the middle of the M5.

Music on. Adrenalin pumping. Off I went to pick up Mandy, a very good friend who kindly (and bravely) volunteered to come with me. I was very excited, and very nervous as well, as you never know what to expect in 4 full days of living together combined with stress and tiredness.  I picked her up and I believe she was feeling a bit the same.

Yes, the guard is a cake. I double checked it!

Tom Jones turned up loud and there we were, Thelma and Louise, Betty and Wilma, Mandy and Paloma. Ready to make history.

Have I told you I’m absolutely rubbish with directions? I am. I can’t even get “left turn ahead” right. So I always rely in my sat-nav for almost every single journey, even to the supermarket. But Mandy printed the directions from the internet and seemed quite sure of what to do. So, for the very first time in my life, I left little Satty in its box.  

Believe it or not, everything in this picture is chocolate - by Chocopassion UK

We were doing very well: Bristol, Swindon, Reading and after 3 ,5 hours there we were, at the beginning of the congestion charge area. Cars, buses, lorries, taxies coming from all directions.  Our vulnerable and inexperienced green Peugeot was shaking all over. I must admit I was completely impressed at how well Mandy was doing with the directions. She made only one tiny mistake that made us drive in the wrong direction. Literally in-the-wrong-direction. But that’s another story titled “the day I drove against the traffic in London and I didn’t kill anybody” that’ll I’ll tell you if the enforcement ticket doesn’t land on the front door mat!!

Our stall :)

We finally found the venue and were so lucky that no one was queuing in the loading bay. Our stall was well positioned surrounded by a sugar craft stall, food flavourings, a Belgium whisk company and…. Primrose Bakery!!! OMG, I absolutely love them!!! We set it up as quickly as we could and, when we were happy with the outcome, we decided it was time for a drink and some food.

Me, myself and my giant spoon

After a great dinner and a couple of well-deserved cocktails, we decided it was the moment to find our hotel. The only information we had was the name of the street. No sat-nav, no paper directions this time. During the time I was living in Madrid I developed a deep and unavoidable hate of the underground in any shape. So I suggested going by bus. 

We spent a good 15 minutes trying to find out the right side of the street, the right stop, the right bus number. And when the bus arrived, we hopped on just to discover that… bus tickets are not for sale in the buses and cash is not accepted anymore. You can pay by card, but only with a super modern card (I obviously don’t have) and only one ticket at a time. Eek. We really started feeling like country bumpkins. A bit embarrassed, we got off the bus, tired, frustrated and starting to feel annoyed with the world when the bus driver blew the horn asking us to come back in. Yes, we found be the original, unique and genuine polite bus driver, the only one of his kind. He took us for free, he let us know which stop to get off at and where our hotel was.

Luscious tarts - By Comptoir Gourmand Patisserie

With the feeling that the world was a better place, we arrived to our hotel. Not sure if I can call it hotel, as it was more like a garage with a bed. Or a bunker ready for the 3rd World War. Or a punishment cell. We had a quick rest and whether it was due to said rest or to the crying need of leave the place, we decide to enjoy what the city had to offer.

Piccadilly, Oxford Circus, Leicester Square, Soho, Chinatown, Covent Garden. The weather was absolutely amazing, almost tropical. And not sure how we ended up in a Drag Queen’s karaoke pub called Molly Moggs having an epic girls night out.  

Baking tips from experts and visitors

The following morning the show started and there we were, raring to go with our aprons on. Mary Berry did the opening speech and loads of people started popping by the stalls, trying our jams and marmalades and taking part in our “guess the flavour” competition. I even ran an improvised master class in preserving!!! With almost no time to rest, the day went really quickly.

Rainbow Meringue Drops - By Meringue Girls

If you have followed this blog, you would probably know how big a Mary Berry fan I am. I met her at the Big Cake Show and I wasn’t going to let the opportunity of meeting her again pass. So, again, I ran as fast as I could, ignoring all the warnings, the security line and even her agent. I gave her one of our taster boxes, we had a good chat about food and life and all things baking and I came back to the stall feeling that everything was possible in this life.

Me and Mary Berry 

Mandy and I set turns to go in search of samples. Wine, cakes, cheese, chocolate. I believe we didn’t stop eating during the whole show. We were feeling absolutely knackered, but we didn’t let the fun stop. Three good friends visited us, Jose, Antonio and Rita. It was amazing to see them!!

I have had great fun with her. I am absolutely glad and grateful that she came with me. She’s an unbelievably hard worker, funny, easy-going and one of the best friends you will ever find. And she’s amazing at sweet-talking people with her incredible personality. 

Macaroons - By Dimkin´s Patisserie 

The following days we were more relaxed as we knew what to expect. We met great people and made good contacts. We sold more than 700 tiny pots of spreadable happiness in just 3 days. For a home-based business, this is A LOT of pots.

On Monday evening, we dismantled the stand and packed up ready to come back home. No Tom Jones this time, but lots of good chat, some shared secrets, laughter and hysterics. And the confirmation that life is uncertain and sometimes we find the most important people in the most unexpected situations.

Tiramisu Meringues - By Comptoir Gourmand Patisserie 

Around midnight we arrived home. My kids were there, awake, to welcome me. It was nice to be back and be cuddled and loved. 

Life is too short and too good not to enjoy it. And this weekend has definitely been one that I’ll remember forever.

Thanks Mandy.

Mandy and me. Completely knackered. 


  1. Things are better in good company, I'm glad that you enjoyed a lot, after all that hard work. Congratulations.

  2. Thank you! We had a great and tiring time.... but looking forward the next one!!!


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