Wednesday, 1 January 2014


It seems that 7 or so months has passed by with no updates from me. It isn't that there has been no baking taking place (can you imagine?!) or even a lack of shenanigans (sigh, truth be told I daren't write about the more recent ones). Simply, I have been busy with family, friends as well as cake and boy antics. So, a few memorable highlights from the latter half of 2013 before 2014 starts to run away from me.

I finally organised to have the garden landscaped at the start of the summer. It has been totally transformed and we have loved using it. Cocktails, BBQs, fire pits, family, friends and the Wimbledon final have all been a delight. I think we made more use of the garden in a couple of months than in the previous 9 years of living here!

More plants next year, but such a difference!

I was whisked away to Chatsworth House by 2 lovelies - the mince pie maker and the true gentleman (first mention here, and a total sweetheart!) for a wonderful evening of pink champagne, the most fabulous picnic and an outdoor production of Pride and Prejudice. It was magical and very special and I felt very spoilt!

Pink bubbles!

We had a wonderful family holiday in the South of France in early August too. We ate a lot, did very little and thoroughly enjoyed the local Blanquette de Limoux - a sparkling wine that predates Champagne and was simply delicious! We were joined for some of the time by the cocktail queen (welcome too - another first mention) a truly lovely friend whom we have had the pleasure of getting to know over the last couple of years.

Am I wearing my bikini top upside down or not in this picture?

The mince pie maker turned 30 in the summer and I was privileged to make the cake for his celebrations at Hambleton Hall. A dark chocolate and cointreau Hermes inspired cake that thankfully was a success. Unlike the macarons I attempted to make to accompany it - after 3 attempts I had to concede defeat.

Shocking photo, but you get the idea….

We celebrated the gorgeous husband's 40th birthday in November. Yes. Really. Forty. There were several nights out, a surprise party at home and a weekend in the Cotswolds with some very special people. And another huge cake. Plus we still have New York to look forward to in April 2014. Which is near when I turn 40 30. Ssshhh please.

Biggest ever - 4 layers of indulgence!

There has also been lots of training and running - I have a new running buddy which is a real treat. Not the mince pie maker. We ran together once and I thought I was going to throw up, pass out cry. There have been some tough times along the way both for us and those we love, but this has been a year of knowing the importance of family and friends and loving them as best we can. Now looking forward to all the opportunities that 2014 brings. And more cake.