Monday, 13 June 2016

In search of sweet treats at the BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes show.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a woman in possession of good cake, must be in want of a cup of tea", or at least that's how I remember it.. This October saw the debut of the BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes show at the rather cushy surroundings of Islington's Business Design Centre.

A location more familiar with international design, and industry, but over the next three days it was to become home to the finest in cake design.. With debuts it's always a little apprehensive as to what's expected, but with an abundance of baking master classes across the three days, with the creme de la creme of the baking world setting up at their interview stage, and the baking theatre from their more familiar Good Food shows making an appearance, it look set to be rather promising.

For newcomers to the venue it may have come as a bit of a shock to the size when compared to the Good Food shows previous shows at the likes of the NEC, and Earls Court, but this venue was rather fitting for a more niche, specialised food show, concentrating on the sweeter side of food. Upon entering the show the first thing that greeted you was the generously sized Lakeland stand, for those essential supplies, with the rather cosy interview stand opposite, making for a more intimate setting to get up close and personal with your favourite bakers, as they took on the audiences questions, from baking tips, to hilarious banter.

A trip up the staircase then revealed the shopping area, where bakers could find plenty of supplies to shop from, alongside an abundance of freshly baked treats to shop, from moist, squishey cakes, to gigantic sized pastries, and meringues. But one thing I did happen to notice, was the distinct lack of tea at the show, with the sole tea flag being flown by The Tea Shed, alongside the venue's catering, as a keen tea drinker and cake eater, these two go instantly hand in hand, so it would have been nice to see more tea options, but that's just me, a horrendous tea addict!

But tea musings aside, there was plenty to see and do across the show, with a dedicated area on the upstairs balcony for the cake competitions where the public could view not just the professional entries in the cake parade, but also the home bakers entries, with a perfectly themed Halloween section at the show.

Further along the balcony you could find the dedicated master classes, now when they said limited seating they weren't kidding, these were more intimate affairs when compared to other shows, with enough space for a bakers dozen at most of the classes, whilst it did give those lucky few able to get a space an up close and personal chance to learn from the best in the industry, some slightly larger more dedicated spaces would have been better. With classes on offer ranging from chocolate making, to sugar craft, pastry making, and cupcake decorating.

It was certainly a pleasant way to spend a few hours though, mulling along the cake stands, watching a few interviews, and cooing over plenty of cakes, even getting to see bakes from bakers who you may not normally get a chance to visit, with bakers from across the country attending the show, so for me, it was great to see some bakes up close and personal from bakers that I've been admiring online for some time.

A couple of small issues aside, my only problem was with the entry fee, for some like myself, had I not been offered a press pass I probably would been have reluctant to attend due to the high entrance fees, hopefully with future shows, the entrance fee will come more in line with their other shows to suit tighter budgets, but for a specialist show it was a pleasant atmosphere, that made for a relaxed visit, and with plenty of delicious treats in abundance to both see, and sample. But with all first times it's always a case of ironing out the creases, and perfecting for the second time, so here's hoping that the next time, it's even better.

There's always a Good Food show lined up whatever time of the year, visit their site for future dates