So. I had a van. A blooming big one. I had filled it to the brim with linen, books, shelving, mannequins, mixers and just, stuff. I had driven from Devon with an arm hanging out of the window, throwing Red Bull cans onto the dashboard, consuming Yorkies at speed and shouting at other drivers (or I may have driven quite sensibly – you choose) and had ended up at Earl’s Court. Which was good because that’s where I was meant to be.
After a bit of, quite frankly, excellent precision reversing and parking we unloaded the van and spent a few happy hours climbing ladders, scrabbling under tables and generally standing with our heads on one side, moving an article 3cm to the left, before moving it back to its original space.
What we ended up with were two rather splendid stands. Firstly the Cakeadoodledo stand was wallpapered with gorgeous paper and then filled with all the books and piles of lovely linen – displayed on the rather buxom new Berlei mannequin I had snapped up a few weeks ago.
We also had some rather splendid extras…namely Theodore, our new Cakeadoodledo mascot (Many thanks to the wonderful Jane Eastoe)…
and some little goodies to scoff for the lovely people who bought stuff. We took tiny meringues (rose and chocolate), fruit cake. tiny biscuits with almonds and hazelnuts and some big Victoria sponges for those who just wanted a big wodge of honest cake. There might have been a few sneaking-by-staff-incidents, but as everyone who worked with me were frankly, amazing and worked their socks off, who was I to get snooty?
We had an amazing position at the show, right in front of the cookery theatre where St Mary of Berry and Lord Paul of Hollywood did their demonstrations. Her Worshipful Bakerly Loveliness came over and had a chat with me. I can report that a)she is beautiful close up, b)she smells gorgeous c)she is really, really nice and d)I managed not to wrap my arms round her and beg her to be my granny. More on Lord P of H later…
The long and the short of it is that we had an amazing time, met some really lovely people – so great to meet so many people who have baked from my books, and we sold a lot of aprons. It was also lovely to meet up with lots of other cake people, some reacquainting – Jemma from Crumbs and Doilies (so cool and blooming delicious cakes), Peggy Porschen, Hattie from Sophie Conran and the guys from Squires and Culpitts and meeting others for the first time – Miss Cakehead (look her up – amazing and fabulous), Paul A Young, Eric Lanlard, Sarah from Wild Card and some lovely press people.
The second stand we had was my “Altar to Baking” which had an “edible visitors’ book”. It was edible in that it was made of cake and the pages were made from rice paper, but as over a thousand people had signed it (and touched it), we decided it was probably sensible not to eat it!
Lord Paul of Hollywood signed the book as did many of the other celebrity bakers. Was rather relieved, if I’m honest, that it wasn’t cut into. Can you imagine those steely blue eyes boring into you after he had examined my crumb? Shudder.
So, after two days of madness, we packed up the van and tootled back off to Devon. Next stop Excel and the Taste of Christmas 7 – 9 December. See you there, I hope!