You know you’ve married the right man when he agrees that a visit to a show which celebrates cake and bread is simply the best way to spend a spring Saturday.

So yesterday saw us trotting off to Manchester to the Cake and Bake Show at Manchester Central.cake and bake

We had a spanking time.  Plenty of stalls with inspiration for baking and decorating cakes. Speakers in the various “kitchens” throughout the day. Artisan bakers and flour millers.  Vintage tablewear.  

Right up our street.

We bought flour and another banetton for The Husband.  Piping bags and nozzles for me.  I might have succumbed to a couple of recipe magazines.

delicious baking

And some oversized Bonne Maman jars which each hold a bag of sugar and are too cute for words.

The best purchase of the day was two beautiful Hammer Stahl knives.


It’s taken us nearly seven years to agree on a set of knives, so I wasn’t passing up the opportunity.

I attended a macaron workshop with Rashmi from Anges de Sucre and came out muttering repeatedly “how have I never eaten macarons before”.

Oh my! They were wonderful. Rashmi completely demystified the making of the Italian meringue. And, yes, she really is that cute in real life. I’m totally committed to giving these a go…I’ll report back!

The day at the show rounded off with the delicious Eric Lanlard showing how to make fabulous petal paste decorations for the top of cupcakes.


He is delightfully funny, quite naughty and so ridiculously skilled at icing a cupcake, it would make you weep. Even with cream cheese topping melting under the heat of the lights, he piped perfect swirls and peaks without missing a beat in his delivery to the enraptured audience.

The cakes weren’t bad either! 😉

To round off the perfect day we treated ourself to dinner at Browns. (with apologies for crappy iPhone pictures).

Lobster linguine…


Salt caramel cheesecake…

salt caramel cheesecake

Hazelnut martini…

hazelnut martini

And this, plus the red wine we also had, is why I’ll never be a size 6. 😉

But I’m a very happy girl!  And I have all the ingredients for macarons in the kitchen…