This time last week it was Cake International 2017… I can’t quite believe it!
Such a great show this year and if you managed to go I’m sure you’ll agree 🙂
This year, my daughter and I both entered cakes. Now she is only 6, but they have an under 9’s category – so she decided to go for it.
So we packed the car to go on Thursday night. Luckily this year, the forecast was for clear skies and 0% rain (YAY!) so I don’t have any before pictures as only Freya’s cake was in a box! My own cakes were too big to fit, so in the boot they were put and on the road we went.
Friday morning was an early start as we headed to the NEC for a 7am opening. This year the signage was so much better than previous years and we were pleasantly surprised to find there was no queue to park. It was super exciting for Freya as she had never even visited the show before, so to be taking part behind the scenes was extra special. The queue to pick up badges was pretty short (helps with a W surname!) and the man at the desk was fab with Freya, explaining what to do with the stickers and her badge and wishing her luck.
Next it was on to unpacking, luckily Freya had a helper (my lovely mum) so they found a table and I ran backwards and forward to the car to collect the cakes. Then we found our table spots and carefully positioned our cakes.
Huge sigh of relief. We made it. Ok…so both my cakes were damaged in transit (my wedding cake took a tumble as the royal icing refused to set and dummies are so light they have a mind of their own!) but they all got to the tables and awaited their judging.
Saturday was full of excitement and nerves, although I’m pretty sure my Mummy nerves were far outweighing nerves for my own pieces. The walk through all the cake stands suddenly increased dramatically. Obviously, we started with the youngest cake… and look at this face!
Her first ever cake competition and she won a GOLD! We may have jumped up and down quite a bit, and squealed a little. Such an exciting moment and I’m so incredibly proud of her. So many people then stopped to congratulate her and it really did make her day – such lovely comments of encouragement from the cake community.
Next to mine, both in the Masterclass category which was only open to previous Gold award winners. Both the wedding cake and the sculpted novelty cake won Bronze awards.
We spent a while wandering round admiring all the wonderful cakes, and there were a lot of them! Over 1500 entries, so there really was something for everyone. There were also loads of stalls full of every cake tool imaginable… we were both like kids in a sweet shop!
Sunday was Award ceremony time. There are so many categories it takes a while to get through all the wonderful award winners. Luckily they start with the children’s categories so we didn’t have long to wait! My stomach had butterflies and my heart was bursting with pride as they announced 3rd, then 2nd… and Freya came first! Yes, there was more jumping (and maybe a little squealing inside!) and Freya very proudly worked her way through the crowd to the judges to shake their hands, received a fabulous prize of a full set of gel food colours, and had her photo taken. All of which she took in her stride while I stood like a lemon in the crowd and just beamed.
The rest of the day was a bit of a blur, and eventually it was time to pack up the cakes and head home. It always feels a little sad to be leaving, especially after such an exciting few days, but there is always next year to look forward to.
I realise this post has focused mainly on my daughters achievements, I wasn’t planning it that way, but in truth I am so incredibly proud of her and all her hard work. She shows me every day in little ways how independent she is becoming and we often stop to take in these moments and realise that she is becoming her own, wonderfully unique person. Hopefully after this whole experience she will feel proud of herself and have the confidence to experiment with whatever she feels she would like to. Maybe next year she will decide to enter Cake International again, maybe she will have picked another hobby, but I do hope that we have given her every opportunity to explore who she is becoming and find her own skills and passion (a bit like me and cake!)