Beach Buddies

Just back from a wonderful weekend by the sea with this awesome gang. So grateful to the Bake Off experience for bringing friends like these into my life.

No blog from me last week as I was busy on a few commissions, including the cake above that I made for Renshaw. Keep an eye on my Twitter this week as I’ll be sharing the tutorial for how I made this allotment cake and launching a hobby-themed baking competition in time for Father’s Day next month. I love working with fondant, particularly for kids’ birthday cakes. I’ve got a few fun cakes coming up over the next month, including my eldest daughter’s Harry Potter themed 8th birthday cake, so I’m already full of ideas for that one.

Speaking of fondant, while it’s fun making edible creations, in our house we love a bit of Fimo for something a bit more permanent. Fimo is a modelling clay, which comes in loads of different colours and when baked in the oven, it goes hard. In my view, the Fimo Queen is a lady called Lynn Allingham, who I got to know through Twitter. For the past couple of years, Lynn has made miniature replicas of Great British Bake Off star bakes out of Fimo. As she started doing this the year after I was on the Bake Off, my wife Sarah commissioned a mini ‘Eclair Stair’ for me from Lynn, pictured above. It has pride of place on our mantelpiece, next to the ‘Richard’ cake topper I got from Extra Slice. You can check out Lynn’s work, which is available to buy on her Etsy site here.

Sarah was away on a hen do this weekend so as I was on my own with all three of the kids, I hit the road to go and stay with Chetna and her family in Broadstairs. Martha and Iain came too, so once all the kids were in bed last night we stayed up until the early hours catching up and having a great time. As you can imagine, when you go to Chetna’s to stay, the food is out of this world. The first copy of her new book, Chai, Chaat & Chutney, had arrived and looks amazing. I can’t wait to get my hands on my own copy when it’s out in July.

Our kids absolutely love their Uncle Iain, and he has infinite patience for being climbed on and asked for piggy back rides and to be pushed on the swings. It was great to catch up with Iain and find out how married life is treating him. I’m giving him a run for his money in the beard stakes these days too. Martha has her second book, Crave, out in July and is off to the US soon to promote her current book Twist. We all filmed a segment for Chetna’s YouTube channel this morning as well, which will be uploaded soon.

Today was such a glorious day down on the Broadstairs sea front and we were lucky enough to spend it in Chetna’s beach hut. I’ve just put three rather sun-kissed kiddies to bed still with sand between their toes – no better way to spend a sunny spring day. So often I wish I could pick London up and move it to the seaside, especially on days like these. If you’ve never been to Broadstairs then consider a weekend away there – it’s ace.

Next week I’m off up north with the family to the Malton Food Festival in Yorkshire to do a demonstration on the Sunday and signing of my five-star-rated book, B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself. I’m really looking forward to the show so if you’re in the area, make sure you pop along as it’ll be a good one. Back to the building work for me this week and we’re making a big decision on extending our own home too – lots of planning to do for this. So until next week, Happy Baking!


3 thoughts on “Beach Buddies

  1. This sounds delightful. So glad you all became friends and keep in touch. I have watched a couple more seasons after binging on yours, and your group still seems like the warmest and kindest yet. But it was the first season I watched, so I may just be partial. Hard to say.


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