I was excited about this show coming to Manchester months and months ago. I’d heard such good things about it from last year in London that I was determined to visit and enjoy all the delights on offer. I bought my tickets (half price! There were loads of different deals on the internet on the run up to the event) and arranged childcare so I could really take in the full baking experience.
As it happened, the Clandestine Cake Club were having a stand at the show and as the event was on our doorstep, when Lynn Hill asked for some help at the stand, I jumped at the opportunity to spread the love for CCC.
My day started pretty early, helping set things up and having a bit of a scout around the other stands. I won’t deny that I was slightly on the hunt for Paul Hollywood, just to say I’d seen him! Whilst waiting for the doors to open and the huge queue of people pour in, I was chuffed to meet Eric Lanlard, who sauntered over to say hello. Lynn knows him from various baking fun stuff but this was my first meeting and he was lovely. Very chatty and full of praise for our little cake club! Next to say hello was Dan Lepard, whose recipes I absolutely adore. He was really interested in CCC and loved the idea behind it. He’s judging the Australian version of The Great British Bake Off, which I hope comes to UK telly as I’d love to see it.
As soon as the doors opened, we were mad busy chatting to people about the idea behind the Clandestine Cake Club and how it all worked. There were a range of cakes created by our members for a special competition to be judged by Peter Sidwell. They all looked spectacular and drew people to our table.
After a few hours, I managed to sneak away for a walk round the show and a sit down for some sandwiches! The show was rammed with people, loads of seating for the displays and demonstrations and many brilliant stalls. The Manchester Central location was perfect and it didn’t feel too big – there was so much to see but plenty to keep you entertained all day.
My personal highlights (to name but a few) included the marshmallows from The Marshmallowists, which were incredibly light and delicious, gorgeous homewares and stuff from Baker and Maker and stunning breads from Manchester’s own Martins Bakery.
Managed to resist spending too much, just getting some bread-making bits from Doves Farm (including some lovely spelt flour, which I hope to use this weekend!) and a tin sign for my new kitchen, as and when we finally get planning permission and start to build!
It was also very lovely to see some of my CCC colleagues, including Rachel (@Dollybakes) from Bolton CCC, Rachel (@comedinewitrach), Alex from Wigan, Lynne from Lancaster and Helen from Warrington.
If you get chance to go this weekend (or another year!) I totally recommend it. There’s so much to see and do, lots of well known bakers doing signings and demonstrations, and a kids theatre too.