Deciding on a wedding cake was hard, especially as we had already chosen to go with a dessert station filled with our favourite cakes, think gooey chocolate cake, black forest gateau and a raspberry and white chocolate number that was to-die for, but I just felt without a cake that it wouldn’t feel like a wedding but just a regular party, and basically I like any excuse to eat cake!!!
I love Art Deco architecture and fashion, so when The Park Lane Hotel in London got in touch to ask me to review their exciting new collaboration with the V&A for their Wedding Dresses exhibition I couldn’t say no, especially when I heard it was a special afternoon tea inspired by wedding fashion.
Created by The Park Lane Hotel’s Pastry Chef, Sarah Hartnett, the Wedding Dresses Afternoon Tea is a real treat that starts with ‘Tuxedo’ strawberries, which look as gorgeous as they taste, and a glass of Moët & Chandon Champagne to get you into the wedding spirit, while sitting comfortably in the Palm Court lounge of the hotel, I think I could have sat on that sofa all-day long.
Unlike other afternoon tea’s where everything is displayed together, the savouries, the scones and the cakes, I really loved how the Palm Court’s waiting staff take you on a journey through the courses, much like a wedding breakfast I suppose, only revealing the next course once you have finished with the last.
Normally I instantly gushed about the sweeter side of an afternoon tea, maybe it is because that is what catches my attention from the get-go, but with it being served as courses I really think that the savouries was one of my favourite bits. As I am not a huge meat eater the hotel kindly did me a veggie plate, with the impressive looking and delicious cucumber vichyssoise with cucumber pearls, the cream cheese and chive sandwiches, the egg rolls and the best was the warm asparagus brioche. I really can’t fault anything from this course, everything tasted great and was presented superbly.
Next up was the romantic side of the wedding-themed afternoon tea, with warm, heart-shaped plain and apple and raisin scones, which were just so adorable and one of the best scones I have tasted, and I do love a scone! What made these, other than the Instagramable shape, had to be the preserves they came with, not content with just clotted cream and jam there was also lemon curd, such a delicious addition.
By this point I was feeling pretty full, well that was until I saw the ‘Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue’ cakes – with the ‘old’ vintage dress inspired vanilla and pear bavarois, the ‘new’ golden wedding ring of creamed passion fruit chiboust with orange shortbread, my favourite lemon and pistachio polenta Wedding Cake decorated with a ‘borrowed’ brooch, and finally, the ‘blue’ blueberry almond mousse with chocolate cream to represent a very fashion-forward groom in a blue suit.
Each cake was exquisitely crafted, I loved all the details, and the taste was very unique and flavourful, a perfect ending to a fabulous relaxed afternoon tea, well that would be if the hotel didn’t send you off with a ‘Top Hat’ wedding favour cake filled with coffee and white chocolate fudge as a memento of the day, continuing the wedding theme right through.
If you enjoy a themed afternoon tea, or like me a very excited bride-to-be I think you will really enjoy this special menu, I also think it makes a day of it when paired with the exhibition. If however you are after more traditional touches then I think you would probably much prefer the hotel’s regular offering, as the Art Deco Palm Court is a gorgeous place to enjoy afternoon tea in London.www.palmcourtlondon.co.uk/wedding-dresses. To book, call The Palm Court on 0207 290 7328 or email email@example.com.
**I was a guest of The Park Lane Hotel – but as always my opinion is honest – if I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t have featured it**
I love all the Met Gala excitement, I wish that one day I might witness it for myself, but for now I have to enjoy the wonders of Vogue and their special features. Not only have they teamed up with the cutest five-year old to showcase past great Met Gala dresses on their Instagram, you have to look they have been so cute, but they also asked cake makers to style cakes modelled after dresses by Charles James, who is being honoured this year at the Met, with the help of my favourite doll, Barbie.
How incredible do these cakes look, all of Barbie’s dresses are edible, I think my favourite has to be the classic red draped ballgown, not only is this very Charles James but so Barbie as well and the detailing in the drapes by Melissa Torres from Cake Hero is divine. I have to be honest if I lived in New York I would really want them to make my next birthday cake!!!
Another favourite has to be the Flour Shop’s Amirah Kassem’s masterpiece that features ice cream, wafer paper, white chocolate and painted in an edible metallic blue to finish the incredible off-the-shoulder ballgown. Also check out Michelle Doll-Olson from Michelle Doll Cakes who mimic Charles James’s emerald green silk satin gown from 1954 using fondant with a chocolate truffle filling and edible pearl paint – I really want a piece of that!!!
Now I love baking and I can pipe a little buttercream frosting – but these beauties are a whole other league and I adore them – but are they too pretty to eat? Nar, cake is cake right!!!
[Pics: via Vogue.com]
Since I started my healthy kick, cutting out sugar, chocolate and generally everything I love, I have found it hard to find anything to bake that doesn’t stray me too much from the new healthy me. But as I find baking a stress reliever and I love cake I just couldn’t stay away so I have been trying to figure out what is the healthiest cake option and I came up with Blueberry muffins – well they can’t be that bad as they are filled with yummy fruit.
OK, so I am not sure they are that healthy, just healthier than say double chocolate chip muffins, and they have to count as one of your five a day – right??? Well that is what I am telling myself with these delicious beauties that are so easy to make. Plus, if like me you are obsessed with juicing and smoothies you will probably already have lots of blueberries to get baking these for a little afternoon snack.
I promise these are so simple to make, around 10 minutes prep work, then all you have to do is sit back and let them bake for around 30 minutes – if it helps you could use the time wisely and do a mini-workout.
Are you a fan of blueberry muffins?
375g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
200g golden caster sugar
125ml vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g blueberries – I prefer fresh but frozen works as well
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling
Pre-heat oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4, and line the muffin tine with 12 paper cases.
Place the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl – gently mix. Then place the oil, egg, milk and vanilla in a separate bowl and whisk to combine.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined – then add the blueberries and mix.
Spoon mixture evenly into the muffin cases. Sprinkle the tops with sugar and bake for 30–35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
Remove from muffin tin and cool on a wire rack.