Saturday 6 October 2012

Clandestine Cake Club Cambridge (Latest Club News & AOG in Leeds)

As some of you know, I am the creator of the Cambridge version of The Clandestine Cake Club, a free national cake swap group, run by a very talented and enthusiastic cakey friend of mine. 

Last weekend I was thrilled to accept an invitation to the Clandestine Cake Club's First annual organisers gathering (AOG), hosted in Leeds by Lynn Hill, our fabulous creator of this exciting international cake club as well as the National Cake Week celebrations.

Lynn has been a good friend of mine for the last 2 and a half years, after I contacted her for some advice and a chat about underground tea parties and pop up tearooms. It was at this time that I was getting The Secluded Tea Party up and running and I had no idea what I was letting myself in for hehe. Lynn was an absolute star and helped me out with the legal bits and lots of tips to help me take the tea parties to something fantastic. Her advice was valuable and I will always support her, as she did for me, with the CCC being no exception.

We were both sat at an event together in London on Valentines weekend 2011 and Lynn was toying with an idea of a cake swap club, with big plans and no idea how big it might get this time a year later! I told her it was a superb idea and to count me in for a Cambridge club if she decided to go for it... 

The rest, as they say ....

I believe, when I started the Cambridge meet a month later, after chatting about it, there were 5 or 6 of us dotted around the UK running cake clubs and looking at the first Organisers gathering this weekend, there were over 80 leaders there! Wow.
That's over 80 cake clubs across the Country, not forgetting the cake clubs in Barcelona, South of France, New Zealand, Finland, Canada and Cayman Islands. This is just the start of international Cake clubs, I am sure of it.  Needless to say, there are a heck of a lot of cakes being baked, pots and pots of tea and coffee being sipped and hundreds, most likely thousands of new friends and relationships being made. All thanks to the good old cake. 

The AOG was a hugely successful event, giving us all a chance to meet in the flesh after a year or so of Tweeting and Facebooking each other, the networking happened naturally and the conversation flowed from start to finish. It was great to see Helen from another of our local groups at Bury St. Edmonds and we missed Cat from the Ely Cake Club, but hope to see her there next year I'm sure : ) 

Taking over The Queens Hotel in central Leeds, we were spoilt rotten with tea, coffee and pastries and a beautifully cooked lunch downstairs in their private restaurant. A choice of chicken curry or thai salmon with bean sprouts and rice was on offer with salad/vegetables and for the more adventurous guests, apple crumble and ice cream or fruit salad was on offer for dessert, if you could fit it in. A lot of guests were saving themselves for the main event...

The "Official" Clandestine Cake Club at the AOG... I mean, how could Lynn arrange a Clandestine meet without an actual Cake Club? ; )

There was an extremely impressive spread of homemade cakes and the queue for a few slices of our fave looking cakes was a queue to be impressed by - It was so much fun!
We were also provided with the ultimate goody bag, with treats provided by various sources including Kenwood, Renshaws & Eddingtons. Some of the components included cookie cutters, tea towels, different flavoured baking essences, royal icing samples, silicon cupcake moulds, a magnetic timer and the list goes on! Lynn wasn't kidding when she said it was better than a recent events' goody bag, she did the CCC proud with such a generous offering, thank you so much Lynn!

There were also a lot of leftover bits and bobs from the goody bag packs, which we were allowed to help ourselves to and take some bits back for our own cake clubs, so Cambridge, some of you may be in for a treat at the next meet ; )

Lynn did help us with some practical advice throughout the day on how to upload write ups, photos, etc onto the CCC website and this was a huge help to many of us, as the website can sometimes be a bit confusing for the leaders on this admin stuff. 

A real highlight for most of us, was an informal chat and an education on a real and some may say, mad passion of a fellow CCC leader, Rachel MgGrath aka Dolly Bakes of the Bolton CCC. Rachel has a passion for Bundt Cakes. A passion is one word, another would be that she has an insane obsession with them and her enthusiasm and true love for these stunning cake creations was infectious. She reeled off just how many different shapes and sizes she actually owns, including a cathedral and even an octopus shaped cake mould, all with interesting stories behind them. I think Rachel has actually caused quite the interest in these interesting cakes and has even gone as far as coordinating a National Bundt Day which many of us will be getting involved in. 

As the Cambridge Cake Club host and with an even bigger passion for all things fun, free and cakey, I have set the date for the very next Cambridge Clandestine Cake Club
There are limited places, so to book, have a READ BELOW and email me to book your place. 

We will be meeting in a secret venue in Central Cambridge, you just bake a cake, bring a guest to eat with us and with some pocket money spent on beverages at said Clandestine location, we can actually sit and enjoy the Great British Bake Off Final as part of the theme for this Cambridge event. 

Get in touch now if you would like to join me on Tuesday 16th October 2012 at 7pm, to find out more on this Cambridge meet as well as other Clandestine Cake Clubs around the country, just visit the Clandestine Cake Club website here. 
If you aren't yet signed up, get your name down for up to date information & cake-based news in your area. 

Hope to see you there : ) 

Miss Sue Flay 


PS - If you missed it, some of us (including myself) were live on the BBC One Show in February with our Clandestine Cake Club concoctions, you can see this clip here

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