Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Afternoon Tea Workshop At Cambridge Kitchens - Book Now!

I am so excited to announce a new joint venture with Cambridge Kitchens & Independent Retail Month in partnership with "Love Cambridge". This is a superb support for indie traders and retailers and I'm thrilled to have been asked to get involved. Miss Sue Flay With the fantastic and fully functioning demo kitchen that Cambridge Kitchens will be offering (complete with "Great British Bake Off" style oven doors, wahoo!), we will be joining forces to host an afternoon tea with a difference... guests will be baking it themselves over a 3 hour workshop. I have been lucky enough to be invited to teach guests how to decorate a layer cake 'Bake Off' style, make the perfect scones and even give guests a few tips on afternoon tea etiquette as we sit down to share the treats baked on the day over a cuppa! Afternoon Tea Baking Lesson This will be hosted on Saturday 13th July 2013 2-5pm Hosted at Cambridge Kitchens & Bathrooms (Cambridge showroom), Mill Road. £10 per ticket to include baking lesson, all ingredients & afternoon tea Get booking early as there are only 10 places available... BOOK HERE For more details you can contact Miss Sue Flay at hello@misssueflay.com or Erika at erikaz@cambridgekitchens.co.uk Or Visit: Cambridgebid Independents Month misssueflay.com Cambridge Kitchens Tuck Shop Cake Come and join in with this fantastic networking and educational event, not to mention the gorgeous treats you will help to create and recipes you can take away with you afterwards! Miss Sue Flay

Monday, 24 June 2013

7 Positive Changes #1

It's the start of a new week and time to think positively for a great 7 days ahead... First things first, brew a pot of tea with me and decide on 7 positive changes you can make this week, mine are as follows: Miss Sue Flay 1. Exercise. Today. Not tomorrow. Not on Friday. Today! Get the dog walked, hop on your bike, grab an aerobics DVD or even pop the Xbox or Wii on to get moving. 2. Eat well & drink more water. As easy as it sounds, I've now started to graze on much more fruit drink more water since making my own spare bedroom into an office, as sat on the sofa, I couldn't balance a glass of water! I top up small bowl of freshly prepared fruit and a cake fork and I pick as I work as well as a litre bottle of water at least once a day and try to get through it.  My skin is better for it too. 3. Have a spring clean. Move the furniture around and make your living spaces a pleasure to spend time in. The times I sit there and wonder what the lounge would look like with the coffee table in a different position... Simply try it. Buy yourself some flowers to adorn your coffee table or window ledge, who needs to wait to be bought them by somebody else?! 4. Bake. There is nothing more therapeutic than baking for yourself on a chilly day. I rarely have cravings at the moment, but yesterday I made some fruit scones with natural yoghurt and a slither of butter in the mix and enjoyed them warm from the oven. Best taste ever, you can't beat it! Or why not learn to bake with Miss Sue Flay?! Positive Changes 5. Be a kid for a while. Sometimes you just have to jump on that swing as you walk through the play park. Do it and put an instant smile on your face, who cares what others think of you?! I have also been on the hunt for antique cake tongues, with my dad finally finding me a pair this weekend. So, I've been playing tea parties, naturally ; ) 6. Learn to get the most out of my laptop. The Apple store in Cambridge runs free workshops to help you get the best out of their products both for personal and business use. I have signed myself up to 3 courses, one after the other this week including how to "discover my ipad"... I have one, but do I get the best out of it? 7. Get out and meet new people. I have decided to try to say yes a lot more and that means going to events, openings and networks when invited. This week I have been asked to go to a networking event at an art gallery. I collect art (very occasionally) and love looking at it, so it's a no brainer really! It's great to meet new people, of which I like to do all the time, so who knows what interesting characters I will meet this week?... Have a great week and do share your 5 positive plans this week... What are yours? Miss Sue Flay Miss Sue Flay

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Revisited: Greens Coffee & Co, Cambourne

I'm a huge fan of my local coffee shop and not just because its on my doorstep. Greens Coffee & Co Cambourne There are a whole variety of reasons why I visit Greens Coffee & Co in Cambourne, be it for the friendly service and chatty staff, fantastic live music nights they put on every month, the great tea & coffee that fuels me for a blogging session or some lesson planning or simply for the real sense of community it provides me. I can walk into this fantastic Cambridgeshire based coffee shop and see at least one or two faces I know, be it from the business or blogging world or from my own social life (even if its currently a small part of my life ; )  and this makes it a little sanctuary that I crave for some company from time to time. I last blogged about Greens a couple of years ago, realising just last week how outdated this post actually is nowadays. They have come so far since that last blog post, with their recent offerings being freshly made panini's, bagels, "design your own toasties", sandwiches, baguettes, as well as salads and even meat and vegetarian platters for lunch. With the recent cold spell, they have also been toying with new hot food too such as delicious looking "Sloppy Joes" and Keralan Curries to name just a few. Greens Coffee & Co Cambourne They have also started using local cake makers including Cambourne-based company "The Ladybird Bakery" and their carrot cake is simply to die for. Well, maybe not worthy of dying for, but you catch my drift! You get a healthy sized wedge of cake per serving and you really just can't beat homemade when it comes to sweet treats. Julie, Aron & their superb team are always chatting to their customers asking for feedback and gaining ideas that they ACTUALLY try out, they really do listen to their customers. They have recently taken stock of the feedback they were provided from a customer survey over a matter of months and have decided to open on Sundays, re-working their opening times accordingly to open where they were wanted & needed, this is such a treat for Cambourne. Greens Coffee & Co Cambourne Queue Sunday morning brunches, of which I tried this week and was far from disappointed. They have everything from pastries, low fat yoghurt with granola & fresh fruit and even salmon & scrambled egg on toast, of which I opted for. Although I had to argue with myself over that or their sautéed mushrooms on toast. Their scrambled egg was made just how I like it, nice ad soft, no hard scrambled rubber here and the salmon was melt in the mouth. It was fantastic value for money and I want to go back every Sunday, this sort of food is appealing after a cake overload with the Cambridge Bake Off over the last few weeks haha. Greens Coffee & Co Cambourne Their next live music night is an open mic night on 27th June at 7:30pm and if the sun comes out, their patio area is super for a glass of vino, a Mojito or even a hot apple pie cocktail and a bowl of gourmet nuts... should summer re-appear anytime soon! And if it doesn't, well, there is a brilliant buzz inside not to be mocked. If you live in or even near to Cambourne, go. And if you don't, come and visit you lazy beggar, you won't be disappointed! You will often find me sat in Greens with a pot of tea or a skinny frappe and a face of concentration, usually writing or doing the tasks I can't do without a friendly buzz around me as a home worker, so if you spot me, do come and say hi, I won't bite & I love to chat ; ) Greens Coffee & Co Cambourne New opening times as follows: Monday: Closed Tuesday - Friday: 8:30am - 4pm Saturday: 9am - 4pm Sunday: 10am - 3pm (with brunch until 1pm) Open to 11pm on music and open mic nights! Www.greenscoffee.co.uk Or follow them on Facebook for saliva-inducing updates! You can also view my full photo album on this coffee shop here. Miss Sue Flay Greens Coffee & Co Cambourne NB- I've not been paid or bribed to write this blog post, it's simply a venue worthy of the support. These are of course my own personal views, sometimes a venue may have a very good day or a very bad day, so I can only comment on my own experiences at the time of visiting, if I don't go regularly. I hold no responsibility for a bad experience after my ratings! It's also nature of the beast that places do close down, so if I am not aware of it, I may continue to recommend a venue. It's well worth calling ahead for any Afternoon Tea that requires booking as common courtesy and checking the finer details directly with the venue to book if necessary.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Liz's Surprise Baby Shower - A Baking Party

A few months back I received an email from Lindsey who was plotting a secret baby shower and afternoon tea party for her friend Liz. She wanted to book me to pop over and teach them some of my delicious afternoon tea recipes in preparation for their own little feast later that afternoon. Baby Shower Baking Party She had invited me to join her and 7 of her friends in Cottenham to set up base in one of their kitchens. Once we were ready she popped out to pick up an unsuspecting Liz, who had absolutely no idea what was happening, what fabulous friends this lady has! Baby Shower Baking Party They had all brought their gorgeous aprons with them and were sipping on Pimms and softer drinks for the pregnant lady herself. It was a warm day, but with the relaxing background music playing and a breeze coming through the window, it was the perfect afternoon for a baking party. Cath Kidston Aprons To make the pre-agreed recipes for this baking lesson, I put the ladies into two smaller groups, one making their Chocolate & Malteaser Layer Cake and whilst their sponges were baking, the second group came into the kitchen and made their Fruit & Spice Scones with a Streusel topping. Once the sponges were out of the oven, we popped the scones in and let them bake, it was fantastic team work. This worked so well, giving everyone time to pop back into the lounge and pamper Liz in between my lessons. The buzz was so nice to hear and I felt genuinely honored to be a part of their celebration. Afternoon Tea Baking Lesson We then piped the chocolate buttercream and finished off the treats, with them being presented on a beautifully laid afternoon tea table on afternoon tea stands, complete with cucumber finger sandwiches and chocolate-dipped strawberries to match their vintage-style pots of tea perfectly. It was so much fun to teach and I loved watching these ladies working together to create a sophisticated baby shower for Liz, of whom also looked to be really enjoying herself too. It was funny in fact, as she had joined an afternoon tea etiquette event with myself and William Hanson earlier in the year with Lindsey & their friend Andrea and she had said to them both there that she would love to have something similar for a baby shower. She was completely unaware that Lindsey had already booked me by that point and we had to be very careful not to let the cat out of the bag, very amusing indeed. Baking Lesson at Home Whilst chatting to her later on, she said she had guessed the ladies were up to something, but had no idea I was involved, hurrah, I do love a surprise or two! Baking parties with my creative help are a superb way to enjoy a celebration with your friends or family, just ask these ladies... or email me at Hello@misssueflay.com to chat about your own baking party needs. Miss Sue Flay Baking Lessons Miss Sue Flay To take a nosey at the full photo album from this baking party, visit my Facebook page here. Baby Shower Cambridge

Friday, 14 June 2013

Why Working Alone Doesn't Actually Mean Working Alone

I was inspired to write a quick blog post on this subject whilst stumbling across a lovely blog titled "British Cream Tea" run by a lady called Ouissi, who teaches her readers to stitch and make felt cakey creations amongst other gems. Miss Sue Flay Her latest blog post was titled "The 3 reasons why I am not doing this alone" and she talks about how in business, you are advised to surround yourself by a great team, but as a sole trader or lone worker, this could sound preposterous and very expensive in time and money, not to mention those scary (in my mind as a fairly new business) changes to your business as a result. One thing that Ouissi does touch on is that this doesn't necessarily have to be the case, as the people you surround yourself with could in fact be friends & family who help and support you and your business. It got me thinking, as I have recently started to work for myself on a more permanent basis, not only do I love the freedom, but I love the support network around me too. I certainly don't work alone. Miss Sue Flay Just some of the people I do have around me are as follows: Duncan Even if I get annoyed with him from time to time, he has helped me from day one. I can't EVER thank him enough for his support, his patience and his ideas & thoughts. If I get an idea (Which I get at least 10 a day!) I always waffle them at him and he tells me which ones are absurd and which are do-able! He also helped me recently to put together my own home office together, spending a morning in Ikea with me and then putting all the flatpack stuff together, he is a saint, most of the time! My Parents Both of my parents have very much supported me from the start too, they tune into each radio show I get involved in, they come to my events and they are always picking up books and props for my afternoon tea table. My dad has even gone on the hunt of the ONE item I cant get hold of anywhere and looks everywhere he can, no doubt he will beat me to finding it on his mission. Again, I can't thank them both enough. Cuppa Marketing Jamie & Deepa Deepa came to my VERY first "The Secluded Tea Party" and we've become good friends since, I love her to bits and we often catch up at our favourite tea spots to gossip over a hot cuppa. Her husband Jamie has been equally supportive and has recently designed my new logo and website and he is beyond patient with me when I ruin it behind the scenes, he politely puts it back together again for me, no doubt cursing my name as he does it hehe. Who needs an IT support team when you have a freelancer who completely gets you?! Alice Alice Ryan is my editor at the Cambridgeshire Journal Magazine and she gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, to become a columnist for this fabulously local magazine (and more recently for the Cambridge Evening News Food section) after meeting for a photo shoot in my early days. Alice is always spreading the Miss Sue Flay love and she has been there for me for years, professionally and personally. I don't know how many people can say that about their editor, but she is a good girl, she truly is. Blogfest Twitter Friends When you crave a coffee break and there is no physical water cooler to hang around your home office, look no further than Twitter for some much needed support. To name but a few Twitter friends who have kept me sane, supported my endeavors and even become "real life" friends: Lynn Hill, Julie Green, The Kandula Ladies, Cat Roscoe, William Hanson, Vhari Russell, Dorothy Wood, Lucie Marina, Nora, Ireena, Rachel, Mr Kite, Tom & Lina, Debbie, ReeRee, Katherine, Emma Furness, Lisa Garwood and so many more! Not forgetting the local hashtag that is #CambsHour... It provides weekly support for local business and I think it's fantastic to network and surround yourself with new contacts as you connect. Who supports you whilst you work "alone"?... Miss Sue Flay

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Best Places For Afternoon Tea In Cambridge

I get asked several times a week on my opinions of the best Afternoon Tea spots in Cambridge and the surrounding area. I have reviewed many places over the last 2.5 years for my column in The Cambridgeshire Journal Magazine, it's so much fun! Of course, first of all, I would say, book me to visit you in your home and teach you how to make your own AMAZING Afternoon Tea offerings.. but if that doesn't suit your need for this sort of affair.... then fair enough. Bettys of Harrogate Until now, I haven't really gathered all of my favourite places and put them in one place, so I thought for easy referral, I would list them here for you with a few notes on each one to help you decide. This also helps me to point you here to cover absolutely everywhere I can think of and not have to think it through individually each time. I hope it helps... If I don't enjoy somewhere, I don't write about it, rather than say horrible things and make them feel bad. So, if there isn't a venue of your choosing on here, it's either because I haven't yet made it there, or I truly did not like it and it wasn't worthy of a mention - I won't send you anywhere I haven't enjoyed, you won't thank me for it! This system of mine should hopefully help you as the reader to decide where may be worth a nosey ; ) And do let me know if you visit any of these venues, by leaving a comment below. Afternoon Tea:  The Angel Hotel - Bury St Edmunds A trendy hotel in close proximity of the Abbey, it's a stunning hotel and their Afternoon Tea is one of the best I've ever had. There is a lot of food on this tier and you are seated in a very relaxed lounge to enjoy it in, roaring fire included in the winter! This is a fab place to go as a couple or a small group, I wouldn't say the most family orientated venue, especially if kids need free reign. It's a quiet sanctuary. Not Cambridge, I know, but it's worth a drive out and Bury is a lovely market town worth visiting. Click here for more. John Lewis Brasserie - Cambridge  Nobody realised, myself included, that this fabulously trendy brasserie has a fab view of Cambridge from it's huge full length window and their superb Afternoon Tea menu is in fact made on site. I presumed initially that this was bought in, however John Lewis in Cambridge is lucky enough to have it's own Pastry Chef and their venue is perfect for an Afternoon Tea away from the crowds, you are spaced out and the seats are very comfy indeed. I even host my Afternoon Tea Etiquette sessions here, it's fab! Click here for more. Teacake of Shepreth - Near Royston Not technically an Afternoon Tea venue, as they don't offer a tier unless you book privately. However, Christine & Maurice have got this spot on, with homemade cake, amazing coffee & tea selections, all of the finest choosing. The cakes are to die for, everything from huge fluffy scones with the trimmings, traditional Victoria Sponge through to Tiffin, Chocolate Beetroot Cake and specials that change every day. Vintage China, a chocolate box thatched cottage in the country, a tea garden to boot, there's no better place. The only small downside, literally, is that there isn't a huge amount of space, so be wary of large groups. Click here for more. Miss Sue Flay Quy Mill - Cambridge  This hotel had originally lured me in for their "Gentleman's Tea" which comprised of pork pie, cheese & half a pint of ale, however when we arrived, this was not on the menu and hadn't been for some time. Truly gutted. But, all was rectified when the traditional Afternoon Tea tier arrived and the open top sandwiches and warm scones filled us up. We had to take their gorgeous cakes home for a second sitting later on. It's a relaxed venue and the perfect country "Retreat" close to Cambridge itself. Click here for more. Fitzbillies - Cambridge  This world-famous bakery has been taken over in the last couple of years by the lovely Alison and her husband, with slow changes to get things right. Not only do they still sell their Chelsea Buns, they also still make the mini Sacher Tortes and Coffee Choux Buns that I have lusted over as a treat when in town for years & years. They have started to offer Afternoon Tea, although I have not personally tried it yet, this is a must-visit venue for a well loved Cambridge cake spot - Their coffee will make you buzz too! Click here for more. Hotel Du Vin - Cambridge  This is a venue perfect for a small group who want to be in quiet & relaxed, but slightly luxurious surroundings whilst they enjoy Afternoon Tea. Having hosted several events here, the last one left a slight bad taste in my mouth after some very embarrassing cupcakes, but I will let it slide, as on the whole, this is one of the best Afternoon Teas in Cambridge. Their tea selection is superb, you aren't rushed and it's perfectly located for a hop over to the Fitzwilliam Museum for some culture afterwards. Click here for more. Pinnies of Godmanchester - Near Huntingdon  Again, not quite Cambridge, but worthy of a mention. This is a very small tea shop, so again, don't take larger bookings unless you call ahead first. Everything is homemade on the premises including the fluffiest and largest layer cakes I believe to have ever seen. The scones are large with lashings of jam & cream and the view of the river from here is fabulous. I love this tearoom and it's great value for money with an extremely friendly service. Perfect for families. Click here for more. Jocalatte Coffee Shops & Tea Stops:  Hot Numbers - Cambridge Just off Mill Road, this coffee house is the GO TO place for good quality coffee, live music, great cake & a warm welcome! Click here for more. Greens Coffee & Co - Cambourne  My local, now serving sloppy joes, freshly made panini's, a kicking coffee, fab cocktails & supporter of local music & cake. Click here for more. Jocalatte - Cambridge A Chocolate shop worthy of a visit, they serve homemade sandwiches, panini, soups, cakes & serve tea in china cups -Love them! Click here for more. Southill Village Stores & Tearoom - Near Biggleswade  This is in the middle of nowhere, but stunning. An old post office, the old desk area is a reading corner for 4, perfect for Tea! Click here for more. Shelford Deli - Near Cambridge  It's a *Treat* place for me, with the perfect ingredients to piece together a picnic, grab a Monmouth coffee & go for a walk. Click here for more. Afternoon Tea Etiquette Simply Coffee & Cake: D:Licious - Histon  Great coffee bar for a *grab and go* style lunch. Hot food served too and don't get me started on their White Hot Chocolate ; ) Click here for more. Betty Marshmallow - Ely  Jenny makes cupcakes to die for. End of. Tucked away just off the High Street - don't dare leave without buying her rolo flavour! Click here for more. Benets - Cambridge  These guys not only run a couple of coffee shops in town,they have an ice cream parlour to boot. Afternoon tea in Ice Cream form! Click here for more. William Curley Afternoon Tea Further Afield:  William Curley at The Halkin - London Japanese inspired cakes and the loveliest finger sandwiches I've ever indulged in, including Salmon Caviar - This is a treat! Click here for more. Bettys of Harrogate - Harrogate  I was treated to a Champagne Tea at the Holy Grail of Afternoon Tea and I wasn't disappointed, even if others have been... Click here for more. angelhotel These are of course my own personal views, sometimes a venue may have a very good day or a very bad day, so I can only comment on my own experiences at the time of visiting, if I don't go regularly. I hold no responsibility for  a bad experience after my ratings! There are plenty of other places I could rate highly, but I may well save those for another day... It's also nature of the beast that places do close down, so if I am not aware of it, I may continue to recommend a venue. It's well worth calling ahead for any Afternoon Tea as common courtesy and checking the finer details directly with them to book. Miss Sue Flay   

Monday, 10 June 2013

Afternoon Tea Baking In Your Own Home - Maria's Lesson

After 3 years of very successful and fun Afternoon Tea events, I am now offering up my Afternoon Tea Baking expertise in the form of my new Baking School.. in your very OWN home. You can read all about my personally designed Afternoon Tea baking lessons here. Baking Lessons Miss Sue Flay I plan to be your very own "Fairy Cake Mother" - Resting by your side with a cuppa in hand showing you how to bake, but letting you do it all... you may even surprise yourself. In fact, I promise you that you will, I've had various people tell me that they "can't bake", I've popped over with my baking kit and they have made cakes to rival my own. It's a fantastic feeling knowing I can help you to do just that. I find that with many baking lessons I've been to, the tutor does some of the work for you, then you come home scratching your head, wondering how on earth they did a particular part, then making you worry whole heartedly that you've gone wrong somewhere along the line and lose your confidence ever so slightly as a result. This is why I ensure that my students do everything themselves and I help where I'm needed. Baking Lessons Miss Sue Flay I'm simply passionate about inspiring, enthusing and teaching my own skills and tips for fun and interesting home baking. And so... to one of my lovely students, Maria, who gave me permission to talk about our lesson, of which we had when the snow was falling (!) a couple of months ago. It was a very cold evening, but it was perfect icy weather to bake some warming and aromatic Afternoon Tea treats after work for a few hours. The house was nice and warm and Maria made me a cuppa to wrap my hands around whilst she got the oven up to temperature and started to chop and prepare the ingredients for her savoury pea & pancetta tartlets. This is one of my longest serving treats on my own Tea table and it's the perfect savoury to compliment a selection of finger sandwiches, of which you can make for meat lovers or vegetarians with a few variations. Baking Lessons Cambridge As well as the tartlets, Maria chose to bake an Apple & Cinnamon Streusel Cake, which is the perfect cake to make for a chilly day, even better served with a dollop of good quality vanilla ice cream or custard for a crunchy, freshly baked single layer cake. What I loved about Maria's studio flat was that it as cosy, not huge, the kitchen is a good size, but not too big/not too small. We stood in our slippers and aprons and it felt so homely, the one thing I love about teaching student's in their own home... it means we can stay cosy and make the student feel at home, literally! Once the cake had been taken out of the oven, my baking tips and baking wisdom imparted, we couldn't help but cut into it so that Maria could enjoy the taste of an amazingly simple, yet delicious recipe fresh from the oven, once the heat was off and tongues couldn't be burnt of course! It tasted as amazing as it smelled, I was lucky enough to sample a teeny piece, thank you so much Maria! Baking Lessons Cambridge This baking lesson was a first for Maria, having not really baked anything previously, other than a few unsuccessful attempts from her mum to get her cooking hehe. She had, however, been to a few of my events with "The Secluded Tea Party" so it was nice to be able to share a few of her favourite recipes from my own Tea Party table. I loved working with Maria and was so glad to hear that her mum was thrilled to try out her Afternoon Treats the very next day, hurrah. This current chilly weather is putting a smile on my face and making me hungry for something sweet and lightly spiced... Maria, you made some good choices for the temperature outside and at this rate, it could be a summer warming menu too ; ) Afternoon Tea Baking Lesson Somebody book a lesson with me to take my mind off wanting to bake these myself, right now!?!... Miss Sue Flay To book a baking lesson in your own home, simply email: Hello@MissSueFlay.com for more information or to book/buy gift vouchers, especially with Father's Day coming up... What better way than to bake with your kids, parents or other halves to celebrate?! Afternoon Tea Baking Lesson You can Read about Miss Sue Flay's Baking Lessons here.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Competition Prizes - Are They Worth The Entering?

Nowadays, there is a competition or giveaway for absolutely anything and everything and more and more people have become cynical about them.  Wrestling Cake I entered a Facebook competition a while back and two people had pretty much a go at me, advising me that it was a *con* and that it was just a marketing strategy.  To me, that is absolutely fine, it hasn't hurt me to enter, I just had to *Like* a Facebook post, no harm done. How on earth is it a con if I haven't paid anything to enter? If it's just to see how many people are watching their Facebook Page, then so be it, but it's cost me nothing to click that button and who knows, I could win a MacBook pro.  I (until very recently) worked for Play.com, a competitor of the likes of HMV & Amazon and we often had fantastic giveaways from our suppliers and distributors for our staff and our customers. We had a promo cupboard full of musical and film-based bullion and we could help ourselves as and when we pleased.  My colleague had a MacBook Pro tucked under her desk ready for a giveaway, when it was needed. My point is that this stuff sometimes can just be laying around in an office and it can be nice to sometimes give it away or raffle it off, so why would I NOT enter other competitions with other companies, you really just never know... You might just win the prize! Miss Sue Flay I even had a fantastic giveaway on my blog myself recently, thanks to the lovely Alison Appleton (a designer of the most beautiful Afternoon tea sets) of which you can read about here.  I can say quite honestly, that I was a cynic myself until very recently, but since I started entering a few competitions here and there, I realised my chances were actually quite good, as I was starting to win a fair few prizes and some were simply AMAZING! Check out just some of the things that I have won this year (so far!) just by the click of a button or a quick session as part of *Entering into the spirit* of the competition... Gregg Wallace A Private Lunch for 2 in London with Gregg Wallace (of BBC's Masterchef)- it was amazing! A Mulberry Ipad Case from John Lewis (as part of Cambridge Style Week) 2 tickets to join the Cambridge Food Tour (a Facebook Valentine's Competition) - Blog to follow! Lunch for me & a friend to the value of £10 at D:licious Coffee & Sandwich Bar A
Special edition "Emma Bridgewater for Comic Relief" shopping bag £40 towards a meal at La Margherita in a raffle for a Papworth Trust charity night £25 Premium Bonds, which took ages to claim, as change of address caused issues! Miss Sue Flay So, my opinion on competitions has changed ever so slightly, believe it or not ; )  You have got to be in it to win it... the above is simple proof of this and as a result, my life has become more exciting and it's given me things to look forward to that I wouldn't normally have had to look forward to or enjoy, even leading to some exciting conversations with the prize givers! The Cambridge Bake Off I have recently also got involved in judging The Cambridge Bake Off (with 2 more rounds to go!) and 100 contestants got through to the first round, all very talented bakers and although there will only be one winner in the last round, it was worth them all entering for the experiences they've been given as bakers. Competitions are around in every way, shape & form and it's very exciting to get involved. So next time you question if it's worth pulling that silly face, making that oddly themed cake, taking that inspiring photo or answering a question in a simple box, or if entering that competition sounds too good to be true... it might just prove you wrong.  Miss Sue Flay