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You can imagine how happy I was when I got invited to the first Red Letter Days blogger ambassador event. I’ve always been a fan of Red Letter Days – giving experiences as gifts. Obviously a new lipstick or bag is nice, but when you get an experience, well that’s a memory for life. When I found out we would be decorating cupcakes and having luxury afternoon tea with Cake Boy, I was so excited. One of my first ‘me time’ moments as a new mum, surrounded by cake, getting my creative on, having delicious food with a famous chef AND getting to share the experience with you all. Pretty epic… this is the kind of feeling you get when someone gives you a Red Letter Day experience gift.
Cake Boy is mastered by the fabulous Master Patisserie Eric Lanlard and is a boutique patisserie south of the River Thames. A luxury little hideaway in London that offers cookery classes, out of the world afternoon tea and cakes galore. (As a heads up, there is underground pay & display parking too) Eric has been seen everywhere from Great British Bake Off (No soggy bottoms here), baking for the Queen Mother and working with Michel Roux. It was lovely to meet him; He is professional, humorous, and full of cake knowledge and a really warm character. I didn’t feel stupid for icing like I had elephant hands and he cleaned up after us too so there was lots of banter. In the warm up Q & A session his responses were fabulous –
“If I was a cake I’d be my favourite dessert, tarte tatin. I love tarte tatin! It’s like me: sweet, steamy and, do I dare say, juicy.” You’ll warm to his French charm straight away. I was lucky enough to get a taster of Cake Boys ‘Cupcake Decorating with Eric Lanlard’ class and Luxury ‘Champagne French Afternoon Tea’. Both are lovely experiences available through Red Letter Days.
First up we decorated cupcakes. Oh easy huh? Ha! Not if you’re doing it professionally. This wasn’t a little coloured icing with a pen. No, this was real petal paste (those yummy hard icing decorations on wedding cakes etc. are made with something called petal paste) we each had to choose 6 moulds and coat them with a little corn flour to stop the petal paste from sticking. The mould came in all kinds of deigns. The unicorn was a popular one and I also chose a random bra and knickers combo. We then had to trim them delicately with a knife and then pop them on the table to harden. It was harder than it looked but once I had done my first one I got the hang of it. Eric obviously made it look easy being the pro that he is, but he was there ready to give a little helping hand.
We then moved onto the decorating. It was glitter central I’m telling you. Thanks goodness they gave us Cake Boy aprons or I would have gone home looking like a disco ball. The edible glitter and metallic paints really made the child come out in me. It was so much fun, just look at my concentration! It wasn’t a doddle trying to paint so delicately but it really was a great way to let your mind wonder and forget about everyday life. Once our hardened petal paste designs were finished, it was time for icing. Oh my gosh. I am terrible at icing. I tried, I really did! I blame the fact that other people didn’t fill their icing bags properly (any excuse!). But we worked as a team to share the different colours of buttercream. We may have also had a cheeky taste too. Eric taught us the best techniques to coat our cupcakes and mine weren’t a complete disaster! Hooray!
Once the fun and frolics hardwork was over, we were presents (and I say presented) with an amazing afternoon tea. I LOVE afternoon tea, and I’ve probably been too far too many, but this is honestly one of the best. From the presentation to the freshness of the ingredients. It really was delicious and a work of art. I mean just look at the desserts… don’t they look amazing! Decorated with real gold leaf and hidden secrets inside each one. Almost to good too eat. But oh, they did get eaten. Don’t you worry. They tasted just as good as they looked and the flavours were extraordinary. I mean the Macrons were flavours like Lime & Yuzu and chocolate with mandarin. With a glass of bubbly and some delicious tea on hand (that’s only sold in Harrods don’t you know) it really was a lovely experience that left me happy, relaxed and with a full belly. What’s better than that?
As I said above, I would LOVE this as a gift, which makes me want to give those people I love an experience like this. With mother’s day coming up too, this would really get you some brownie points. If cake doesn’t take your fancy, Red Letter Days offer an array of amazing experiences across the UK. From lunch at the tallest building in Europe to bespoke ballroom dance classes with TV professionals. They are the type of gifts you think money can’t buy. But actually you can, at an affordable price too! I can’t wait to see what else the Red Letter Day ambassadors have in store. It’s great to get a taster of these experiences, and trust me, the Cake Boy class and French afternoon tea really was an experience I’ll remember!