Something I have always wanted to do became possible. My mum and I were able to attend a cupcake decorating class at the famous Primrose Bakery, Covent Garden.
My family and I are often travelling to London for something, whether it is an event at one of the many art galleries, or to take in another of the great tourist sights. On arrival at Kings Cross, I became increasingly excited at the prospect of baking in one of my favourite bakeries, but there were a few hours to spare beforehand.
First things first. Up until a couple of years ago, I will admit, I hadn’t heard of Liberty. No, I don’t know where I have been all this time. So one thing on our to-do list was to visit Liberty. On our way, we stopped by Carnaby Street. A plethora of boutiques and shops were on offer and unfortunately, due to lack of personal funds, I was unable to partake in the majority of them. Still, a must visit and I will be sure to go back.
One shop myself and my mum paid particular attention to was called Cheap Monday. Had my other half and middle sister been with us, I dare say we would have been there a lot longer than we were. Whilst most shops pay attention to trends, I found that Cheap Monday too these trends and made them their own. A good browse round revealed some prices didn’t live up to the name of the shop (perhaps that was because it was a Sunday?) but overall we were very excited to report back to everyone on our return home.
On to Liberty next and I could go on for ages about the amazing store and how traditional yet modern it is. We just had to eat brunch here and we weren’t disappointed by the offering. An order of poached eggs on toast with crispy bacon and scrambled eggs on toast with smoked salmon was promptly presented to us following a perfectly formed English breakfast tea.
I’m not just saying this because I fell in love with Liberty, but they were some of the best poached eggs I have ever had. On to some browsing and, regardless of the fact I was low on cash, some shopping. Whilst I was very excited to be walking past and browsing through rails of Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney, I was more excited to head up to the haberdashery department.
Reams of brightly coloured, Liberty Print fabric lined the walls of the magnificent Tudor inspired building and sewing accessories galore filled woven baskets across the department. For a while now, I have wanted to take up more crafts and in order to do so, I needed to buy a new sewing box and equipment to fill it. Being in Liberty was the perfect opportunity. I was drawn to a pink, red and orange floral sewing box and after a few hesitations (About finances mainly) I decided to treat myself.
On to the bakery.
Having visited the bakery before, I knew what it looked like but walking through the little front door was still magical. The waft of sweet, buttery cupcakes filled my nostrils and my eyes were drawn to the multitude of pretty, delicate decorations placed neatly on top of a swirl of buttercream.
There were quite a few of us in the room so we were tightly packed together. Whilst this may appear to be a been a tad annoying, in fact, it helped greatly, drawing inspiration from each other and laughing at each other’s (frequent) mistakes.
First of all, we were to be taught the Primrose Bakery signature swirl. This, as it turns out, is a lot harder than it sounds and looked. Layering on the pastel coloured buttercreams and then positioning palette knives in the correct place and at the correct angle made for some interesting banter.
We were shown how to ice a full-sized vanilla sponge cake with lettering using a piping bag for special occasions like birthdays. A very handy thing to be shown was how to make your own piping bag from a sheet of greaseproof paper. It proved tricky first but once we got the hang of it, me and my mum decided that it would be very beneficial to remember this trick for use at home.
There were so many cupcakes in vanilla and chocolate and the mini variety too, that we could have spent all day practising swirls and designs, placing delicate iced decorations. Alas, an hour and a half went by so fast.
Coming away with a goodie bag was a lovely touch and this included our freshly decorated cupcakes. We also decided to by ourselves the Primrose Bakery apron perfect for home baking.
We both love the Primrose Bakery, and although we have the books at home to bring a little bit of the bakery back with us, it was so good to see it in action and experience it for ourselves.
PHOTOS: NIKKI GALLEY