Monday, 4 November 2013

Cupcakes and Cocktails

At the weekend, we made a pilgrimage across the the country to Norwich to join in my sister-in-law-to-be's hen celebrations. As much as I love her and was excited to be part of her special weekend, I have to be honest - the promise of an evening of cocktails and cupcakes was a major incentive!

After getting ready with a few glasses of Prosecco, we headed to TALC (Tea and Little Cakes) in the centre of Norwich - an adorable cafe that holds private cupcake decorating parties in the evenings. I didn't know what to expect, but I have to say I was impressed - we were greeted on arrival by a long table laid with freshly made cupcakes, piping bags of different coloured butter-creams, pots filled with paintbrushes and icing pens, shape cutters, and tubs of edible glitter. It was like a baking enthusiast's wet dream.

Just as the giggling excitement in the room was beginning to feel palpable, jugs of cocktails were served - including a delicious pear, elderflower and limoncello concoction. We then took our places to begin our session, which turned out to be something of a masterclass in decoration, as our friendly instructor managed to keep us quiet long enough to show us some tricks of the trade. 

The best way of making us concentrate, of course, was adding the competitive element - and with the promise of a bottle of bubbly to the winning cupcake, things suddenly got serious.  

(Just kidding - it's very hard to be serious around so many cupcakes)

Halfway through the proceedings the chef brought out a generous array of canapes, including sticky pork skewers, fresh crusty bread with homemade houmous and tapenades, mini samosas and pesto and mozzarella toasts. It was just the energy boost we needed for the final 'freestyle' round!

I was extremely proud of my little box of creations, but I have to say that my other favourite was this striking resemblance to the happy couple - made by the bride-to-be herself. And they really are as happy in real life as they are in their cupcake alter egos. 

Thanks to the lovely staff at TALC for a very silly - yet strangely informative - evening. And thank you to Lucy for being such a gracious hen (you know you loved wearing that veil really!) x

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