So tomorrow it’s my Birthday. It seems to have come around so quickly since the last one! I hope you will forgive me but I will be closing the shop tomorrow (Friday 10th May) to spend the day with my family and friends and be able to relax. It’s a busy weekend at the shop this weekend with hen parties galore and a big christening for a very special little girl to me. If I don’t give myself the day on the actual day I won’t get to celebrate with my loved ones!
So here’s what boo is wishing for this Birthday…
A continuing theme from my last birthday to this is my obsession with gold! I’m just loving gold accessories for both me and my home! Here’s a few of the gold accessories on my wish list..
1. Gold ankle boots from Christian Louboutin (dreamy)
2. No wish list would be complete without some Stella & Dot (my favourite jewellery from my favourite stylist Michelle – I’m wishing for this classic piece the Renegade necklace which I have promised myself for at least a year now. I think it’s time!
3. This watch from Marc Jacobs is everything I want in accessory, and it may help me ditch my rep of always being late!?
4. I desperately need to get a case for my iPhone and this Kate Spade one is the perfect one for my gold (and my Kate) obsession!
5. Another Stella & Dot piece – the Bianca tassel necklace.
I am always dreaming of California! I will spend my birthday there one year!! But until then I’ll settle with this gorgeous silk chiffon scarf with a California poem
Because I am such a dreamer – and a huge believer in dreaming BIG! This necklace is perfect for me. I believe everyone should follow their dreams…do it…today! X
When I’m not dreaming of Cali, I’m dreaming of Paris ( yes I’m a hopeless romantic!) and as I (of course) love tea – a Paris themed tea set is just how I would love to ‘take my tea’…a little bit of Paris in each cup – there goes those dreams again!
On the theme of Paris – I’ve been wanting to get this book for ages… I guess there are just some books you just can’t seem to justify buying for yourself. There are too many books on my amazon wish list to mention but top of the list is…
Gwyneth’s It’s all Good cookbook – great for all my annoying dietary needs!
I am revamping my house at the moment after almost moving and then deciding to stay, I now really want to revamp it – and these gorgeous (and gold) Caitlin Wilson pillows are top of my home wish list!
You’ve got to have a shoe on your wish list and instead of picking something crazy and sparkly like I usually would I’m absolutely loving these classic Betty t-strap peep toe shoes from Gucci…please be mine!
Lastly – no girly girls birthday would be complete without flowers!! And the flowers that I am lusting after are the most AMAZING coral Peonies from my favourite flower shop Achillea! I got one of these last week and watching it open and change colour every day has literally blown my mind! I may have to fill the house with them as a birthday treat!
So here’s to all (or some of) my wishes coming true this year and to being another year older and another year wiser in steering the bake-a-boo ship to success! See you all along the way xx
As many of you know, one of my best friends is Laura of Love Miss Daisy. Above is a pic from a great wedding shoot we did with Love Miss Daisy last Summer, where Laura and I got to dress up in wedding dresses for the day! Laura is known to me as ‘my sister from another mister’ because quite often we are spookily the same person!! Our lives are often strangely in sync! So pretty much if you like me, its guaranteed that you will like her! Until last year Laura used to come and bake with me in the kitchen on weekends at bake-a-boo, and sometimes bake-a-boo became the Love Miss Daisy office too, so we have a great understanding of how eachother works and have the great connection of being two girls running their own businesses and the understanding of the complete highs and lows of that. As much as so many people think being your own boss is a dream, it can be so hard, especially when you are young free and single, being the boss takes away most of that freedom. I’m so lucky to have Laura who understands that part of my life like many other friends often don’t.
Anyway we know how lucky we are to have had the opportunity to be doing what we love and doing a job that we are passionate about and in that sense – yes we are living the dream! And we are so lucky! Laura has an amazing business – check out her website and pick yourself up an amazing frock – which will always have a hidden amazing story attached – because it comes from a different era, and will always be one off! I was so proud to find out at the beginning of the month that Love Miss Daisy has been nominated at the National Vintage Awards for ‘Best online vintage shop (fashion and accessories)‘ The awards are held at the end of June and I hope Laura will take me with her so I can sit on a winners table!!! ha ha! In all seriousness, please do check out Love Miss Daisy, and if you love it – perhaps you will vote! If you know me or Laura already then I encourage you to vote. Lets help my ‘sister from another mister’ be a winner! It would make my day! and is well deserved.
Just so Laura doesn’t steal all the limelight I also see that some more of my favourite girls are also in the running – The Rockabellas - who are up for ‘best vintage style musical performer‘. The Rockabellas are a trio of gorgeous ladies who are very close to my heart – they performed at my book launch in 2010 and literally made the whole night, they were out of this world amazing and I was so honoured to have them there. Here I am with the girls on the day in the picture below. They then performed at my best friends Vanessa and Leon’s wedding. When Vanessa saw them at the book launch she booked them on the spot! Yet again they made the day! I know they have done a few jobs for my dad who is an events producer too. These ladies are real women, who behind the victory rolls and the fishnets have real lives, and children! but they LOVE what they do and become these amazing characters from another era when they perform, it’s an act that they have perfected and their professionalism is second to none, but they still remain those very real and down to earth women! And they are so worthy of this award! I’m just dying to throw another party where I can book them again!!
Finger crossed for all these wonderful ladies who are rocking the vintage world, and in turn just generally rock my world!! Please help them become winners!
Love Boo xx
Something that I have always kind of known about myself is that I don’t like change – they say is a Taurean trait, maybe it is, or maybe it’s just me? Whatever it is – I guess you could say that I like my routine, I like knowing where I have to be and when. I like my home comforts, and I like to know what to expect. I guess also because of my work life, it’s hard for me to drop everything at the drop of a hat to run off on an adventure or even just have a nice lunch. I have to plan for these things, and work hard to be able to have the freedom to do so.
This last fortnight I have realised how quickly things change, and how you have to be prepared for those changes as they creep up on you. As someone who’s not a fan of change, it’s also been hard that so much has been changing around me in everyone else’s life – it’s ok to not like change, but is it really ok to be left behind just because you don’t like change? And the answer probably is no.
Lot’s has changed on our team at bake-a-boo just in the last few weeks. Ania who works with me in the kitchen has started a degree in Culinary Arts – and I’m so very proud of her. We are the same age and I admire her bravery in going back to university as a mature student. She is so passionate about food and cooking, not just baking, she is perfect for this course and nothing gave me more pleasure than writing her a reference and hearing she got accepted onto the course. She will still work with me, but not as much and not on the most essential days due to her studies. Ruby our Saturday shop girl will also leave us in April to pursue some really exciting projects and I can’t wait to see here embark on those journeys with real pride. And then there’s lovely Leon – my side kick, by partner in bake-a-boo crime, and my best friend – next month he moves to Glasgow – hopefully not for too long, a year or so – as his wife has got a great acting job which takes them up there. That’s at work. In my world outside, my sister left yesterday on an amazing adventure to the Far East – she will be gone for a month, her and her boys and they will have the time of their lives. My sister and I are very close – we speak every day and we are very much there for each other – to know she will be gone for a month makes me sad, but how can you be sad when you are so happy for someone who is having a great adventure or opportunity? They are people you love and admire and you are always happy for them, but it’s that dreaded change again, that comes in and makes a sweep and takes people away and messes up the routine?!
I guess everything changes – seasons, styles, technology, and lifestyles – that’s just the circle of life and the way it goes. You have to roll with those changes or you get left behind. We live in a fast pace world these days – a culture of ‘I want it now’ – I find that hard to get my head around at work sometimes, when someone rings me and says they want a cake in an hour and they don’t understand why it is impossible for me to bake, cool, ice, set, decorate, and wrap a cake in an hour – but that’s because they can get ‘buy it now’, ‘same day delivery’, ‘express checkout’ etc and that’s just what we have become used to. A cake is something freshly baked. If I had a cake ready for you in an hour you should be concerned – for starters I probably wouldn’t have baked it that day and it just wouldn’t be as good. We have just become accustomed to the idea that things get ‘turned around quickly’. But changes in your life can make everything turn around just as quickly, and sometimes that can leave you spinning. This week Ania and I were in the kitchen preparing some orders and we were talking about her course and the fact that she is moving house this weekend, and how well things are going in her life at the moment – she’s had a good year and situations in her life have really turned around for the better in the last 12 months. And then, almost mid sentence, she got a phone call. Her brother had phoned her to tell her that her father had passed away. This is a personal thing for me to share in such a public way, but it has really made me stand up and think this week. Whether you like it or not, things change, and they change in an instant, whether you are ready for it or not. One moment can change your whole life. It makes me think of the song ‘what a difference a day makes’ and it’s so true. In one phone call things went from good to bad for poor adorable Ania, but in the same week, things went from bad to good in one phone call to Leon and Vanessa about a new job and a new life in Scotland. Some changes we chase, and some we have no choice or say over. If you really thought about it, would you know what you would want to change in your life, and what you would always want to stay the same? It’s something to think about?
I have talked here (probably a few times, sorry!) about how much I loathed 2012 – I often refer to myself as ‘2012 Zoe’ when I talk about last year – and that is because I really feel like I have changed this year. ‘2013 Zoe’ is happier, more optimistic, stronger, healthier, more passionate and driven and is brimming full of ideas, dreams, wishes and goals, and she intends to go get them! ‘2013 Zoe’ has had to find a way to embrace and accept change? Despite it being one of my fears. Last year I had my heart broken. I met the love of my life and thought this was it… It wasn’t… Every day is still a challenge to accept that, and the love just doesn’t go away. But I also know I deserve better and I deserve to have sacrifices made for me. Loyalty should be reciprocated, at least in some way? I lost a dear friend in Moo, and sadly watched her deteriorate in days and hours, and I embarked on a relationship with someone I cared very much for and watched him spiral into a deep depression that ended up with him being hospitalised and despite my unconditional support, he closed the door on me completely, no explanation, no apology, no remorse. Three things close to my heart that changed – just like that – things and people you thought you knew and then in a heartbeat they are gone. I’ve been waiting for this ‘change’ malarkey to work in my favour? However I can honestly say that a change I will willingly grab by the horns and run away with is the change in me this year. How I cope with stress, with other people. And the fact that I found my passion again, I remembered to believe in me and what I was doing again. I feel like I can conquer most things, despite the fact that people have tried to bring me down, or that things around me are changing. My motto for 2013 has been ‘I’ll figure it out’ and that’s the magical thing about me – I always do! Somehow it all falls into place – I work it out and sometimes I wing it, sometimes I scrape by, but somehow it always gets figured out. I know I can, and therefore I do.
So change – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. Sometimes it’s just simply a change. How we feel about changes depends on so much around us. I guess even though there is routine and there are some things that you know are going to happen – every day is different really. There is always change. I’m working on changing my attitude towards change! To embrace change and see change as an opportunity rather than just a change that unnerves me? Someone close to me once said ‘Expect the best, but be prepared for the worst’ and that’s good advice that I always hold onto. But also knowing how quickly things change, it’s so important to grab those opportunities by the throat and make use of them to enrich your life. We can be here one minute and not the next, don’t have regrets and don’t miss out, you never know what’s waiting round the corner. It may be bad, but it may be good? It may change your life, but that’s change and that’s life. If you could change one small thing to make your life better right now, what would it be? Think about it? Figure it out, and make it happen.
DREAM BIG. I definitely am. x
During half term just gone I spent a lovely day with two budding cake makers!! Gracie and Jakey! Children of my friend Michelle. I went round to their new house in Bushey and we had a day of whipping up cupcakes and icing….
We ended up with considerably less cupcakes than we should have as the two little monsters insisted on eating so much of the cake mix!! Apparently that was their favourite part of baking – the gooey mixture is better than the cake itself – so they tell me! Whilst the cupcakes were baking we made buttercream icing and then once cooled, we iced the little cakes – Gracie piled on glitter like it was going out of fashion! And Jakey swirled and whirled with the writing icings. It really was so lovely to spend the day with the kids.
Afterwards we chatted lots and Gracie showed me her new high heeled shoes (she’s 6!) and just like me when I was 6 – she loves them and never wants to take them off!… and her mum hates them – again just like mine at 6 years old! We also had a display of cartwheels and a fashion parade (in the heels) with my handbag.
Michelle has asked me to go back and do a baking session with Gracie and her friends for her birthday and I’m so excited! We had a lovely day – which was helped by lovely company and , of course – yummy cakes!
Thanks to ‘The Allens’ for having me! X
So yesterday it was Mother’s Day. I was supposed to post this over the weekend, but have literally been so busy with the ‘big day’ I haven’t had one spare moment, and every spare moment I have had, I have HAD to be asleep in order to survive! So instead, I am posting it today – on Mother’s Day boxing day!
Mother’s Day – The day we celebrate our mums! The ones who brought us into the world and shaped us into who we are. I’m not lucky enough to be a mum myself yet, but I can imagine becoming a mum yourself makes you appreciate everything your own mum has done for you even more. Unfortunately because of bake-a-boo, I never get to actually spend Mother’s Day with my own mum, although I try to shower her with love from a far on this day, this was my 7th Mother’s Day at bake-a-boo and it really is the busiest day of the year for us! There isn’t even a spare minute to devote to my poor mum! Sorry ma! But to me Mother’s Day isn’t just about appreciating your own mum, it’s about appreciating all mothers. I’m lucky enough to have some wonderful mother’s in my life, and at this point in my life in my 30’s it’s the time when many of my friends are becoming mother’s – so for me it’s even more reason to celebrate and appreciate motherhood. Watching the wonderful ladies in your life become mothers is a very special thing. You get to see their real strength and endurance, and courage and pride. Last year I Was very proud to become a godmother to my best friend’s daughter Lyla, who is growing every day into a wonderful little lady who I still just want to stare at all the time!
So I thought I’d share with you some of the ‘mother’s’ in my world who I think are especially wonderful and who inspire me with the love and strength they possess as Mothers.
Firstly – my true inspiration is my sister Xanthe. With 8 years between us, I’ve always been a fair few steps behind her on the life path, but I am so proud of the mother she became. She has raised two wonderful boys who are now 11 and 8 and just simply the coolest dudes, and I’m not just saying that because I am their Auntie. I remember the day my sister told me she was pregnant for the first time. Strangely I was on the bus! But she was living in The Philippines at the time, and finding the right time to call wasn’t always easy. It was a strange feeling, but a very happy and excited one, and the memory of this news being broken is very vivid. 12 years later – she now has two babies who get more and more grown up by the day. They are wonderful boys and my sisters devotion to them is second to none, she was made to be a mother and I’m so very proud of her.
As I mentioned before I became godmother to Lyla last year. Lyla was born in June, the creation of my two best friends Vanessa and Leon. Remember Vanessa’s baby shower? Every time I see Lyla she has new characteristics and she is already very chatty and smiley, and eats like a trooper. Vanessa and Leon had talked about wanting babies a lot, and I will forever kick myself for not clocking onto the fact that Vanessa was pregnant as she had been really ill, but had a million great excuses until the 3 month mark has past. It was December when it became safe to share the news and we all had some festive champagne together and then Leon gave me a Christmas card, on the front was the scan picture and I was shocked, but so happy to see it. I’m so honoured to be Lyla’s godmother and I just cannot wait to see her grow up and discover who she will become. I adore her parents so if she’s anything like them, we’re going to get on just fine! I have seen Vanessa almost turn into a butterfly in having Lyla. Her face literally lights up when she sees Lyla, and I’m so proud of how she has taken on her new role as Mummy, she is hopelessly devoted to her little cherub, and she will be my first port of call when I hopefully get the chance to create my own little friend for Lyla. Vanessa, my love, I hope you had a wonderful first Mother’s Day. I’m so very proud of you.
Another mummy figure in my world who has to get a mention is Lovely Liz. She is mummy to Lauren who I live with. Lauren and I have been flatmates for just over a year and were friends prior to that, but much closer now we live together. Liz and Lauren have such a wonderful relationship, although Liz is in Manchester, they speak on the phone every night and she often comes down to stay with us and is always such a mummy when she comes to visit, looks after us, always has a pot of tea on the go, and just generally treats us and does tonnes of washing up!! She has great advice and is always so encouraging. Lauren, Liz and I had a lovely trip away to the Cotswolds last summer and Liz literally spoilt us with lovely meals and wine and we had such girly fun! Lauren is so sweet – she still says to her mum every night, in her sweet little northern accent ‘Best mum in the world, night, gold bless’ and it’s true – Liz really is one of the best! Love you Mummy Drummond!
Then there’s Michelle. I met Michelle through bake-a-boo when we first opened and she used to come in. Michelle always had something so gentle and lovely about her, she was just so nice, she was someone you wished you were! Michelle already had Jakey, and Gracie soon followed, it has been lovely that as they have visited the shop I have seen the kids grow up, and Gracie is now 6. Through the shop Michelle and I became friends, and I adore her. She just has such a lovely nature about her and she is just so genuine, you can completely trust her, its almost like she doesn’t have an unkind bone in her body. We often have girly lunches together and work on events together and it’s always a pleasure. Despite Michelle’s many qualities, I admire her most for the Mummy she is. When she is with her kids she laughs, I mean huge laughter, and is just so tactile with them and always so cuddly, it’s lovely to watch. I went round to Michelle’s new house a few weeks ago to do some baking with the kids, and Michelle was beaming as she was showing me the kids bedrooms, she had made such an effort to make the rooms special for them and the rooms really reflected both their personalities. You can really see that the children are the apple of Michelle’s eye and I think this pride adds to the lovely person that she is. I really hope that when I’m a mummy that I will be just like Michelle (and as stylish as Michelle too!!!)
So huge credit to all the mums out there, not just the ones who touch my life and I have gushed about here. I hope that all you wonderful mums had a lovely Mother’s Day. We were lucky enough to help some of you celebrate at bake-a-boo and had a full house all day. Despite all the hard work, and the fact that my feet are still on fire today – I can’t wait to do it all again next year!!
So this month, I’m a little bit in love with ribbons. I have never been one to hide the fact that ‘boo loves bows’ – but the ultimate bow-maker is the trusty ribbon right? Whenever it’s a seasonal occasion, I like to ‘dress up’ the shop with that theme, I was sad to pull down the bubblegum pink and scarlet red gloriousness of Valentines, and perhaps my ribbon obsession started there as I had red and pink ribbons tied to heart bunting and ribbons hanging with red pom poms and lanterns from the ceiling. With Valentine’s a distant memory, Mother’s Day is fast approaching – time for a new theme and new decorations to adorn the shop. So what better way to really express my new found love of ribbons by filling the shop with ribbons for Mother’s Day. I have been inspired by ribbon garlands and strings of ribbons, and I have a box full of ribbons – some rolls, some scraps, lots of random lengths, and tying them all round the shop has been the perfect way to use them, no parallel lines, no real symmetry, no rules – just beautiful floating colourful strands of ribbon, different lengths, different widths, different textures, mixed in with creamy and dusky pink pieces of lace, all hanging together to create a beautiful back drop of ribbons. A subtle display of prettiness just in time for Mother’s Day.
So for Mother’s Day we have a window full of colourful ribbons and our bunting has had a ribbon make over. Why not use your scraps of ribbon at home to bring some colour into your home with ribbon garlands or just ribbons simply tied from bunting, curtain rails or hooks. Tie ribbons in bows or let them hang loose and blow in the breeze and watch the colour dance! Ribbons can make any party, use them as a back drop and tie them from big helium balloons. Fill your world with ribbons…..trust me – it makes you smile!!
So for now I really have filled my bake-a-boo world with ribbons, but once Mother’s Day is out the way, I think my next ribbon project with be using this idea of tying ribbons to chairs to make the chairs look pretty and give them a little re-vamp. Watch out chairs of bake-a-boo – the ribbons are coming to get you!!
So this week it’s Valentines day – as if you didn’t know! Love is definitely in the air – and it’s just about everywhere at bake-a-boo, I’ve gone a bit mad with the hearts in the shop, possibly got a bit carried away, I guess it’s just the only occasion where I can fill my world with pink and red and sparkles and all things luvverly and not be frowned upon! This will be my 7th Valentine’s Day at bake-a-boo, and I can honestly say it’s one of my favourite occasions to make cakes for – the flavours.. chocolate, strawberry, red velvet, champagne and then there’s the heart shapes, the pink glitter, the bright red icing. I feel like these cakes really are made with love and the fact that the buyers of these cakes are giving them to the ones they love kinda melts my heart!! soppy boo I know, but I guess whether I have had a Valentine of my own or not in the last seven Valentine’s of my bake-a-boo life – this day has always been about ‘work’ for me – of course for a business like mine, it’s a busy day for the tills to ding away, but I can honestly say, from the heart, that making other peoples Valentine’s day from my little pink shop really makes my Valentine’s Day and I really do adore it!
So this Valentine’s I will be wishing for love, but my heart is more than content with filling boxes with heart shaped cakes, and sprinkling my tables with rose petals for my special Valentine’s afternoon teas! and I will go home happy boo at the end of the working day, as we are open on Valentine’s Day and on Valentine’s Eve!
Valentine’s is also the time for gift giving and for dreams of luxury and grand gestures – I will perhaps have to buy my own Valentine luxury this year, but there are some lovely things out there for me to chose from! So I’m sharing my wish list with you!
The predictable things are flowers, chocolates and Champagne – I wouldn’t frown upon any of these if they were my flowers from my favourite florists next to my work and home, Interflora is a BIG no no boys! If you want something really amazingly special go see gorgeous Clare and Kate at Achillea Flowers (pick yourself some cakes up while you’re there because bake-a-boo is practically next door!) or if you’re a bit further north get lovely Matt at The Urban Flower Co. to make you a bloomin marvellous bunch! For me ‘the chocolates’ have to be my faves Booja Booja (hazelnut crunch are best!) because I’m dairy free! And my favourite champagne is Bollinger (Bolly Dolly boo!)
But for something a bit more original here’s what boo is wishing for this Valentine’s….
This heart shaped Vivienne Westwood bag is just perfect!
And I’ve been dreaming of these ban.do shoe clips to jazz up any pair of shoes, even trainers !every girl loves shoes right? so show your shoes some love!!
Something that will always make boo happy is Stella and Dot, my favourite jewellery – which never fails as the perfect gift, as these jewels come beautifully packaged in gorgeous boxes with messages that tell you how wonderful you are!! I always head over to see my favourite Stella and Dot stylist Michelle who knows exactly what I love – so for Valentine’s I’m wishing for this gilded arrow bracelet
And as a girl can never have enough bags I’m wishing for this Lulu Guiness clutch with a kiss!
Or this bag from Alphabet Bags to tell me how lovely I look today!! Who need’s a Valentine when you can have this bag to remind you how lovely you are everyday and you can share the joy with everyone whilst carrying it around! and an added bonus is that there is 20% off all cotton totes until the 14th February, with discount code SPLENDID! How very splendid indeed!
…….and yet another bag, sorry! but this is a special bag! is this gorgeous Kate Spade evening clutch with kissing Canaries for the clasp – and it’s pink! and it’s fluffy!! The kissing canaries Elliana bag is just perfect!
So while we are on the subject of Kate Spade I’m in love with all her china at the moment – I adore the Grace Avenue bows collection and the make headlines plates and these dotty plates – I love GOLD and I love DOTS! so these are perfect for me!
This beautiful Ania Hindmarch ‘loose pocket’ would tell me I am loved every day!! and what luxury to own, especially as Ania’s logo is also a bow! I’m lucky enough to have a couple of Ania’s gorgeous creations as my fabulous friend Annie who I did my degree at London College of fashion with works in production – but this loose pocket would be a very special Valentine’s gift
Valentine’s lips should definitely be kept kissable and luscious with this cute ‘I love kisses’ lip gloss from clinique
And something to keep my new make up and heart accessories in – with added hearts of course – is this pouch from Alphabet bags, that I actually feel like I need!! This could end up being my Valentine’s purchase to myself this year – affordable and cute and perfect for the season!! This heart canvas pouch will be mine!
So there’s the round up of boo’s wish list this Valentine’s. I’m wishing you all a fabulous Valentine’s week and day! I hope to see some of you at bake-a-boo for treats or afternoon tea! I hope bake-a-boo can make some of your Valentine’s wishes come true this year. Fill this week with hearts and love and I’m sending you all (clinique lip glossed) big kisses. MWAH xx
Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea
Treat your mum to a special tea at bake-a-boo on Mother’s Day & show her how much she means to you with yummy cakes & tea served in vintage tea cups, she will simply adore it!
The Mother’s Day tea menu is £18.50 per person & includes:
A selection of finger sandwiches
Scones with jam and fresh cream
Vanilla cupcakes topped with sugar flowers
Vanilla glitter biscuits
Fruit tea bread slices
Chocolate dipped strawberries
Mini heart shaped chocolate brownies
Served with unlimited tea of your choice
All served on tiered cake stands with fresh flowers within the tiers with vintage china
scattered rose petals & hearts on the table and a refreshing pot of tea!
Tea is served in set time slots between 12pm & 4pm on Mother’s Day the 10th March
We also offer the tea on Saturday 9th March.
Due to the popularity of this tea Tables are limited to 1.5 hours on Mothering Sunday.
Mother’s Day Special Breakfast
Start Mother’s Day off showing your mum how much you love her with a special breakfast at bake-a-boo. This year we will also be opening early on Mother’s day at 11am and we are offering a special Mother’s Day breakfast, which must also be pre-booked.
The Mother’s Day breakfast menu is £17 per person & includes:
Smoked salmon & cream cheese bagels
mini croissants and pastries
bitesize blueberry muffins
granola served with yogurt and honey
fresh fruit salad
Served with orange juice, tea or coffee
All served on vintage china. Your table will be decorated with hearts confetti, rose petals and fresh flowers
bake-a-boo’s Mother’s Day breakfast is served at 10am-11.30am on Mother’s Day 10th March only.
Both the tea and the breakfast must be booked a minimum 48 hours in advance and a 50% deposit must be paid upon booking – please email info@bake-a-boo for booking form or call 020 7435 1666
‘I was there to witness Candice’s inner princess’
Although totally irrelevant – as my Candice is nothing like Robbie Williams’ Candice – I cant help but get this song in my head when I think of Candice.
This weekend I threw a special teeny tea party for Candice – my Candy girl.
This Candice definitely does have an inner princess – this is because she was born with one – this is because she is Moo’s girl! It was written in the genes!
Moo is, because I hate to say was, a very special lady in my life. It turned out that she ended up shaping 2012 for me, gave it meaning, gave it sense, but also gave me a terrible loss, but consequently a few enormous gains, that takes away from some of the pain.
I met Moo through bake-a-boo. She was introduced to the world of Boo by her friend Jasmine. Jasmine lives locally and was already a bake-a-boo regular, we were also slightly familiar as we both went to the same primary and secondary schools in West Hampstead. Moo sat down….I remember the day…..I remember the table…and I remember her face, and said ‘I want to live here’. She became perhaps my number one customer – and secretly my favourite, probably from the day I met her. She could often be found scratching down the door, even after hours and I was known as her ‘crack dealer’ because this lady had a seriously sweet tooth! When I say scratching down the door I do actually mean it by the way. So being a sugar addict, she then developed a taste for a higher class of sugar, and the supermarket and corner shop sugariness just wasn’t enough – bake-a-boo became a daily pit stop!!! So of course we began to chat. Sometimes Moo would stay for hours, literally hours, and talk and talk and talk, even on days you were desperate to get home, you just didn’t really want her to go! – She had the most mesmerising mannerisms and was full of life and energy, and she always wanted to share her words of wisdom. She had lots to say about ‘boys’ and had no shame in admitting that she googled and researched my dates, she often came in just to show off a new coat or a new pair of boots, she always took all the Victoria sponge slices that were left and without fail picked up every last crumb on the cake plate after I had boxed it all. Even when taking cake away, she always had a slice or two whilst she was there that was her secret ‘stash’ – because moo didn’t like to share cake! Moo is one of a kind. I don’t think I’ll ever meet anyone like her……apart from Candice. Because Candice is Moo’s daughter, and she is a mini moo!! The mannerisms, the sense of humour, the looks, the refusal to share cake – its all there. Its remarkable! And wonderful!
On December 1st Moo went to sleep for the last time. She had Cancer, she battled, with grace and lightheartedness and courage beyond measures. She never played the C card, even when there were many times she really should have. She lost her hair, but never her sparkle. She would come to bake-a-boo in a wig and whip it off coz she felt at home!! She inspired me every day – the days I saw her she would remind me how wonderful she was, and the days she wasn’t there I was thinking of her. I would often text her to say we had cake left and she would be round in a flash and I would send her packing with boxes of scraps – she was always happy with them! I would receIve pics of her and the kids baking at home, and verdicts on how well they succeeded on the recipes from the bake-a-boo book, with page numbers and everything!
Moo was special. And she never ever ever failed to make me smile.
Moo’s last few weeks were spent in St Lukes Hospice, a wonderful hospice in Harrow that I have signed up to volunteer at, and they are so worthy of support from everyone! The nurses in the hospice thought Moo was a celebrity!! This is because, not only did she have so many visitors, but so many gifts! Very ‘Moo’ gifts! I went to visit Moo most days during the week, when I was able to be more flexible with work. I always took Jasmine with me, and we always took gifts and cake for Moo. There were days when she wouldn’t talk a lot of sense – she’d be telling some elaborate tale, often of nonsense and then she would just stop and stare at me and then point and say ‘CAKE’ – She would also have no problem in being extremely angry with me if I didn’t bring her cake! It’s funny the power of association, some days she’s be telling a story that was clearly just a vision in her head and she would say things like ‘I was walking down mill lane’. Moo just pure and simple Loved bake-a-boo. I met many of her family members at the hospice and though they had never met me they knew who I was because I was the girl from bake-a-boo – the cake shop that they never stopped hearing about! Bless her!! So I took bunting and feather boas and tried to bring a bit of bake-a-boo to her hospice room, and in Moo’s last week Jasmine and I had a dress up and photoshoot with her as she was dressed up in this amazing hot pink head band with feathers that she was even sleeping in! It was just so typically moo.
I got a call to say it was probably going to be moo’s last day, so I left the shop and went to say my goodbyes to her. I sprinkled moo with pink glitter fairy dust as I kissed her goodbye. I know she will have loved the sparkle.
And I made cow print cupcakes for Moo’s funeral. We had a lovely day saying final goodbyes to her with cakes, bunting, cow print balloons and a pink chocolate fountain! It was just such a shame she couldn’t have been there as she would have loved it all!
The story of Moo fills me with both happiness and sadness, if that is possible? I’m so sad she is gone, I’m so sad I will never see her again and she will never make me laugh until my belly hurts, I’m so sad that the world lost a true angel. But I am also so happy I knew her, so happy that I was able to make her so happy with my little shop! I’m so honoured I got to say goodbye and spend her last few weeks by her side, feeding her soup and wrapping her in feather boas! And I’m so happy that through Moo’s illness Jasmine and I made a very special bond and I know I have a friend for life in her. I found 2012 very hard, and losing Moo was one of those reasons – it was an unfair loss and such a shame to loose such a life lover! But losing Moo also gave me amazing perspective, it made all the other badness and sadness of 2012 seem irrelevant. She was suffering and that wasn’t fair – I could cope with the silly things life was throwing at me, and in her slipping away I got to realise how much my business meant to Moo – it makes all the hard work and the ups and downs worthwhile when you know something you do impacts on someone so greatly. I know she was proud of me, I know she loved me, and I LOVED her and couldn’t have been prouder of her. I’m so glad she touched my life and will never forget her.
So back to Candice, Moo certainly left her legacy with this one!! I am again astounded with Candice and her Brother’s strength and courage through their mother’s ordeal. How they have coped and held their heads up high. And in the same way that moo always did, Candice is continuing to make me laugh. Real belly hurting, tear inducing laughter!! So when Jasmine told me it was Candice’s birthday this week I said pleeeeeease can we have a tea party for her at bake-a-boo….
So with Candice being my candy girl, I wanted to have a ‘candy’ themed tea. As Victoria sponge was Moo and Candice’s favourite cake, we had to have it, but this one was covered in Candy – overflowing the top with marshmallows, rainbow belts, flying saucers, jelly beans and glitter. We also had individual pots of pink candyfloss, chocolate dipped strawberries, popcorn and a bucket of old school Candy… sherbet dips, love hearts, candy necklaces and much more! We drank ribena out of jam jars and candy striped straws and most importantly we laughed. Mainly at Candice saying everyone was only allowed a very SMALL piece of cake – she proceeded to tell me that ‘sharing’ is a like swear word when it comes to cake – like I said, she is definitely Moo’s girl!
I’m so glad I got to celebrate Candice’s birthday with her in some way – and I can hand on heart say I will always be there for her and her brother – they’re mother bought a huge amount of joy to me and those kids, no matter how grown up they are, will always have a place under my wing – and there will always be cake there too!!
Happy Birthday my sweet gorgeous Candy Girl, shame there was a place missing round the table, but thank you for letting me see you smile, and for making me laugh!
Boo loves you xx
(your ‘fairy cakemother’ for life!)
bake-a-boo VALENTINE’S TEA
Book now for a special tea at bake-a-boo on Valentine’s Day, or over the valentine’s weekend.
Yes we will will be open specially on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th for Valentine loving!! x
Have an intimate candlelit afternoon tea with your loved one, or make it a date with a group of your single girlfriends. Regardless of whom you share it with let bake-a-boo love you with our special afternoon teas served on Valentine’s Day.
Three tea options…..
Boo’s Valentine’s tea – £20 per person
Selection of heart shaped sandwiches
Scones with jam and fresh cream
Hearts & glitter topped red velvet cupcakes
passion fruit cake slices
Mini heart vanilla cookies
Mini heart shaped brownies
Chocolate dipped strawberries & marshmallows
Hearts and lips sweeties
All served by candlelight on tiered cake stands with scattered rose petals on your table,
and a refreshing pot of tea!
Sensitive Valentine’s tea! – £20 per person
(A tea design for gluten allergy and intolerance sufferers, all free from gluten
We can also make this tea ‘dairy free’, but we cannot make it egg free)
Gluten free finger sandwiches
Scones with jam and cream
Dark chocolate dipped strawberries & marshmallows
Mini chewy macaroons
All served by candlelight on tiered cake stands with scattered rose petals on your table,
A packet of love hearts on your plates and a refreshing pot of tea!
Children’s Valentine’s tea – £8.50 per child – Children up to age 12
Peanut butter & jam heart shaped sandwiches
Chocolate dipped strawberries
Mini heart topped cupcakes
Vanilla glitter biscuits
Served with refreshing pink lemonade and love hearts!
As well as a cup of tea for the accompanying adult
The valentine’s tea is available on
(Valentine’s day) Thursday 14th, Friday 15th, Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th Febrary – set sitting times apply
**The children’s tea is only available on Thursday 14th and Friday 15th February
Booking is essential, a minimum of 24 hours in advance – and a 50% deposit must be paid in advance.
To book please email email@example.com or call 020 7435 1666.
Every year, around Christmas time, my sister encourages me to chose a word for the year ahead. This seems to be ever increasing in popularity as I have seen a fair few ‘my word for 2013’ on various blogs, as well as people saying ‘I hate people who chose a word for the year’ – Well I am one of those people – and it’s a Berkeley sister tradition!
I think the word thing just helps you to focus, that word can bring you back when you go off track and it’s almost a goal in just a tiny word. When things don’t go your way, or there’s bumps in the road, you just need to focus on that word to remember what you set out to achieve and accept the bumps, but get back on the road – with your word clear in vision!
Last year my word for 2012 was ‘build’ – that was the first year I think I really lost site of my word. I attempted to build, instead I think I built a wall around myself which prevented me from doing things outside of it – the wall blocked out light, vision and focus. So you could say I achieved my goals with the helping hand of a little word – but in the wrong way! My previous word for 2011 was ‘believe’ – in twenty one one – I definitely believed – my word was a wonderful guide for me, I now have ‘believe’ in ink.
So this year, I’m late in choosing, but it’s been important to find the right word.
My word for 2013 is ‘Brave’
This is perhaps because I have already had to be quite brave in 2013 – brave enough to face and conquer some of my fears, and it was that bravery that helped me chose my word.
The dictionary definition of brave is “possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance.”
and my intentions are:
To be brave enough to conquer my fears.
To be brave enough to trust my instinct.
To be brave enough to say YES…. and sometimes say NO.
To have the bravery to realise my dreams, no matter how ridiculous other people may think they are.
To be brave enough to walk away from what’s wrong for me.
To use my bravery and strength to achieve anything I want to.
To be brave enough to ask for help and admit defeat sometimes.
And… To have the bravery to figure it out and make it happen!
Here’s to a wonderful 2013 – full of bravery, courage and wisdom! What’s your word for 2013? x
Over new year I was in Manchester and I heard a man in a pub, in his 60s, and part of the ‘Cheshire set’ use the word ‘groovy’ – it almost seemed wrong, but amused me. Now I find myself using a variation of this word, but it seems the only one that is appropriate.
Because….. I’m getting my groove back!!
Personally, well all round actually, Last year was tough – for me it started off positive, full of hope, as many January’s often do.. I had ideas, I had plans, I had ideas of ways to implement these plans. I had passion and I felt confident I was making all the right decisions. I made changes at bake-a-boo, which were by no means made lightly, and were indeed essential. For that I have no regrets.
2012 seemed to turn into a bit of a black hole that swallowed me up. That’s a very negative statement, which I’m reluctant to use, because this isn’t about looking back, about dwelling, or about making excuses – I guess I just need to work out where my ‘groove’ went, in order to be able to get it back. The black hole I refer to was almost a place that also swallowed up time! Time seemed to fly by – taking with it the ideas…and the plans… and time passed…I know I am not alone in these thoughts, for many people I have spoken with in reflecting on 2012, they also agree that last year flew by, in that flight I wasn’t satisfied with what it delivered, with what I achieved or with how I approached it. I have almost written off 2012 completely , which seems a terrible shame to have 365 days that don’t even count and that I would rather forget? But 2012 for me was the year I fell off my own track, and a year where I experienced real pain, heartbreak and weakness and found a place (that hole again!) where I doubted my own decisions, judgement and lost trust in myself and my ability to move things forward in the right direction.
So I guess rather than say 2012 was a write off or didn’t exist it was more just a year where I stood still? I now want to move again – to walk, jump, skip, hop and run in the right direction – the path I will know and believe is the right one for me, and for bake-a-boo, and one I will trust in myself to find and follow! One where I will pick up my ideas, my plans, my promises and my passion and put them all back into place!
And on that path I begin 2013, and on that path I am ‘getting my groove back’….. see you along the way x
You may remember some time back me telling you about my best friends Leon and Vanessa expecting a baby – Leon is not only my best friend but he is my bake-a-boo side kick and our scone master, and I am also godmother to his latest creation. Funnily enough back in December one of the first things I said after them telling me their special secret was – ‘Pleeeeeeeeeeeease can I do the baby shower!!!!’ This excited me almost as much as the baby! I know, slightly ridiculous! Anyway we set a date in May, as the baby was due in June, and it seemed like such a long way away – but then the day arrived before we knew it.
I hosted the shower at home, it was planned for bake-a-boo, but I thought it might be a bit more intimate at home and it then meant we didnt have to let any bake-a-boo customers down! But I basically brought bake-a-boo home with me. As we don’t know the sex of the baby, Vanessa and I decided together on the theme of ‘Clouds’, well anything to do with showers really - clouds, rain, umbrellas, rainbows etc all to make the perfect baby ‘shower’
I made white paper pom pom clouds with little paper rain drops falling from them, which hung above the table full of food - sandwiches, popcorn, cupcakes topped with cloud topppers, a rainbow fruit salad, vegetable crudite mini pots, little ‘mouse’ cheese and crackers, retro sweeties, white ’cloud’ meringues and chocolate dipped fluffy marshmallows – all served with lemonade and elderflower cordial in jars with aqua and white stripy paper straws.
So we at,e and we drank champagne and we laughed and fussed over Vanessa, we all ooohed an ahhed over the presents, mostly presents with a circus theme as that is how Vanessa and Leon have decorated the nursery. I even got my own present from the baby to say thank you for organising the baby shower…. thank you baby!
I surrounded the table with old photographs of Vanessa when she was a baby that her mum kindly (and secretly) gave to me, and then we all sat and made predictions about the sex, weight and due date of the baby and we then filled a personalised jar with wishes and messages to the baby, Vanessa and Leon really enjoyed reading these when they got home later that evening.
We all had such a lovely afternoon and it was so nice to be with all the girlies – everyone made such an effort to make a special day for Vanessa, so I made sure everyone had a little party bag to take home. I fillled white bags with treats and treasures I picked up along my travels over the previous few months, having to buy 14 of everything each time! Each bag had a specially designed sticker saying ‘baby Ockenden’ and was tied with a coloured ribbon.
and of course in true ‘boo’ style there were bows everywhere. Because boo loves bows! x
Best of luck to my two favourite people, I cannot wait to meet your baby, and watch him or her grow into an amazing human being. I love you both dearly and am so happy to be a part of this special time in your life. Baby Ockenden in due this week, so we are all on the edge of our seats….this baby will be the first bake-a-boo baby, and I hope bake-a-boo will be here for years to come for my godchild to come for tea and cake and a bit of boo loving always…..see you soon baby O xx
I’m a bit late in posting this, which upsets me a bit, because I had such a lovely time that I wanted to share! But the hectic world of bake-a-boo has just consumed me! Anyway……
Two weeks ago, I celebrated my 30th Birthday
The big 3-0 can be a bit daunting, but amazingly I wasn’t daunted by it, I was actually more excited by it. I think 30 can be daunting as you enter a new decade and you reflect on your life and look at where you are going. I guess sometimes it all comes around too quickly and you think of all the things you ‘haven’t done’ . For me, somewhere in my childhood mind I saw myself as married, with 2.4 children and a homeowner by the time I was 30, and I am not those things, but somehow I am not dissapointed by that, as I have achieved other things – I didn’t plan on being a business woman at 24 and a published author at 28, so those things are added bonuses? And besides my childhood mind dreamed up this life in the 80s – when things were very different! But really and truly I think 30 is an exciting time as I feel like I know myself so much better now, I know what I like and don’t, and I know who I am, if that makes sense? So in the lead up to the big day I embraced being 30 rather than freaking out about it! Plus I am in a good place in my life where I am surrounded by wonderful people, and my birthday just reminded me of that – so I celebrated with a dinner with my nearest and dearest and we had a lovely evening!
We had a private dining room at one of my favourite local spots (to my home) the Clissold Arms – I was sold on this place the moment I went there for the first time and saw it was literally filled with twinkly fairy lights everywhere! I did get a little bit laughed at for the weeks of planning and effort I put into decoration ideas and all the things I wanted to do. Especially as it was ‘my birthday’ and I wasn’t supposed to be doing it all, but I also wanted to make a lovely setting for the people that I love who made my Birthday so special for me!
The theme was pink and gold (30 has made me become a bit obsessed with gold??!) dots and bows (boo’s favourite things!!)
So I decorated the table with pink bow napkins, hot pink doilies and gold and hot pink dots! Finsihed off with beautiful pink peonies and sweetpeas with gold sprayed eucalytpus from my favourite florist – Achillea Flowers – (thank you lovely Clare x) As place settings, I sprayed little wooden boats gold and filled them with personalised bags of sweets, indoor sparklers and an envelope with a card inside for each guest to make a wish which we would send off tied to pink and gold balloons. (Thank you Oscars Den for the balloons)
Everybody made their wishes, and I insisted that they made a wish for themselves and didn’t tell anyone, I released the balloons at the end of the night, Laura captured me letting go of the balloons here (Thanks Laura)
And we ended the night watching our wishes float up into the night sky – I hope they all come true!
So I had a really lovely evening, and whole birthday week actually – I went to see Shrek the musical with Lauren and Vanessa and also spend a lovely day in Shoreditch my my sister who took me to Poppies for fish and chips and we bought lots of love treasures, as well as inspirational books! I also got spoilt with gifts, including my wishlist dress from my favourite online vintage clothing company Love Miss Daisy, flowers from my (other favourite florist) The Urban Flower Co. a beautiful Alex Monroe necklace, the ‘Zoe’ necklace from Stella and Dot (I’m a big S&D fan!!!) as well as my favourite perfume and an array of amazing beauty products, things for my home and much more!!
Thank you to everyone who made my birthday so special and to my flatmate Lauren who made me a birthday cake (from the bake-a-boo cookbook of course!) Love you all dearly!
The first two weeks of 30 have been filled with excitingness and lovliness, so I’m really looking forward to what the 4th decade of life for Boo has in store!
And Thank you to Xanthe for capturing the evening so beautifully with her amazing photographs x