A month ago now I found myself taking a deep breath before I knocked on the dark blue door of a house in Hagley, just outside Birmingham. Inside, I was sure that there would be several friendly faces waiting for me, but I was nervous nonetheless.
You have to understand that I am quite shy and rarely venture out alone. This was going to be different though. I knew that everyone I met here today was going to share one of my passions and that we would at least have something to talk about. Phew. I find uncomfortable silences so, well, uncomfortable.
A smiling woman opened the door
"You must be Alice, you're the last to arrive" (I wasn't late - everyone else was early.)
"What a fantastic jumper!" I had worn one of my favourites and it was highly topical.
"Do you want some tea or coffee? There are some biscuits on the table too if you're peckish."
I instantly relaxed and realised I was going to be okay and that I was probably going to have a lot of fun.
I had arrived at the home of Sarah Barnes, owner of the Blue Door Bakery and I was going to spend the next few hours learning about decorating cupcakes!
All seven of us students sat down around a table and examined the mountain of equipment in front of us -cutters, plungers, foam mats, rolling pins and not forgetting a large selection of gel colours.
We spent the day learning about how to make different swirls from the fluffiest vanilla buttercream and how to make sugar roses and all about the proper use of florist paste.
I was back again a couple of weeks later to learn some more tricks too. It's highly addictive stuff, sitting around, practically relaxing, while you learn all these skills from someone with as much enthusiasm for her work as Sarah. It has ignited a pre-existing passion in me for sugarcraft and cake decoration much more than I could have imagined that it would have done; and since then, well, let's just say I've made a lot of cupcakes and invested a lot of time into decorating them!
If you're happy to sit and look at photos of gorgeous cupcakes, take a trip to the blue door bakery's website here or check out their facebook page. Click on the 'parties and classes' cucpake icon to see if there are any courses you'd like to go on too - but book quickly, these spaces sell like hot cakes!
|My finished box of cupcakes, and that jumper.|