The Inaugural Cake & Bake Show

Last month I attended the very first Cake & Bake Show, held in Earl’s Court Brompton Hall over a September weekend.

Thanks in large part to The Great British Bake Off, there’s a renewed interest in baking throughout the UK, and indeed both Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood were the star names at the show. Alongside them were many other celebrities of the baking world including Tom Herbert, Richard Bertinet, Paul A Young, Peggy Porschen and many GBBO contestants, past and present.

Tickets sold out weeks before the show and the show was expanded too, taking on extra space and putting on extra talks and classes. Visitors browsed and shopped from a large number of stalls selling equipment and (mostly) sweet treats and attended talks, demonstrations and classes.

cakebakeshow

It wasn’t all plain sailing, however, and I’m sure the feedback already received will be put to good use improving next year’s show.

The vast majority of exhibitors were in the cake decorating and sugar craft category, with very few selling items of interest to those of us who love baking (bread and sweet treats) but aren’t into decorating. And there weren’t as many stalls selling cakes and bread to buy and take home as I had expected.

Crowds were enormous and, at busy times of the day, it was virtually impossible to approach many of the stalls without waiting several minutes to creep gradually closer to each one.

Queues for toilets and on-site refreshments were enormous and slow moving, and I heard that supplies ran out too. These services are both provided by the venue rather than the show organisers, but need to be taken into account when planning for next year.

Classroom events, for which visitors purchased additional tickets, were held in open theatres, and there were discontented rumblings from those who paid money for a bench seat within the roped area, only to realise that other show visitors were able to afford just as good, if not better views, from outside the ropes.

All that said, it was a pleasure to see how strong the interest is in a show on cakes and baking, and I’m hopeful that next year’s event will be bigger and better, with much more attention paid to the baking side of the equation.

Kavey Eats attended the The Cake & Bake Show as a guest of the organisers.

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3 Comments to "The Inaugural Cake & Bake Show"

  1. Jo Romero

    Brilliant post Kavey and you made some fair comments. I went on the Sunday afternoon and it was much busier than I expected – I was quite surprised when I walked to the back of the hall, where there was the band and the café that there was so much space – I wondered if they could have spread everything out a bit more. But I have to say it was great for being able to see a talk or demo (I didn’t attend any of the classes though). I’d go again next year, but I’d just get there earlier!

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Hi Jo, I don’t know but my guess would be that they had already printed all the show maps by the time they took on the extra space. No vendor would presumably want to move, after that, as they’d risk visitors not being able to locate them, against their position on the maps. So I imagine that’s why they didn’t spread out…

    Reply
  2. Rachel K

    I was going to go, but double booked myself and regretted it. Having read your article, I am really glad I didn’t go now!!!

    Reply

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