Cupcake Decorating Capers at The Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle

Last Sunday I was invited by the good people at Joe Blogs to an afternoon tea and cake decorating event at The Copthorne Hotel in Newcastle. The cake decorating was to be held by some lovely ladies from Julie's Cake House, a local company whose website makes me want to OD on fondant icing.

Obviously I accepted the invite, because, well, 'HELLO?! CAKE!' but also for nostalgic reasons: in my younger years (yes, MUCH younger, people - I'm talking early nineties here) I spent many a weekend loitering outside the Copthorne waiting for the Fab Five to make an appearance (obviously I'm talking about Take That), for the Copthorne was the lodging of choice for celebrities at the time, when Saturday morning tv show Gimme 5 was filmed just along the road at Tyne Tees studios. I got inside once, when I really needed the loo and begged the doorman to saved me from an embarrassing accident, but no further than the lobby and loo area. I also went to a wedding there a few years ago, but frankly I'd had more than a few glasses of cava and I can't remember a thing, so, to get to my point, I was curious to see what the hotel itself was like.

Before that, though, the cake decorating. Ah yes, the cake decorating. An innocent enough activity, I think you'd say, yes? Well.....YOU ARE WRONG. It all started out fairly innocently, as we each made lovely marshmallow petal cupcakes under the watchful eye of our instructors.

Then came THE BEAR. I feel I need to emphasise the fact that this was actually going to end up being a bear cupcake, because it started out like this:

Don't even say it.

Then there was this:

I can't even.

The good news is, mine did end up looking like a bear, and a super cute one at that. Even better, the innuendos didn't end there as Chloe's bear ended up looking like - heck, I'll say it - a lady garden. A slightly mushed, oddly shaped lady garden, but a lady garden all the same. See below - mine on the left, Chloe's on the right.

Sorry, I'll stop with the vulgarity now. Oh wait! No I won't, because next we made this amazing creation:

And you can imagine what happened when we were trying to make the lipsticks. Let's just say I had to bite my tongue on more than one occasion. It turned out good, though, right?

Lastly we made a flower cupcake, and I went a bit freestyle on this one as mine didn't look anything like the model cake we were meant to be copying. A bit petal-overload, I reckon, but it did taste amazing.

I thoroughly enjoyed the cupcake decorating class and can highly recommend it (not just because it was HILARIOUS), but also because I learned some really clever techniques and I was pretty impressed with my creations. I also have a new found appreciation for people who make cakes for a living because, wowza, it takes patience. And it probably helps if you're not so childish that you find small, pink sugared penis-like items entertaining. Having said that, if it was my full time job I'm sure the days would fly over!

After the cake decorating, we were given a tour of the hotel. It's a huge place with several function rooms and has a great location right by the Tyne. Our tour guide wasn't able to tell me which room Mark Owen stayed in on Saturday 6th June 1992, though, which was slightly dissapointing. Hmph. After the tour we were served our afternoon tea, which gave us a chance to relax and chat, mainly about how much our cakes looked like body parts. A great afternoon all round!

Thanks to Joe's Bloggers and The Copthorne for a fab afternoon, and of course to the ladies from Julies Cake House for having the patience of saints!!!

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