Tuesday, 11 August 2009

From Club Kid to Domestic Cookie Baker in Three Decades

It all started on a whim. 

Or rather, it all started on a Whimsy.

I had already been baking far more than it was conceivable for anyone to eat, s0 that when the tempting flyer advertising 'stall-holders needed' at the Jester Festival drifted through my letterbox like a feather-lite sign from on high I simply had to make the call and say;

I run 'The Silver Whimsy Cake Stall' and would adore to be part of the West Hampstead Jester Festival...

The answer I received was slightly less gushing; 

Be warned! We are rather over-subscribed on the cake stall front!

But they let me go ahead anyway. 

This was to be the cake stall of my dreams. This was to be "The Silver Whimsy Cake Stall".

I began writing endless lists;

Things I need to do
Make some Bunting
Make Labels
Work out how many Ingredients I need
Find a table
Source Roses for the Teapots
Get some more Tupperware
Find a Cupcake Carrier
Remember the My Little Ponies...

Cakes I ought to make
Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Swirl Icing
Zingy Lemon Drizzle Loaf
My Boyfriend's Favourite Cookies
Good Old Fashioned Victoria Sponge
Is it a milkshake? Is it a cake? It's both! It's a Raspberry Milkshake Cake
Deeply Delicious Dark Chocolate Brownies...

Things I need to buy
Greaseproof Paper
Ice Bags
Cooking Tray

It went on and on and on and on... 

I ate, slept and drank Silver Whimsy. So did my scruffy indie boyfriend, my sister and her boyfriend. It all started getting a bit too much. The day before The Silver Whimsy Cake Stall (TSWCS) was a baking frenzy! No cake tin was left un-turned, no-one could move for the butter-icing mountains and Green&Blacks chocolate fountains. Everything came to a sudden and unforeseen halt, however, with the advent of an unexpected visitor...

She was mewing on the back stairs as I was obliviously lining up fairy cakes in the living room. My sister and my scruffy indie boyfriend found her. She was timid and starving and thoroughly exceptionally beautiful. All baking stopped. All everything stopped. We only had eyes for the kitten. We played and played and she was so happy and sweet. We knew action was the only way forward and organised a trip to the vets first thing the next morning (the day of TSWCS) to see if she was microchipped. I awoke at 5am to ice cakes/play with the kitten. TSWCS seemed unimportant compared to the fate of the now-named Bobbie. My scruffy indie boyfriend was going to a wedding so my sister and I took her to the vets and discovered she wasn't microchipped but the vet said we had to put her back outside where we'd found her because she clearly belonged to someone else and would find her way home! The heart-break/hysteria was instant and horrifying. It was with a leaden heart, little sleep and many tears that I went back to my 'pitch' to find all the abandoned cakes I had left there. 


Oh for the kindness of strangers! Ryzard and the gang from Whizzgo who were on the stall next to me had not only paid for the cab that I took to the site and then promptly abandoned owing to the plight of Bobbie, but had also put up my table and put all the cakes under it to make sure they didn't get too hot! They were genuine modern day knights in shining armour, rescuing a Hampstead Cake Baker in the middle of a Nervous Bakedown. So in spite of my lack of sleep and the ever brewing tears over Bobbie, I set up TSWCS.

I met the local police, St John's Ambulance Brigade, Firemen and many local folk. It was quite thrilling. I sold my Victoria Sponge before the stall was even properly set up. I did have some bankrupting problems relating to the fact that everything was organic and fair trade and I hadn't costed things properly but still... People were drawn to my portable record player that happily filled the Summer air with Blondie and Arcade Fire and many parents forced their children to look at this relic from the past! People were drawn to the essence of Silver Whimsy. They loved it! The 84 year old magician set up behind my stall, the Ham & High photographed me with my cakes and I had repeat customers in the same day!!

There were archery demonstrations, boxers, ballet students and weird cover bands and the festival was a true tour de force. I sold out of my under-priced delicious cakes before the afternoon was out which meant I had to start baking all over again for the day two as soon as I got home... Drained and exhausted Ryzard gave me a lift home with all my many tupperware boxes and imagine my joy when - yes oh yes, my oh my - Bobbie was waiting for us on the doorstep! I baked as she sat and watched. 

The second day of TSWCS dawned and I felt compelled to follow the vets instructions and put her outside again to let her find her way home. My amazing cousin helped me by making some chocolate muffins and giving me a lift to the site. 

As soon as we arrived there was a torrential downpour and all I could think of was the Bob-cat being just a poor tiny kitten out in the horrid rain, so hysteria set in and there was a lot of Holly Golightly style running around in the rain shouting "Cat! Where's the cat?" The cat was found, put inside out of the cold and I returned to TSWCS to discover once more how blessed I was as the beautiful Liza and Glen had been looking after the stall in my absence. I sold out of cakes again and once more got by purely through the help of my friends and the kindness of strangers... It would be too much to go into the heartbreak that ensued when, after a week with us, Bobbie was claimed by her owners and we had to give her back to her parents, but suffice to say I am still recovering from it... All in all, the weekend of TSWCS was quite eventful!

So, a rather long post to start off with but then where would we be without an introduction?

Welcome to my world, I hope you'll join me for the ride and bear with me bumps and all...

Until next time, 

Cupcakes and Kisses, 
Silver Whimsy x


  1. you rock davina ballerina! i want some cakes! luv suzi x

  2. What a beautiful stall! Mmmmm I want cake now.

  3. Hooray! Cakes are on me next time I see you both! x