SHROUDED in secrecy and not knowing what to expect, members of the “first ever” Bridlington Clandestine Cake Club gathered at the Old Georgian Tea Rooms in Old Town to partake in an evening of eating cake.
The one and only rule of the CCC is that you must only bring cake; no pies, tarts, muffins, cupcakes, or brownies, just the best cake you can bake in any flavour or design to the first theme of ‘a cake that makes you smile’.
A difficult theme in theory because cake generally makes you smile, but the table in front of the gathered crowd groaned under the weight of 16 very different desserts; three coffee and walnut, two lemon drizzles, one lemon meringue, a smiley faced carrot cake, several varieties of chocolate with a magnificent chocolate and fruit cake standing tall above the rest, a very creamy roulade, a delicately decorated pecan and hazlenut concoction and a couple of fruit cakes all standing pretty and untouched.
Amidst a whisper of “mmm” and “aahhs” the two organisers of the Bridlington group, Caroline Potter and Caroline Lloyd, welcomed the 20+ strong crowd with a massive thank you and encouraged us to tuck in.
The first slices were cut by the two ladies and a queue formed to sample the goods, many hesitating about cutting into such wonderful displays of baking, but soon that worry had gone out of the big bay windows as the cakes diminished in size and stomachs swelled.
Chatter amongst members was often centred on who baked what and plenty of nods in agreement when after 20 minutes and second helpings most declared they were full to the brim, only a tinkling of tea cups made a third helping possible.
Ray and Angie Mizon, who have lived in Bridlington for around eight months, were the proud owners of the monstrous chocolate and fruit cake covered in a glossy chocolate ganache. Angie, owner of the Elegant Cake Company which specialises in personalised cake design, said: “It’s good that people can get together, and it is a good place to share skills.”
Ray added: “If you have problems in your baking, someone else may have had the same problem and someone else has the answer.”
Many of the members were of an older generation but there were a few younger members who tried their hand at baking with the best display being the smiley face carrot cake, made by Lauren and George Potter, and Jenny Ross.
Organisers, Caroline and Caroline, had Diane Davison to thank for the evening’s venue, which was perfect for the cake club, with a vintage tearoom feel, and offered a supply of drinks.
The pair met on the Clandestine Cake Club’s website and both shared the wish to set up a Bridlington and district group.
Caroline Lloyd was previously interested in underground dining in Leeds and when she saw that Lynn Hill, the founder of the CCC, had formed a secret baking club, she wanted to join.
She said:“I think what is so nice is that you will meet lots of different people. I know she is trying to encourage men who bake. It is a beautiful, beautiful evening.
“It has gone great and I suppose the idea is just to have fun and the cakes are just something that brings people together. It is just nice to have different things going on in Bridlington.”
Caroline Potter, who lives in Bempton, was eager to set up a Bridlington group because she had missed out on previous meetings of the Cottingham group.
She said: “The host has been fantastic I can’t thank her enough she has been really accommodating and she has given us some tips about what to do to get started. She has been like a mentor.”
“I like baking cake, you feel like you have achieved something and to share it with someone else and making others happy.
“It is a common interest, it is not a group of people who you have nothing in common with, at least you have got a starting point and it’s lovely.
“It is not a competition, it is for novices to experts and it has been really nice.”
With television shows such as The Great British Bake Off and Masterchef becoming so popular, baking is an easy and fairly cheap hobby to take up. Whether you are a novice or believe to be something of an expert, the Clandestine Cake Club welcomes you with open arms, with encouragement to bring plenty of extra containers, and first and foremost tells you with no qualms or the slightest thought to weight (well maybe after) to EAT CAKE, and lots of it.
l Visit clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/groups/bridlington/ to join the group free of charge.