We have a very sweet post today. If you love cupcakes and thinking of having them for your wedding… keep reading… you are going to love this. WARNING though, you may craze one afterwards!
For the first time ever, I have a student on Work experience with me this week. The lovely Liv has an interest in photography and social media. so, needless to say…I put her to work :)
The following post was written and photographed by her. I’m seriously impressed with the detail in her photographs, considering she is only 14, I think she has a bright future ahead of her!
So, without further a do, I’m going to hand you over to Liv with her very first post for Cwtch The Bride.
Hello! My name is Olivia and I am a cupcake addict. So, it’s a good job that I live at the best cupcake place in town. The Deck Coffee House and Cakery is what others call, ‘a hidden gem’ based in Cardiff Bay. My mother, Debra Brown, makes the award winning cupcakes fresh everyday and they are to die for. So I thought that I would express my love for them through a blog post.
The Honeycomb Cupcake is a vanilla sponge topped with velvety vanilla buttercream to make your mouth water. The cupcake is finished with crushed honeycomb for a signature taste.
The Malteser Cupcake is a simple chocolate sponge coated with a smooth chocolate buttercream. Malteser’s are then placed lightly on top to give it an effortless look.
The Fudge Cappuccino cupcake is a homemade vanilla sponge iced with cappuccino-flavoured buttercream. Small fudge pieces are then placed on top of the cake and sprinkled with classic cocoa.
The Nutella Cupcake is a personal favourite of mine with a chocolate-based sponge and a dollop of silky Nutella spread in the centre. It is then finished with a rich chocolate buttercream and two dairy milk chocolate buttons.
Other flavours include Salted Caramel with a core of caramel sauce and Strawberry Cheesecake with a vanilla base topped with strawberry infused buttercream, biscuit crumbs and strawberry chocolate. All cupcakes can be pre-ordered for birthdays, weddings, or can just be for treating yourself.
Not bad hey! Well Done Liv, its been a pleasure to have you working with me this week. And thanks to Debs from The Deck for supplying the cupcakes, they were insanely delicious as always.
We have one more post coming up from Liv next week. If you have teenagers and need some inspiration on clothing for weddings, you’ll love that post! lots of inspiration from a fashion conscious teenager! Maria x
Being invited to afternoon or high tea is one of my favourite things! It was one of the things I did on my amazing hen weekend and I would do it every weekend if I could. I love sandwiches, I love tea, and who doesn’t love cake?! High tea at The Deck was possibly the best high tea I have ever taken, when we arrived the lovely Debs greeted us with some pink lemonade, a laid table, and told us we had all afternoon with endless pots of tea. Heaven!
Then Debs brought out the food!
We all had plenty of sandwiches, which isn’t always the case with high tea, and plenty of fillings – not just cucumber (which let’s face it, while being traditional and fairly yummy is not very exciting!). We had two scones each with plenty of fresh cream and jam, a cupcake each and plenty of fresh fruit. As if that wasn’t enough Debs also brought out two different types of brownie and there was a decadent chocolate and raspberry cake on the table! We were all in our element!
Debs came out to chat to us during our tea, she is so friendly and willing to help. Particularly in our debate over whether or not the jam goes onto the scone before the cream. Apparently there is fierce rivalry between Devon and Cornwall over this, Cornwall says jam first then cream, Devon prefers to start with cream and add the jam on top. Which do you prefer?! Debs also gave us some tips on etiquette, including the rule that sticking your pinky in the air is bad manners. Here we are trying our hardest to be polite!
I don’t think Jemma quite managed it!
The Deck is also the home of the amazing Love, Peace and Cupcake which explains why the cakes were just so damn delicious. It is ideal for hen parties, wedmin meetings with the bridesmaids, a treat for the mums or even your wedding reception. Debs held hers there, she tells us all about her wedding here.
All four of us had an amazing time and would highly recommend it, in fact I am planning to take my mum there ASAP. At only £14 a head you really can’t go wrong, it is such value for money and we even ended up taking doggy bags home! It was a real treat, they also do gift vouchers so if you are stuck for a Christmas present give Debs a shout! It won’t disappoint. Debs made us feel so welcome, in the words of our Homemade bride Kate “It is the perfect place to lose an afternoon and gain a pound or two” also she really does make the best cupcakes!
Here at Cwtch the Bride we are massive fans of The Deck in Cardiff Bay, we visited them for afternoon tea recently and it comes so highly recommended by us! Last week we featured Debra & Mike’s Castell Coch wedding, this week we have asked Debra (who not only runs The Deck with her husband Mike but is also the amazing talent behind Love, Peace & Cupcake) some questions about their newest venture.
Hi Debra, we’re so excited to have you on Cwtch the Bride today; can you tell our readers a bit about yourself? :) Hello, yes thank you so much for asking me back! The last time I featured it was with my cupcake company Love Peace and Cupcake! I am still a busy mum, juggling lots of balls and loving every moment. I still carry fondant in my handbag on occasion.
Since last time we spoke we have moved the cakery into The Deck Coffee House in Cardiff Bay and have grown in many ways. I now work with my gorgeous husband (yes we got hitched!) every day which is fabulous and together we are bring tasty coffee and delicious cakes to the masses of Cardiff.
I teach the art of cupcake decorating within The Deck and have developed a love of all things vintage that I didn’t know I had.
When did the move to The Deck happen for you? It was one of those life changing moments, one phone call, one field trip and we were on a mission. The timing was perfect, Love Peace and Cupcake was bursting out of our home kitchen and needed to be re housed somehow. We weren’t looking for a premises at the time but sometimes fate plays a hand and off on the journey we went!
What would you say is your best achievement so far in The Deck? Well we got to number 1 on TripAdvisor for 3 whole weeks in June! We were beyond excited and honoured to have got there at all but to stay there for 3 weeks was beyond our wildest dreams. We are a small, fiercely independent coffee shop, we didn’t expect it at all. Customer reviews are a true reflection of your quality. You are only as good as your last service.
Tell us how you developed your vintage tea parties? When we took on the business we wanted to be different. We wanted to stand out from the many other independent places out there in the capital. The trend of taking afternoon tea has taken off this year, everyone from small tea rooms to high end hotels are doing them so we wanted to create a truly vintage feel to ours.
Firstly we looked and invested in a stack of original bone china and then went on the hunt for the finer details such as traditional sugar tongs and old tablecloths. The passion to find absolute original vintage equipment was huge, nothing but the best was good enough.
You had your own wedding reception at The Deck! Did you take vintage tea? We certainly did! We got married in Castell Coch, took afternoon tea, and threw in a few bacon rolls for our guests, it was a perfect day.
Debra & Mike’s wedding doughnut tower!
We have since had another two small weddings here proving that sometimes a small intimate afternoon tea is just the best way to celebrate your union. We can cater for up to approximately 40 people so it is perfect for smaller gatherings!
The Deck set up for a wedding reception.
Tell us about the vintage tea…what can your lucky guests expect? Well the teas are booked in advance so we can treat you to the ultimate experience from the start! The table is laid, cup, saucer and plate for each person, milk jugs, sugar bowls with proper sugar lumps, cutlery and fresh roses in a bunting filled cake room. Before the guests arrive we warm the teapots and start playing wartime music such as Vera Lynn – We’ll Meet Again and Jack Buchanan – Everything Stops for tea.
Once the guests are shown to their seats we get the teapots filled with tea, allow them to steep before pouring and fill the three tired cake stand with goodies!
Finger sandwiches such as cucumber and cheese, fresh scones with clotted cream and jam, fresh strawberries and blueberries, gorgeous cupcakes and gooey brownies are your treats all washed down with endless amounts of tea.
Guests can also choose to have traditional cold drinks like rose lemonade or dandylion and burdock, complete with stripped paper straws.
I even pop a vintage frock on and put my hair into victory rolls (I never saw that coming!) and I love every minute!
The Cwtch team took vintage tea and it was wonderful. What is the future for it, where do you see it going from here? Well we have already taken the experience ‘on the road’ as such and took the whole vintage tea to a wedding in St Fagans Church Hall. This was an experience and we drove incredibly slowly with all the china in the car! Great fun though!
Vintage tea is suitable for hen parties, baby showers, birthday treats, mothers day…we cater for them all here! Everything stops for tea!
The experience was also packed into a big brown paper bag and delivered into a local hospital to cheer up a friend with a particular soft spot for vintage tea. She sat there with her bone china teacup and goodies during the routine ward tea trolley round. Imagine how popular she was!
Thank you so much for talking to us Debra, and thank you again for our Vintage Tea which we enjoyed immensely! The images from that day will be coming to the blog very soon!
On Monday we gave you a little teaser of Debra & Mike’s wedding with our Cwtch of the Week. Today Debs tells us all about their casual, relaxed and intimate wedding at Castell Coch followed by vintage tea at their very own The Deck Coffee House and Cakery in Cardiff Bay (Cwtch the Bride visited The Deck recently and highly recommend it for afternoon tea, we will be featuring The Deck in more detail over the next few weeks). The wedding was held on the 14th of September 2013 and captured beautifully by Photography by Jules.
What was your budget? We didn’t set one but certainly didn’t want to break the bank.
How would you describe your wedding theme? Vintage romance
What was your favourite part of your wedding? Mikes favourite part = When I heard the beetle coming up the hill at Castell Coch and glimpsed the cupcake on the roof of the car! This was when I realised you had arrived and that you were going to marry me!
Debras favourite part = Apart from Mike being very emotional during the ceremony (old softie) I loved when we came down the ramp of the castle to I’m a Believer by The Monkees after the ceremony! As we didnt have a first dance this was kind of like our moment.
Tell us about your Wedding Dress I work in the wedding industry making wedding cakes therefore had my eye on a certain boutique for my dress. Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique in Penarth.
My daughter and I had the most amazing time exploring and Rachel closes the boutique which made the experience feel all the more special for us. We had tea and cakes and lots of giggles. I remember asking Rachel if she always had an idea of which dress would suit each bride when they came to her and then trusted in this perception when I asked Rachel to choose the fourth dress to try on.
I wasn’t convinced that the dress suggested would be suitable, it really was not what I had in mind! It was lace! (not sure) and it was knee length! (being quite small I thought a shorter dress would make me look smaller!) I tried it on and was totally blown away when I looked at my reflection. It was perfect and my decision to have ‘Dolly’ as my fairy castle dress was made. I was thrilled beyond words.
I also chose to wear a hairband with handmade rosette to compliment the dress style as I wasn’t wearing a veil
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? We didn’t give out any major roles within the day, it was extremely casual and relaxed which was what we wanted. The only person who had a part to play really was our daughter Olivia, she was my ‘wing woman’ We did lots of the wedding shopping together and enjoyed planning the day. We got ready together on the wedding morning and had fun having our hair done and sorting our own make up!
Why did you choose your venue? Castell Coch was a no brainer. I personally fell in love with the castle as a little girl and hunted for fairies each time we visited. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t see them and I would look harder each time I went! I am sure they peeked in on the wedding ceremony :)
We own The Deck Coffee House and Cakery in Cardiff Bay and therefore thought it would be daft to hire somewhere else for our celebration. We have a perfect space for vintage tea and buns!
We have a fabulous collection of crockery including original china teapots and sugar bowls with silver tongs and so out it all came! The bunting was up and the guests arrived.
For the hungrier souls we had bacon rolls and chips in cones, washed down with pink champagne! Serving us were well vetted and trained staff (we would say that, they are ours!) who bobbed about professionally topping up glasses and taking food orders.
How did the proposal happen? Well our proposal story is rather unusual…hardly surprising really as we don’t do things the conventional way!
We had chosen the ring a few months prior to Mike actually proposing properly (I am a little fusspot therefore ‘helping’ to choose this vital part was essential!) Mike hid the ring and said I had to wait until he felt the time was right. What I didn’t know was that he had a plan!
My lovely Dad isn’t with us any more and his ashes are scattered in a church yard in a little remote village called Gwalchmai on Anglesey. As it is so far away I don’t get to go there very often. An opportunity came up to visit and I wanted to take Mike there to ‘meet’ my Dad. Off we set on the long journey.
We were in the tiny church yard and having had a little silent chat with Dad and talking to the children about Grandad and supporting them whilst we were there, I left Mike by the graveside.
Having popped the children back to the car I went back for Mike and he took my breath away by explaining that he had asked my Dads permission and asked me if I would marry him :) He had remembered to bring the ring too! I was totally shocked! On reflection I couldn’t have asked for a more thoughtful and emotional proposal and Mike had blown me away by knowing exactly the right thing to do. My Dad was my world and the marriage plans started with his approval. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way :)
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? We put together our own doughnut tower! We make cakes all the time for other weddings and so wanted to have an element of surprise for our guests. They certainly weren’t expecting ring doughnuts and they went down a storm!
Also Mike made our giant cupcake for the roof of our car. It was a true labour of love and he made it from fibreglass. Mr and Mrs Cupcake needed a giant cupcake on their wedding day!
What was your first dance & why? We didn’t have one…our tea and buns get together was incredibly casual and relaxed. We played vintage music in the background which was in keeping with the theme! I did walk into the drawing room at the castle to Etta James, At Last which is one of several special songs to us.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? No..it was perfect just the way it was.
Do you have any advice for future couples? I can only say don’t get stressed about it all!
To us the day was all about the actual marriage, our union, our love. Please enjoy planning your special day, the memories made are life long. You don’t need to spend vast amounts of money or get into a huge amount of debt to have the day of your dreams.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Keep a sense of humour and make time for each other :)
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? The excitement without a doubt!
Debra and Mike got married on the 14th of September 2013 in Castell Coch. We are featuring the full wedding on Friday but for now here is a lovely photo of Debs and her daughter Liv having a big cwtch. Debs describes Liv as delicious, kind and thoughtful and said she was her rock on the day. This beautiful photo was taken by Photography by Jules.