My definition of afternoon tea is lots of tea, champagne and a myriad of cupcakes and that’s exactly what I enjoyed one afternoon a few weeks ago at GC Couture’s HQ in Hatch End.
It was a beautiful, sunny Friday afternoon as I headed down the M3 chugging toward Hatch End, I was excited, and nervous! I’ve never been the super-duper confident type to be able to walk into a room and instantly be comfortable, quite the opposite in fact, but I’d busy’d myself that morning reading all about the wedding cake company I was about to meet and was really excited about getting to know the company and checking out behind the scenes. Not to mention drink champagne, have lots of tea and try many, many cupcakes.
While manoeuvring through traffic on the motorway I began to think about wedding cakes; their history, their meaning and what it really means to the modern Bride. Does the design outweigh the flavour or should it be more about what’s inside the cake? And what about the traditional tiers? Should we keep them? I’ve seen a lot of alternative wedding cake ideas since I started the blog and love the uniqueness about what’s out there these days, yet I’m still drawn to the traditional, elegant tiers of a sophisticated cake.
And the flavour! When I got married ten years ago I never really put much thought into what was underneath all that royalty that is the icing: one tier fruit and one chocolate for those who didn’t like fruit cake was all I thought I had to do. But things are different now!
The beautiful cupcakee tree tempts you as soon as you walk in the door! A frabjous idea to compliment your wedding cake.
What’s inside your cake is as much of a reflection of your entire wedding as what’s outside and so care and attention needs to go into the ingredients as it does the design. And GC Couture understand this implicitly with 24 cake flavours like Chocolate and Orange, Coconut and Lime (yumm), Pina Colada (I kid you not) and of course the tradition without the tradition: Fruitcake Without The Bits! Then there’s the speciality cakes including Dairy Free, Eggless, Gluten Free, Vegan, Fair Trade and Vegetarian & Diabetic.
So, while gushingly enjoying my cupcakes (and trying to do so elegantly) Maria (the passionate cake maker) and Sach (the man with the continuous smile) told us about all the new (and some secret) flavours on the cards, how the company was born, where they get their inspiration and a day in the life!
But lets go back a little bit. What does the wedding cake symbolise?
Traditionally wedding cakes were made and shared to bring good luck to all the guests and of course to the couple. The cutting of the cake ceremony is also the first task that the newly Husband and Wife perform together (if only all our tasks were that easy 🙂 ) However, modern happy couples sometimes don’t even cut the cake: it’s there in all it’s glory just as a decoration. Imagine that, going to a wedding and not trying the cake – just doesn’t seem right. And then there are some cakes that only have one or two edible tiers but many, many glorious tiers towering above them for decoration.
But for me, the cake isn’t about size, or the best delicate little flowers I can find and it’s certainly not about designing the biggest either; rather it’s a piece of us that we share with our guests on that one magical day, that sacred day that we became Husband and Wife. Which brings me to what I think the important elements of a wedding cake are, and those elements GC Couture wrap up in beautiful bundles of flour, sugar and icing. Firstly, the design has to suit you and your wedding and secondly the design needs to be coupled with the flavour choices that you prefer, not that Granny or Uncle Jack need! This is what makes the perfect wedding cake.
And lucky enough for me and a few other lucky guests, like Nicola from Propose PR, Olivia from Shaw Shots, Victoria from Victoria Grech Photography and Videography and Meryl from Homegrown Bride and Anna from Far From The Wedding Crowd, we all got to try many, many beautiful, delicious, I mean decadent flavours. They all sat so longingly inside each little cupcake – like the one I just couldn’t keep my eye off (and eventually my tastebuds) the Oreo cupcake! Yep, it was just a little bit too morish for me so I had to have another. Then there was the Coconut and Lime, like a little tasty tropical holiday! All the tantalising delicacies married with champagne and tea – it just couldn’t get any better, right? But it did.
Maria and Sach introduced us to their company by telling us about their history and how they started in their home. Maria is the kind of woman who intricately knows her craft, her passion, and blossoms when she talks about it. I love watching people like this, they are so inspiring! Both Maria and Sach lyrically complimented each other while telling us stories of how they design the cakes, where they get their inspiration and how they help the Bride and Groom to make informed, personal choices. I was transfixed and the cupcakes hadn’t even come out yet. But I was beginning to feel entranced by their stories.
I loved getting to know GC Couture, now nestled in their brand new shop in Hatch End where they delight the community with sumptuous cupcakes all day. They are an inspiring wedding cake company who are proud of what they do and love every minute of it. I adored Maria and Sach and by the end of the afternoon I understood their passion and why they’re so good at what they do. When you marry passion with creative art, you have talent! But when you marry talent with motivation, you have success! And it was this that I found so attractive in the company. As Husband and Wife team they compliment each other, Maria being the passion and creator of all beautiful things and Sach who clearly is so passionate about his wife and her talent that he too makes you want to get to know them and be a part of what they create! And the lengths that Maria goes to for her couples to ensure they get the cake they want is what drives the rest of the team who are equally just as passionate about what they do.
For me the afternoon was capped off beautifully by being shown around the workshop where all the ‘magic’ happens. We were given the most frabjous goodie bag too and I have to say it couldn’t have been more made for me: a gorgeous ‘Keep Calm And Drink Tea’ (my mantra) mug filled with a miniature rose bush from the frabjous William Clarke Flowers, more scrummy cupcakes and the most beautiful Savoy tea all wrapped delicately in a GC Couture bag!
Videography by Victoria Grech, edited by Craig Russill-Roy, Propose PR | Photography by Olivia Shaw
GC Couture love what they do and are so inspiring! The worst thing is, I have to go a long way now to get a good cupcake, because I know where they live, and they live in a beautiful shop in Hatch End.