In May 2012, Merivale Cakes and Crafts organised a ‘Trip of a Lifetime’ for a group of 12 cake decorators from Brisbane and Toowoomba regions. It was a two week trip to Birmingham and London where they met with some of the most celebrated cake decorators in the UK and attended the British Sugar Craft Guild’s skill school with Elaine McGregor and Alan Dunn.

Despite being new to the cake decorating scene, I was privileged enough to be considered for this wonderful opportunity and it only took me seconds to decide that I was going – yet to determine how I was to afford it!

I was overwhelmed from the beginning just being a part of the group. There was so much knowledge between each cake decorator with their individual personalities, techniques and skills. From these girls alone my perception of cake decorating was broadened as they were happy to share and discuss any topic without hesitation.

Follow the links below to read about my learning experience with these inspiring cake decorators:

Mich Turner

Peggy Porschen

Skill School: Elaine McGregor, Alan Dunn

Karen Davies

Marion Frost

What I Discovered in the UK

I noticed that the use of royal icing is highly celebrated in the UK. Many exhibits displayed a variety of piping, extension work, flooding or brush embroidery.

In contrast to Australians where the trend seems to be bold colours and novelty (although I have noticed of late that vintage is making a comeback), there is a lot of dainty and elegant work in the UK. Despite this, there are many cake decorators turned entrepreneurs who are creating more and more products every day to make cake decorating easier and quicker such as Marion Frost and Karen Davies.

We are currently planning a second Cake Tour for 2015 which is to take a whole month and include the International Cake Expo in Milan! I am looking forward to broadening my knowledge and techniques even further!