Monday, 21 February 2011


On Saturday I had the great pleasure of being the one of the guests of the lovely Ms Marmite.  She has a Secret Underground Restaurant, how exciting does that sound?  And it was, I felt like James Bond (or Miss Moneypenny), there was a secret password and everything!.  This was a special day with guest speakers speaking about food blogging and a wonderful three course lunch.
I had treated myself, as a 21st birthday present! 

This is the amazing Ms Marmite, she was a superb hostess, I should very much like to return to her establishment again. We were greeted with coffee and freshly baked pastries and ushered in to a delightful room decorated with great taste and style.

The first speaker was Danny Young (1) of Young and Foodish.  Even though his voice has deserted him, his wife hadn't, so she was his voice for the day.  He did interject at times, in a whisper, and is a fascinating speaker, very dry and funny. His topic was blogging, how to, and making your blog more successful. Unfortunately most of what he had to say was repeating the advice that Mr Lemon Drizzle has been ranting about suggesting to me for months, and he is now feeling quite smug to say the least.  So I bow graciously to their good advice.  Expect me to be under the radar for a while as I start engineering works at Amelie's House.

Next up was the delightful Laura James (2) with advice on how to write recipes, approach publishers, agents and be all round fabulous.  She wrote 'Cool Camping' which I'm sure you have seen, if not own.

We then stopped for lunch of fennel and pea shoot salad with focaccia..delicious. 
Spaghetti Vongole was next.  I have never had this before or ever eaten clams ...delicious.
Finally rhubarb guessed it, absolutely delicious.  Unfortunately I was so overcome with pudding love that I only took a picture once I had hoovered it down finished.

After lunch Paul Winch-Furness (3) gave a practical talk about food photography.  In deference to his, and others advice I have not included my picture of the clams as my lens was very steamed up!  But you can visit his site here and see the professionals take on the day.  I especially love his picture of the croissants.  His advice on editing was great but I feel my pictures would be even better if I could always get them in focus!

Last up was Tim Hayward (4) who is a fascinating person and made a great after dinner speaker.  He is the editor of Fire and Knives a quarterly food magazine and was talking about do's and dont's of food writing.  After the conference we each received two copies of Fire and Knives. I shall attempt find a quiet corner somewhere and read them thoroughly. (It is half term though!)

The ticket for the event suggested to treat the day as if you were at a dinner party.  So no respectable guest would arrive without a present for the hostess.  I quickly whipped up some cupcakes and dug out my trusty children's books to come up with these.

(I again apologise for the pictures especially if you were at the conference and listened to the advice to only include good pictures but it was 8am and I had to leave the house quickly. And I know alot of my readers love the cake pay-off!)

I had an amazing day, I felt like a London girl again and will digest thoroughly the whole experience.
Expect to see change! (But in a good way!)
I'm off, to write a to-do list.

ps, if you were at the conference too, please leave a comment with a link to your site as I'd love to see it and didn't get to make a note of everyone's blog.


  1. Super meal - how very London! Glad you are getting your business act together properly, not before time either! ♥

  2. wow that sounds like a super day. I love the cake payoff at the end too ;)

  3. My goodness those cupcakes are just adorable! I would love to know how you got the illustration onto the cakes? Your creations are so beautiful, Catherine x

  4. Wonderful...I love those painted cakes. Very "Lucy" you know who!

  5. Thanks all, Bumpkin Bears I paint them on!

  6. It was a fantastic day, I am about to use my inspiration to do my own write up ... you can find my blog at

    Miss Sue Flay


  7. I was there but think we only got to talk briefly my blog is
    I think your photos look good but it is intimidating having seen the professional ones!