Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Taste-obsessed, personal, natural, informal, sustainable.
What about your business are you most proud of?
I don't mess around when it comes to high quality ingredients and I'm seriously focused on taste. I mean, cake should be gorgeous to look at, but is there even any point if doesn't taste fabulous?
Den products use organic, free range and unrefined ingredients wherever possible, and I make as much as I can myself, including compotes, curds, nut pastes, fondant details and syrups. And if I wouldn't give it to my kids, it's not going in your bakes. Apart from booze. You can definitely have that, no problem.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
All wedmin and no actual conversation ain't fun. Try to restrict your planning chat to agreed times - schedule it if that's your thing! - but just remember to talk about something OTHER than your wedding from time to time, as it can be all too easy to let it encroach too much on the rest of your life. And if you're getting bogged down in the minutiae, always bear in mind that a guest with a full belly and a drink in hand is the most forgiving kind...just make sure the food is in safe hands and I guarantee your wedding party will have a wonderful time celebrating with you!
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
Personalised beermats for each guest, designed by a very talented friend of the bride. Such a gorgeous little keepsake and really thoughtfully done.
Describe your typical process with a couple.
When you get in touch, I'll come back to you within 48 hours with a bunch of follow up questions, based on the info you've given me. I'll give you a free quote as soon as I have enough details for a realistic number, and can work out something spectacular to suit the vast majority of budgets.
It's best when couples contact me at least 6 weeks' notice before the big day - it ensures we have maximum flexibility for ideas that are personal to you. Then comes the fun bit - I ply you with cake options via a postal sample pack (there's a small consultation fee that comes off your final balance). We'll discuss design options over email or by phone, too, and I love it when couples share their Pinterest board for inspiration. I'm inspired by lots of other brilliant cake artists but I won't copy their work, so non-cake related prompts are my favourite.
Once we've agreed both flavours and design, you pay your 50% deposit and we're full steam ahead. You put me in touch with your venue, and I work out all the logistics directly with your contact there - you've got other fish to fry. You'll hear from me again when it's close to time to pay your balance (up to 14 days before THE day), then I'll drop you a line to let you know when I'm making your cake (I like my cake extra fresh!) And I'll check in after your nuptials for your feedback, of course - I really value hearing how it all went.
What is your signature cake?
Probably Carrot. I love it so much, I make four kinds - my take on the classic, then the spicier Carrot + Ginger, Carrot Chilli packing a gentle heat, and Drunken Carrot comes on in time for Christmas, dosed with Appleton Rum.
But then Original Nutter is a personal favourite, too - fluffy hazelnut layers filled with dark chocolate ganache, hazelnut buttercream and crushed caramelised roasted hazelnuts...I think you'll just have to taste them all!
Describe how you got into making wedding cakes.
Same way I got into marriage: someone wonderful asked, and I said "yes!" My first wedding cake was a referral from a dear friend, and while I wasn't sure I was ready for such a huge occasion, it turned out to be a roaring success. The groom told me afterward that people were having fourth and fifth slices!