I was recently asked to speak on local radio (which terrified me, but I got through it!) about the renewed interest in home baking and how John Lewis last year saw a whopping 480% increase in sales of cake stands.
Darby & Joan hire cake stands as part of our event hire business and we also make bespoke stands to sell. A tiered cake stand piled high with sweet treats can make any table look elegant & can lift even the most humble shop-bought pastry into something worthy of a Parisian patisserie.
I have to say that the majority of stands currently for sale on the high street could be so much nicer, most seem to be made from cheap materials and by using uninspiring or ubiquitous patterns. So, either buy a genuine vintage stand, buy one of ours or from a similar company to us, or have a go at making one yourself. It is really simple, a few easy steps & you can have your own tiered cake stand, unique and designed by you.
Stuff you will need:
- plates, I generally use a tea plate, followed by a starter plate & finishing with a sandwich plate or saucer on the top.
- a three-tier cake-stand fitting, I buy mine from eBay. You can find chrome fittings which are quite contemporary, gold filigree ones for a more traditional stand and I have recently found a supplier who has coloured ones which are lovely.
- a tape measure.
- a cordless drill with a 6mm diamond head drill-bit.
- a pencil
First wash and dry your plates and then measure the diameter using the pencil to mark the middle.
I always drill my plates on top of an old wooden chopping board covered with a tea towel. Its really important that the plate doesn’t slip. A good tip is to pour a little bit of water onto your plate to keep it and the drill bit cool. If they get too hot…disaster!
Slowly drill through the middle of the plate. Take care when choosing your plates, any hairline cracks or chips can weaken the china and will result in…disaster!
When they all have holes in them, you can assemble the stand, starting with the bottom plate. Put a washer onto the screw (I use flat bottomed ones as the other kind can poke out too much and you will have a little wobble on your stand), and pop the screw through the bottom of the plate. Put a squashy washer on the top of this plate and screw on the cake stand fitting. Simply repeat this until all three of the cake stand rods have been attached.
I make two tier stands, three tier stands, four tier stands and love putting a teacup on the top of some of them for an Alice in Wonderland syle finishing touch. Perfect for sweets or little chocolates. (although I have to say that someone once asked if it were an ashtray…words fail me!)
There, thats my Blue Peter moment then…
Elton Old Hall is a beautiful Grade II Listed Manor house in Derbyshire,very close to Chatsworth House. They offer luxury self catering group accommodation in their amazingly gorgeous property. You can choose to do as little or as much as you like there, from the kid’s treasure trail to the Elton walking guide, from visiting beauticians to Go Ape – there’s plenty to make children, and big kids, smile. The owner of the property, Juliet, can recommend suppliers & companies who can come to you to offer a host of lovely things to entertain you.
Darby & Joan are happy to come to you at the house to prepare a vintage tea party. Have a look at our website for menu ideas and our gallery page to give you an idea of what we are about & how we work.
We can promise you won’t be disappointed!!
Sometimes you have a day that you will always remember, for lots of reasons. Today I’ve had a lot of fun, created a lot of mess, eaten too much cake, talked non-stop for hours & learnt new skills. Nat from The delectable Yummy Little Cakes came to spend the day sharing her skills, techniques, ideas & time and I can’t thank her enough.
What she doesn’t know about making cakes, icing cakes, decorating cakes, styling cakes designing cakes & new ideas about cakes just isn’t worth knowing! Nat creates wedding cakes, occasion cakes, cupcakes & cakepops as well as beautifully iced biscuits.
She makes the most beautiful & unique cakes that are like works of art. Almost to good to eat, but you just know they will taste as gorgeous as they look.
Yummy Little Cakes will be exhibiting at the National Wedding Show at the NEC on 16th, 17th & 18th March. If you are looking for a cake supplier, know someone who is, or would just like to look at photographs of stunning cakes, pop by her website www.yummylittlecakes.co.uk and I can promise it will make your mouth water…
I apologise for posting another blog, the second of the day. A bit like a bus, nothing for a while then…
I just wanted to add a few links onto here so any of you who would like to can read the lovely things other companies have posted about Darby & Joan.
I can’t tell you how over the moon I am about how business is progressing, how we are growing and nothing is better than hearing positive, kind & gorgeous things – especially from clients’ and other wedding industry people.
Tineke Floral Designs don’t really need much introduction, they are a multi-award winning florist, owned by Kerry Wilkinson, the creative brains and beauty behind the company. Kerry’s passion for what she does is plain to see and I have yet to meet one of her brides who hasn’t been bowled over by the service, attention to detail and her personality. Kerry was kind enough to write a blog post about Darby & Joan a few months ago…
Whimsical Weddings are one of the best loved, best known wedding blogs in the UK and one of the photoshoots we styled was featured on their blog a few weeks ago – very exciting it was too! Have a read here…
Adore by Chloe is a fabulous blog, showcasing lots of gorgeous little DIY projects, masses of style inspiration and all written by Chloe, who has such a talent for styling and writing that you can’t help but drop by her blog more often than you should. She has featured Darby & Joan on more than one occasion…our Winter Wonderland Wedding and The Ultimate Hen Tea Party…
Brides Up North is the premier wedding blog specifically for the North of the UK and they provide great features. One of them was a blog about one of our favourite photoshoots we have been involved with. The theme was Vintage Elopement, a 1940′s styled affair which was a lot of fun to do. Have a look here …
Thats all folks..
Good morning all. It was a good old week for Darby & Joan last week, a pretty amazing start to the year with lots of exciting project to be involved with.
I had a meeting with the lovely Deb from Fabulous Places to discuss the next event she is organising – a date for your diary – Saturday 7th July at The Roundhouse in Derby. Just the most perfect venue for a shopping event, I am sure a lot of you reading this know exactly what I am talking about!
Since January 2009 Fabulous Places has been holding food & gift events around Derbyshire. The aim behind the events is to offer you a unique opportunity to visit an event that has been carefully put together. Deb organises events that she would choose to attend…there is always an attention detail, the venue is always stunning and there’s absolutely no compromise with the stall quality as each and every stall is handpicked by her.
Darby & Joan have been involved with Fabulous Places for some time now and have exhibited at several of their events. They are always the highlight of our year, and, whilst the preparation leading up to the event is pretty hectic, the excitement and anticipation far outweighs the inevitable string of evenings when we are working until 2am!! You can just see our stand in the midst of all the people in the photo which was taken at the Christmas Fair 2011.
Deb was looking for something a little different to add to her catering for this summer’s event, and that’s where Darby & Joan come in. We are going to have a Vintage Tea Rooms so that you can all sample a selection of our Afternoon Tea menu and enjoy tea and cakes served on our vintage china.
Our staff has been picked, our menu is being tweaked and added to and I am bursting with ideas – some probably far too OTT, but I can dream!
It is early days I know, but I am so so excited about it I wanted to share it and pop it on the blog.
Hello – just a quickie – Vintage Chic Wedding Fair contacted me over the weekend with an exciting proposal, and that reminded me that a little while ago, when they first launched their blog, they kindly did a lovely post about Darby & Joan. Here is the link if you would like a read of what they had to say about us – read me!!
Susie and Cathy, the stylish brains and beauty behind the company, have recently announced the date of their next Vintage Chic Wedding Fair, it will be on 22nd April from 11.30 until 4pm at The Centennial Centre, Edgbaston, Birmingham. I would suggest that you book tickets as the last couple of events have been busy! www.vintagechicweddingfair.co.uk
They describe themselves as vintage wedding fairs with a modern twist, adding a pinch of glamour and a large dose of style to your wedding plans. ♥
Their aim is to provide Brides and their guests with an eclectic mix of top quality vintage inspired wedding suppliers to provide them with bags of inspiration for their up and coming big day.
We can promise you that you will be bowled over by the exhibitors; their flair, ideas, inspiration & experience will leave you with a vintage handbag bursting with contact details of companies you won’t want to arrange your wedding without!
Photos by Theresa Furey - www.theresafureyphotography.co.uk
Image from Vintage Chic Wedding Fair – www.vintagechicweddingfair.co.uk
Here we are & another year is upon us; another grand gesture of resolutions made for 2012 - some will be broken before the end of the month I am sure (maybe it will just be too difficult to avoid Rioja & surely life is made sweeter by discount shopping on The Outnet), but there are a couple of Darby & Joan related promises I have made to myself that I am excited about keeping.
One of them is to try & write a blog post every couple of weeks. This may be too frequent for some of you to bear reading & may click on “hide post” or hit the delete button as soon as you see our name pop up, but others amongst you may have a spare few minutes to catch up with what has been happening with D&J, & for those of you I hope you enjoy looking at images of shoots we have styled & photos of events we have been involved with & maybe getting some ideas & inspiration for your event. Lastly I will always be name dropping fabulous photographers, stylists, event organisers, cake makers, venues, designers, suppliers & florists that you really can’t live without.
We have been so lucky over the past few months to have worked with such inspiring, helpful, talented & fun people & have been featured in quite a few wedding blogs which is something that we are really proud of for such a young company.
Rather than write a piece for each shoot, here are a few pics from some of them.
Happy New Year everyone. x
Photography – Lucy Stendall, vintage wedding dresses & accessories – Unforgettable Vintage Bridal Gowns, styling, china, glassware, accessories - Darby & Joan Ltd, Make up, hair & model styling – Miss Sanni
Photography – Amie Parsons, Dresses and men’s hire – Gracie Bleu Bridal, Flowers – Tineke Floral Designs, Stationery & styling – Sweet Words, Cakes, chair covers – Cakey Wakey , Vintage china & glassware - Darby & Joan Ltd, venue – Shottle Hall, Hair pieces, jewellery – Tattered Rose, event co-ordination – Emma Bespoke Events
Photography – Butterworth photography , Cakes – Yummy Little Cakes, Event Co-Odination – Adore by Chloe, styling, vintage china & glassware hire - Darby & Joan Ltd , venue – Eastbridgford Hill, Stationery – Pocket Typewriter,