The First Ever Bakewell Baking Festival!

Just saying the name ‘Bakewell’ instantly makes me hungry as I dream of delicious almondy puddings. It’s a town steeped in baking history and this year it celebrated in style with it’s first ever Baking Festival.

The Festival was held on the 8-9th June in Bakewell town centre, I went along on the Saturday to see what was happening.

Bakewell is always a busy town on a weekend boasting good weather, it’s position in the peaks plus it’s pudding fame make it popular with tourists and locals alike, so it was no surprise that I arrived to find the town very very busy!

However I soon spotted signs of the Festival when my daughter saw two people collecting money for charity dressed in Venetian finery, she even sneaked into a photo with them 🙂

Several of the main streets were lined with stalls selling everything from cakes and aprons to vintage homeware. Although the sheer volume of people made a few stalls difficult to see, they were all beautifully presented and appealing. My daughter bought a biscuit from this stunning stall from Nina Holden.

There was also several venues holding workshops and talks, although I must admit to being a little confused as to the location of everything. However after meeting Stacie Stewart I hightailed to Stacie’s talk in the main Festival Tent.

Stacie gave out several great tips and managed to pull together a beautiful White Chocolate Gateau despite the heat (her chocolate embellishments just wouldn’t set).


At the same time as I was watching Stacie my daughter was busy having a Tea Party with the Mad Hatter and Alice! This was located a little walk away from the main town and seemingly suffered slightly for it as my daughter had Alice and the Mad Hatter virtually to herself! She absolutely loved all the attention having dressed up as Alice herself for the occasion.

Although I have to admit to being slightly disappointed about one aspect of the children’s activities. Firstly their workshops were supposed to be prebooked which I hadn’t realised (bad Mummy) but even though they had plenty of space they would not let my daughter join in 🙁 but I can understand this and should have realised in advance. However they were also running a costume competition, it turned out that my daughter had been the only child to dress up, hurrah she wins!! No…. unfortunately not, we were told that the organisers hadn’t got themselves ‘organised’. They could see she was dressed up but said they ‘might’ do the competition the next day?? As we weren’t going to be there that wasn’t much consolation to my little girl. But saying that, Alice and the Mad Hatter were wonderful and my daughter had an absolutely wonderful time despite this slight disappointment.

Final Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed my day out at the first ever Bakewell Baking Festival and so did my daughter. I think allowing children to visit for free was a wonderful family friendly idea!

I did find the locations being set about the town a little confusing as I wasn’t always completely clear what was part of the festival and what wasn’t. However I am not known for my sense of direction, so that could well just be me 🙂

I think for the first year it was incredibly ambitious and ran very well. I for one am very excited to see how it evolves over the next couple of years. I can see it turning into a well renowned Festival in a beautiful location. Keep your eyes peeled for it’s return in 2014!!

Find Out More

To find out more information about this and future Bakewell Baking Festivals visit the Festival website at


Redecorating a whole room for £50!

I was recently challenged by to redecorate a whole room for the princely sum of £50 as part of their Room For Improvement Competition!

My daughter’s bedroom has been on my to-do list for quite some time, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to launch in and get creative.

We start with a perfectly ordinary child’s bedroom. The brief:

To turn this into an Alice in Wonderland haven!

Now for the big reveal….

My daughter loves her room and more importantly it cost very little.

The biggest tip to redecorating on a budget is to get creative and get stuck in, don’t buy anything ready made, alter and adjust, revive and reuse and you can change a surprising amount. Here’s how we completed this room.


Stop! Don’t buy new furniture, paint your old! In my case I actually reused paint I found in my cellar so it cost me nothing at all. Many of us have pots of paint lying about in cellars and garages, even if you don’t have enough in one tin mix a few together and make your own custom paint.

I did buy these wonderful giant plastic buttons from a local market stall, they cost £5.20 in total. I removed the old drawer handles and super-glued the buttons on top, fabulous one off buttons!

Total Cost = £5.20


I replaced the curtains for the bargain price of £5.59 from Argos the special offer on them has unfortunately ended, but even at their standard price of £13.99 they are a good deal. Admittedly they aren’t terribly thick, but linings can be bought at a later date if you require them. As they are a deep red I don’t feel I need them.

To stick to our theme I cut up some long strips of red and white craft felt and made Roses. These were then stitched to the curtains by hand. I spent just a few pounds on the felt, you could also use old clothes, sheets, whatever is available. Appliqueing is another cheap way to add interest to otherwise boring curtains.

Total Cost = £8.59


Brand new bedding to match your new room can be costly. Instead consider making a cover or blanket that can be thrown over your old bedding.

You don’t even need to be accomplished at sewing. I grabbed an old flat flannel sheet (instantly the perfect size for your bed!) out of the linen cupboard to make my cover. I then appliqued hearts, Qs and a Queen to make a giant playing card 🙂 I bought small pieces of flannel fabric for my applique.

Total Cost = £3


A feature lamp can really add to the overall theme of a room, but I wanted one that was inexpensive and child friendly. I found this wonderful battery operated lamp on Amazon for just £4.68 + £2.99 P&P. It can also be bought on eBay. Of course it may not last long, but we think it’s great (especially for the price!) Remember to check sites like eBay and Amazon for deals, especially items coming direct from manufacturers in China.

Total Cost = £7.67


Storage will instantly tidy up a room while adding to the overall feel. I spent just £12 at Tesco to receive this whimsical house themed box (I’m sure Alice is stuck inside there as we speak). I even had it delivered to my local store to avoid P&P charges.

I then handed my husband several old shoe boxes, some glue and newspaper and challenged him to papier mache giant books to hold bits and bobs, I think he did really well! As this was made out of old cardboard and newspaper it was free! The teeny tiny mushrooms were made by my children over a year ago and I just thought they looked good 🙂

Total Cost = £12

Decoration & Accessories

Those finishing touches that finish a room need not cost the earth. Make your own or do as I did and ask family and friends if they have anything they no longer need.

The giant playing cards that adorn my daughter’s wall are in fact left over pieces from a Yarn Bombing project for the Olympics and Derby Feste. They were made by gluing felt pieces together.

The wonderful pictures in their ornate frames are actually print outs, put on the wall with blue tack. They were made by my sister in law for a party and had been sitting in her garage ever since. Unless you look closely you really could believe the frames were real.

The sign post…another fake printed out on simple paper! The great thing about these decorations is they are not precious around little hands.

My biggest expense was the giant flowers. I spent £4.99 for my massive Calla Lilly which came from Home Bargains. The extra flowers came from Wilkinsons where they were on offer at 3 for £3.

Total Cost = £7.99


I also bought a clock for £4 from Wilkinsons. This is intended for a child to paint (and is a great idea) but in our case my husband painted a Cheshire cat onto the face 🙂

Total Cost

Furniture = £5.20

Curtains = £8.59

Bed Cover = £3

Lamp = £7.67

Storage = £12

Accessories = £7.99

Clock = £4

Grand Total = £48.45

Check out the Money Supermarket Pinterest board to see what others spent their £50 on.