How would you like to experience a night of cake eating and networking in an underground cave?
The Edinburgh Cake Ladies have announced their latest cake-filled event at Mary King's Close.
In the spring of 2010, founder Alison Dean set up a Facebook page to amuse and show her friends the cakes she was baking. Starting with one internet page with a few photos of cakes, the group of cake fanatics now meet every few weeks across the City centre.
Starting with just two members, there are now over 1,000 followers on Twitter, 450 Blog subscribers and names being pulled out of a hat to decide who gets to attend the events. The idea all started thanks to charity It’s Good 2 Give, Alison and a friend went along to the afternoon tea event set up by Lynne McNicoll and did not want to wait on the next event so decided to set up their own personal cake events with no financial gain for the group.
Everyone attending does not have to be the next budding Michelin-starred Chef. Dean said: “There are very talented chefs, but it is not a competition. I cannot bake at all; I’m a cake eater rather than a baker.”
That’s not to say there isn’t known-faces and talented chefs, including Great British Bake Off star Lea Harris. Dean joked: “I come out with a tray-bake with pieces falling apart and Lea produces a masterpiece, but we all laugh about the mistakes and it still gets eaten.”
Next month's event is rather different to their usual set up, keeping with the Halloween theme, the spooky themed night will take place at Mary King’s Close.
Dean said: “We think its going to be something really different. There will also be a magician on the night that has appeared at various parties and all guests will be met in the foyer and led down to the underground close.”
The attendees are randomly chosen with events every four to six weeks, the meetings are usually held at independent local cafes yet this one is particularly special. The rule is that whoever organised the previous event and their ‘planner’ get a place automatically to the next event and the rest are picked via a ballot. This allows fresh faces each time and a great mixture of socialising for everyone there, encouraging friendships and businesses to work together.
The events are now run “with military precision” and everyone knows exactly when to dive in for a slice of the action.
Talking about what to expect from the events, Dean jokingly added: “It is not like ‘oh my goodness she’s had six pieces of cake, its more a case of ‘God she’s only had four slices.”
The group have chosen to work with the same charity each year and have raised large amounts of money for It’s Good 2 Give.
Lynne McNicoll, founder of charity It’s Good 2 Give, established the charity in 2010. McNicoll explained how the charity got together: “It officially came to life two and half years ago in April 2010. I’ve been a volunteer and full-time fundraiser for nearly seven years and in the first four years I’d met so many families and young people with cancer, I knew I wanted to do my own thing and help look after them. The charity helps those from birth to 25-years-old and their families in the local area.”
The charity gives practical support to those families affected by cancer. From day-to-day support to longer term action, they are also currently hoping to raise a million pounds to create a retreat in the East of Scotland for those families during treatment. This will give them a peaceful place they can spend time together, as often families are separated at this time. They have raised £230,000 towards their target so far.
The charity has been linked with the Edinburgh Cake Lady events from the beginning. McNicoll explained: “They’ve been looking after me right from the start, from the minute they set themselves up they said the charity was going to be the one they looked after and they have.”
Discussing the support received from the group, McNicoll explained it is not all about the proceeds towards the charity. The group have given their time and skills to help out at other events. McNicoll said: "being part of the events is a privilege for the charity."
The next Cake Ladies event takes place on November 7 at Mary King's Close.
You can apply to take part in the event up until 6pm tomorrow night via The Cake Ladies Blog.
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