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Like last time, there was a real mix of men, physically and personality wise, ones who had been married, some never, some with kids, some depressed, some missing some chromosomes, some schmoozers some boozers, and some really nice guys.When I first arrived I began chatting to a few other women.Elsewhere a man covers a sponge cake with lilac sugarpaste with astonishing speed, cupping his hands around to smooth it out, then, deciding it is not perfect, he whips it off and starts again. Twenty-five years ago Cairns, 54, who originally trained in graphic design, was working as a pastry chef at the Michelin-starred Hambleton Hall. 'Orders for cakes would come in at very short notice.It was the time of nouvelle cuisine; everything was highly decorated and exact.’ Then one day she decided to make miniature fruit cakes for friends as Christmas presents. They’d never seen little cakes like that before.’ So the following Christmas she contacted the Conran Shop, which put in an order for 72, prompting her to set up her eponymous company. Nothing has ever been more exciting than when the Harrods buyer called back to say yes.’ The company grew rapidly; soon a converted barn in the garden of her 400-year-old farmhouse was no longer big enough for all the orders.
Just 4.3 mi (7 km) from the airport, Il Palazzo Boutique Apartment Hotel features a rooftop terrace and puts you within a 10-minute drive of Centenary Lakes Botanic Gardens and Mount Whitfield Conservation Park.
'I had always wanted to give beginners a guide to decorating cakes as I thought there was a gap in the market,’ Cairns says.
'I wanted to show that you can create something beautiful with minimal equipment.’ Her tip for a quick, impressive cake is to turn a freshly baked Victoria sponge upside down to give a flat surface, drizzle with a mix of icing sugar and lemon juice, and decorate with fresh flowers.
One woman arranges cream, white and silver glitter sugarpaste petals on top of a row of fairy cakes destined for a wedding.
Tiny sugar models of baby shoes, penguins, cars and flowers sit in rows of boxes on a shelf.
Guests can take a dip in the outdoor pool or grab a bite to eat at Matsuri Japanese Cafe, which serves lunch and dinner.