On Sunday January 3rd, BBC2 broadcast ‘The Millionaire’s Gift Guide’, a documentary examining the world of event planners and suppliers of luxury goods, and the lavish spending habits of the super-rich. Our very own Gareth Jones was a star of the hour-long show, showing that his delicious creations are comfortable among the dizzy heights of the rich and famous.

The feature in question saw Charlotte from Dazzle and Fizz Parties and Sophie owner of Aynhoe Park, a palatial stately home in Oxfordshire, collaborate to launch their exclusive luxury children’s parties at the venue. The brief was an extravagant ‘out of this world’ festive Winter Wonderland-inspired event, that would leave the VIP guests entirely blown-away.

In order to ensure the cake was to be truly memorable Charlotte and Sophie spoke with Gareth at Odiham Cake Company to create what was to be, the biggest and most intricate cake he had ever attempted; one that would cost a whopping £10,000. He was to bring Aynhoe Park down to an edible size, complete with frosting and fairytale animals.

We know that Gareth successfully created a beautiful, accurate and completely jaw-dropping centrepiece, that brought the owners and planners to tears. But how?!

Undoubtedly the most difficult element was ensuring that the building was to scale. I took a huge amount of photos, searched for more pictures online and spent hours measuring and re-measuring the images.

The windows were the element that was the most time-consuming – there were so many of them! My arms had a good workout – icing all the glass was very tricky and took a steady hand.

Gareth estimates that over 200 man hours were spent on the cake, and the ingredients alone cost around £1,000. Expenses such as van hire, petrol, wood and tools for the structure had to be taken in to account to ensure that the £10,000 budget could be adhered to.

The actual baking of the cake was the easiest and most fun part! Experimenting with Christmas flavours such as candid toffee apple, gingerbread and mulled wine. However, we saw most hours of day and night in the lead up to the party, when all the detail had to be carefully added.

He was thrilled with the finished product, claiming it as, “The biggest challenge I’ve ever taken on!” As always, perfectionist Gareth is adamant that there are bigger and better heights he can reach, and he is looking forward to his next request after his appearance on The Millionaire’s Gift Guide.

If you missed Odiham Cake Company’s first appearance on the BBC, you can watch it again here on BBC iPlayer, follow Gareth’s journey and see for yourself just how magnificent the final product was in the wonderland setting.

Gareth can create cakes that are HUGE or bite-sized, for any occasion. Contact him to discuss your thoughts on 01256 703200.

Image credits: Tina Bolton Photography

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