Laura and Andrew at Virginia Park Lodge

Thrilled to share with you some images by talented photographer Emma Russell, of clients Laura and Andrew’s  wedding at  Virginia Park Lodge in Co. Cavan last year. Virginia Park Lodge is a luxuriously restored yet homely fishing lodge on the banks of a picturesque lake. Owned by Michelin starred chef, Richard Corrigan and with an organic vegetable farm on site, it offers style and delicious food in equal measure.Laura and Andrew chose a sophisticated white and green palette for their wedding (which was carried through to the cake, more on that later!).
Stunning arrangements by the Rosehip and Berry create a gorgeous backdrop outside the church for this cute photo.
I am in love with the car which coordinated perfectly with the colour scheme!
Elegant Events by Colette coordinated the most beautiful styling of the garden Pavilion for a cosy and romantic feel. So inviting!
For the cake, Laura and Andrew chose three tiers of celebratory Champagne, Elderflower and Strawberry cake, finished with a lightly textured deckle edge base tier, semi-iced buttercream upper tiers, and the prettiest of fresh flowers from the Rosehip and Berry.

And I have to take a moment for the cake styling! It was a delight on delivery to arrive to this beautifully conceptualised styling of the cake table, with hanging foliage and flowers, draped linen and candles.  A testament to how considered styling can elevate the cake to a beautiful focal feature. Thanks to Laura and Colette for taking the time!

Laura and Andrew, it was a pleasure to work with you and wishing you all the best for your married life together!

“Absolute perfection! We couldn’t have been happier with our wedding cake from Cove Cake Design. Suzanne is such a pleasure to work with; professional, friendly with a fantastic eye for style…Everyone raved about our cake. We loved it so much, thank you! “

Laura and Andy, 2019

 

Laura and Gregory at Adare Manor

Be prepared for some Pinterest-worthy imagery in today’s post! Delighted to share with you some images by award-winning fine art photographer, Laura Gordon, of clients Laura and Gregory’s destination wedding at the stately Adare Manor in Co. Limerick. Laura, Gregory and their guests travelled from the United States for their wedding at the stunning Adare Manor, an impeccably restored manor house on stately grounds, renowned for its service and hospitality.They enlisted the help of wedding stylist Lindsay of House of Hannah Events, who is renowned for her attention to detail and refined style, to coordinate and create their vision for a timelessly elegant wedding day. A colour palette of peaches, dusty pinks, caesious and cottage blues was most evident in the flowers by Floral Earth and was simultaneously fresh, modern and refined. What a gorgeous photo!Laura and her stylish bridesmaids.Further breathtaking floral installations adorned the staircase and sumptuous dining room, creating a summer garden feel. I was blown away when I came to deliver the cake! Place settings were exquisitely styled  by Lindsay with soft grey linen and candles, gold cutlery and caesious blue charger plates. For the cake, Laura and Gregory chose a 3-tier design with a soft caesious blue deckled edge fondant base tier and semi-iced upper tiers, adorned with some stunning fresh flowers in a palette of dusty pinks and cottage blue by Floral Earth. Flavours were Lime White Chocolate Pistachio and Lemon Blueberry Coconut, deliciously fresh and summer flavours. And I just love this cake cutting photo! 

 

 

“Thank you so much for the beautiful cake! It was delicious!! Thank you so much for making it a very seamless process to work with you. That makes all the difference! “

Laura and Gregory, 2019

 

Real Weddings with Adam and Grace Photography

It is always a delight to receive wedding photos from photographers and clients! So many months are spent working closely on a wedding cake design, it is exciting to finally see the cake in the context of a beautiful wedding day and blissfully happy clients.

Today I am sharing two weddings from 2019 photographed by the supremely talented Adam and Grace Photography, who masterfully capture weddings in a candid, elegant and timeless style.

 

Moya and Andrew, Mount Juliet. Adam and Grace Photography

Moya and Andrew were married last spring in the stately surrounds of Mount Juliet Estate, Kilkenny. I have had the pleasure of knowing Moya for a few years now, having made a few celebration cakes for her business and personal events. Moya is the founder of Avenue Interior Design, a design studio that creates interior spaces that are comfortable and inviting, with a signature relaxed and refined style. Enlisting the help of wedding stylist Betty Williamson and florist The Wild Bunch, this style was translated into a wedding that exuded minimilast sophistication.

The beautiful blossom trees on the grounds of Mount Juliet provided nature’s perfect floral arch for portraits.

The wisteria-clad front of Mount Juliet House.

A pinterest-worthy flatlay.

Relaxed and informal flowers in the inviting dining space of Hunter’s Yard, Mount Juliet and Moya’s beautiful bouquet.

For their cake, Moya and Andrew chose a cake table, incorporating a main cake, minimalist in style and adorned with sugar flowers, as well as two side cakes, mini-cakes and macarons. With flavours including Champagne Elderflower Strawberry, Orange Cardamom Rose and Chocolate Orange Olive Oil Hazelnut Rosemary, the table was no doubt a treat for guests!

It was style, but most certainly not over substance – our guests were raving about the cakes and the delicious flavours and they still are”.

Moya and Andrew

 

John and Siobhan, Clonwilliam House. Adam and Grace Photography

Siobhan and John were married on a warm August day at one of my favourite venues, Clonwilliam House, (I always wish I could just move in when I deliver there!).  Clonwilliam is a family-owned stately home in a peaceful and private setting with a stunning vista over the lush green countryside of County Wicklow.  When I was delivering the cake I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Siobhan leaving that morning for the ceremony in a vintage red open-topped car…how fun!

The grounds of the house provided the perfect backdrop for beautifully candid photos.

The detail on Siobhan’s dress is just stunning.

…and I just love her romantic bouquet of tied roses in pale pink hues!

Beautiful flowers in shades of pink by Frog Prince Weddings adorned the house and the romantically dining space in the converted barn.

For their cake John and Siobhan chose a single tall tier of Guinness Chocolate with Roasted White Chocolate Cake, adorned in blush marble icing, gold leaf and pretty fresh flowers. Accompanying Champagne and Strawberry macarons created a sweet choice for guests that evening!

We loved our wedding cake! Not only did it look fab but it tasted so delicious it didn’t last very long! Suzanne was so easy to work with, she is a professional artist and created exactly what we wanted. Thank you!”

Siobhan and John

 

 

Real Weddings – Three of my favourites from 2018

It is always a delight to receive wedding photos from clients! So many months are spent working closely on their wedding cake design, it is exciting to finally see those plans come to fruition but also to see the cake in the context of a beautiful wedding day. Today I am sharing three of many stunning real weddings from 2018!

Sharon and James

This wedding was close to my heart as Sharon is actually my sister-in-law and my little girl was one of the flower girls. Sharon was the most relaxed bride and it showed, she glowed with happiness! The venue was Harvey’s Point hotel on the shores of Lough Eske which allowed for stunning photos by Ghorm Studio Photography in the surrounding mountains. The all-important cake was inspired by Sharon’s gorgeous dress, with applique lace and sugar flowers.  Family weddings are always exciting and I can testify that Sharon and James’ was an incredible weekend of celebration!

Rebecca and Fred

Rebecca, along with her mother, runs Hedgeroe Home, a Dublin-based interiors and lifestyle store. It was no surprise then to see Rebecca’s unique sense of style translate into her stunning wedding which was held in a marquee in the grounds of her family home. I mean look at her dress…divine! Ferns were the theme of the day, and the inspiration for the cake design, which featured a modern geometric pattern juxtaposed with fern moulding. Stunning photography by Paula McManus.

I was delighted to see Rebecca and Fred’s wedding featured in Social and Personal Magazine…what a lovely feature!

Suzanne and Eamon

Suzanne and Eamon traveled from America to celebrate their wedding with 400 guests at one of Ireland’s finest venues, the gorgeous Adare Manor. Living in America the bride and groom enlisted talented wedding planner, Alise Taggart, to coordinate their day. I worked with Alise in the design of their cake which drew inspiration from the elegant surroundings of the venue, with a gold leaf tier and soft sugar flowers in shades of blush, reflecting the wedding flowers by The Informal Florist. A monogram featured on their invitations was also incorporated into their cake design.

With photography by renowned photographer Taylor and Porter, it was no surprise that this  beautiful wedding was featured on prestigious wedding blog, US Brides

Thank you to all my wonderful 2018 clients, it has been a pleasure to work with each and every one! Looking forward to all of 2019’s orders!

Suzanne, x

Autumn Cake Design

 

For many cake decorators Autumn and Winter mark the end of a busy wedding season and allow for time to be creative in designing new cakes and experimenting in new forms and techniques. With time for a new cake design over the last few weeks I wanted to experiment with different colour tones in my sugar flowers and also embrace a more natural approach to their composition on a cake.

I was in love with the autumn hues this year: copper, burnt orange and light browns filled trees and then carpeted the ground….these colours are a departure from my usual in sugar flowers and hence a perfect palette to experiment with. I have also recently been drawn to more natural and organic floral arrangements by floral artists such as The Blue Carrot and this bowl arrangement by American Florist Kelly Lenard.

My take on this palette and inspiration was a loose arrangement of a blush O’Hara rose, yellow garden roses, and sweet pea for softness. Completing the arrangement were sparse withering leaves in shades of copper, rust and light brown and I also added in my version of my latest obsession, lunaria! I set the flowers atop a tall modern square cake, not the easiest to ice but quite striking I think once done! The cake needed a little texture for which I took inspiration from botanical artist Rachel DeinRachel Dein is a London-based artist who creates intricate botanical art in plaster and concrete in the form of tiles and larger pieces. The detail and texture is incredible!My texture was certainly a more simplified version of Rachel’s beautiful detail but it is something I would love to explore more…if I have the opportunity!I hope you like the finished piece!

Suzanne x

 

 

Secret Garden Inspiration Shoot

I had the pleasure of being invited to collaborate on a photo shoot last July designed and planned by the talented Grace and Saviour Styling and photographed by Paula O’Hara Photography.  I am in love with this one and thrilled to see the full shoot now published on prestigious wedding blog Green Wedding Shoes.  In this blog post I wanted to give a little insight into the inspiration for the shoot and corresponding brief for the cakes…with a sneak peak of the result!

The inspiration for the shoot was ‘ vintage botanical illustrations from the 18th century’. The brief was dreamy,  ‘..to convey the wedding of a cool, relaxed, slightly bohemian couple who get married in a beautifully ramshackle glass house in a country pile…overgrown gardens and slightly too warm, glistening skin’.  The shoot was to feel earthy and relaxed so I created a mood board for the cakes, drawing on pretty, informal and delicious looking cakes as inspiration, with natural florals for decoration.

Mood board:

 

The ‘country pile’ was Carncairn Lodge in Northern Ireland, an Irish Manor house with a beautiful garden and rambling greenhouse.  It was a glorious July day, creating the perfect atmosphere to convey a relaxed summer garden wedding. The shoot was centred around the greenhouse which was styled by Grace for an informal wedding lunch with draped linen, relaxed flowers, candles and fruits.

 

For the cakes, I opted for a trio for an informal sweet table concept. A main textured iced cake adorned with oversized garden blooms styled by Grace was accompanied by un-iced Chocolate Salted Caramel and Prosecco Peach Thyme cakes (for more of our delectable cake flavours check our our menu!). Purposefully oozing peach and thyme jam, a cake slice, and the exposed chocolate cake layers were chosen to convey delicious homemade and summery sweet treats. 

 

This gives a little taste of what’s to come in this gorgeous summery shoot which features signature informal flowers by Petal and Twine,  exquisite gowns by Ivory and Pearl, stationary by Lenka Calligraphy, hair by Lynette Murray, and make up by Jennifer Ireland. To swoon over the full shoot head on over to Green Wedding Shoes!

And the award for Best Dessert Blog goes to…!

I was beyond thrilled to have won a Golden Tier Awards in New York last month. Bowled over actually is more like it! The Golden Tier Awards is the first American-hosted, international awards show of its kind, recognising the contribution of pastry chefs, cake and sugar-artists, dessert professionals, authors and writers, chocolatiers, instructors, and retailers and celebrating the very best the industry has to offer. The Awards were hosted by Lisa Mansour of the renowned cake supply shop and school, New York Cake,  along with American Cake Decorating Magazine.

A total of 14,000 nominations (yes!) from around the world were received, spread across 13 different awards categories…Cove Cake Design was in the Best Dessert Blog category. I was asked to submit photos of my work and links to my website and blog for the judging panel to review.

An esteemed panel of 15 cake artists and pastry chefs (that read like a whose who in the cake world) then whittled the nominations down to 3 finalists in each category and we were chosen in the Best Dessert Blog category alongside Olivia Bogacki and Veena Azmanov. I was deeply humbled to be amongst the 39 finalists, many of whom I have known and admired hugely for years.

With only 3 weeks until the awards ceremony, a business and 3 children meant that it was no mean feat to go to New York for the awards show. I am hugely grateful to one of my lovely clients who allowed me to deliver her wedding cake the night before her wedding day, and her florist (Melanie of Fussy Peacock) who so kindly agreed to arrange the flowers on her cake for me so I could catch a flight to New York in time! And of course I have to thank the grandparents for jumping in to babysit!

The Black Tie awards show took place in the iPic Theater in Lower Manhattan, with a glitzy cocktail party preceding the main event. The Best Dessert Blog category was up first and I had my incredulous Oscars moment (!) when my name was called out by Ron Ben Israel who presented my award. It was a fantastic night and I have to say the hugest of thanks to Lisa Mansour and all the staff of American Cake Decorating who organised such an amazing night, as well as all the judges who gave their time. And of course congratulations to all of the winners and finalists for whom I have the utmost professional admiration and respect!

On returning home the messages of congratulations were overwhelming. I can’t thank everyone enough for their continuous and generous support of my business. But most of all was the elation of my children, who had crafted congratulations cards for my arrival…they couldn’t wait to see the award! (although a subsequent win of a football trophy by my 7 year old was soon deemed to far surpass Mum’s trophy!).

People have since asked me what it means to me to have won this and one word comes to mind..validation. I gave up my science career 9 years ago, spent the intervening years rearing children and running a house, somewhat then falling into cake decorating, a business and a blog. I work part-time from home covering all aspects of the business myself. Sometimes it is hard to find the time to be as creative as I would like to be, or to advance things as much as I would like to.  Probably like all those in creative industries I have had moments of wondering how I ended up here, whether I am good enough for it, and whether the juggle is justified. But to anyone starting a business, pursuing a passion, being creative and having moments of self-doubt I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes which springs to mind when wondering if the path chosen is the right one……

 

 

Custom Flavours for Chinese New Year

I adore Asian food and flavours, having visited various parts of the region over the last 10 years while my husband worked there. So I was thrilled to be asked to create custom flavours with a nod to Asia for a Chinese New Year event that took place here this week. The clients requested an assortment of macarons as well as a small dessert-style sweet to include flavours of lychee, green tea, rose and raspberry. The colour palette for the event was one of red, gold, green and deep pinks.

For the dessert option we made white chocolate mud cake bites, with green tea buttercream, toasted black sesame, raspberry curd and rose meringue kisses.

Topped with gold leaf of course!…

The macaron flavours were Green Tea and Chocolate, Lychee, and Raspberry and Rose…with decorative flourishes of chocolate drizzle, gold  and rose petals!

We are always happy to customize flavours to suit your wedding or event….simply contact us with your ideas!

 

January Newsletter

January can seem like a long, dark month in the Northern Hemisphere but it is one that I think is secretly relished as a slightly quieter month by all those working in the wedding industry! Sometimes a little time with few orders allows you to catch up, take stock, try new things and plan for the year of business ahead. Here is a little of what we got up to this month…

Sample boxes:

January was sample box month and we were delighted to send delicious tasting packages to many of our 2017 brides! This month’s boxes included some of our most popular flavours such as Lime, White Chocolate Pistachio; Champagne, Elderflower and Strawberry; and of course what has become a signature flavour, Guinness Chocolate with Roasted White Chocolate! Our next dispatch is scheduled for late March.

Classes:

Off-peak wedding season is a great time for us to host some classes. We offer private 1-2-1 tuition, allowing clients to pick exactly what they wish to learn. I had a lovely day with Melissa from the UK, teaching techniques including smooth chocolate ganache, semi-naked buttercream, macarons and overall styling. This was the result of the day! If you are interested in private tuition contact us directly to discuss options and available dates.

Press:

It was a pleasure  to collaborate with Orla Neligan of Cornershop Productions in a botancial themed photo shoot for the Spring Issue of Irish Brides which is on sale now. Shot in the beautiful surroundings of Cliff at Lyons by the talented Kataya Koliban, we loved the soft foliage, hints of gold and considered props. Our cake was a classic lace design which Orla styled with deep velvet green ribbon, white rose and foliage.

New Design:

Not one to put anything to waste, after our photoshoot for Irish Brides I reconditioned our lace cake for a new display model. Taking inspiration from the current trend for oversized bridal bouquets, I topped the lace design with an abundance of sugar flowers to include David Austin Roses, Garden Roses, Frilly Peonies, Freesia, Blackberries and lots of foliage. Perfectly in keeping with the Pantone Colour of 2017 we are a little bit in love with this one!

Recipes:

No month would be complete at Cove Cake Design without some time spent experimenting with recipes and flavours! Pink peppercorn has been on my list of ingredients to try for some time and makes a deliciously spicy addition to these Chocolate Raspberry and Pink Peppercorn cupcakes. Perfect for some Valentine’s Day baking this recipe will appear in the Febuary edition of TheTaste.ie .

…and here’s to Febuary!

Macaron Menu

With the unsurprising popularity of macarons as wedding favours or pretty additions to cake tables, we are delighted to launch our first macaron menu.