Back in 2014, my dear friend Hannah was just starting her new baking business – I was just about to get married, and she was automatically our first choice to make our wedding cake. A sound choice, it turned out. Our brief had managed to be both vague and complicated at the same time, but Hannah fulfilled it marvellously with the most splendid purple cake, partially gluten-free, partially dairy-free, three different flavours, and with a hint of Harry Potter.
That should give a pretty good hint towards Hannah’s talent as a baker.
Four years along the line, and that little baking business has grown and grown. Hannah and her mum, Carol, have just opened their first official premises – a café and deli in their hometown of Doncaster, serving up their own bakes alongside tried and tested local products.
Teddy and I had a little trip down there on Friday to see how it’s going, and I had a secret mission of my own, too…
It’s been far too long since I’ve had a regular writing spot: Darlington is woefully devoid of cosy hipster cafés of the type I frequented back in Manchester, and even getting into the semi-soulless chain coffee houses requires some luck. On days where I’ve got Ted sleeping in the pram next to me, it’s next to impossible.
I’ve been on a proper hunt for somewhere to be my new writing home-from-home: somewhere comfy and friendly, with excellent coffee and tempting food. Plug sockets would be a plus, and preferably somewhere that wouldn’t look down on me for rocking up with a noisy toddler. I’ve found a couple of places I like in York, but so far not a single one that fulfils all of my criteria.
What perfect timing, then, that Dreambakes should be opening?