Sunday Nights 

I love going out on a Sunday night. Our working week is usually Monday to Saturday and we’re both knackered by Saturday night, usually nodding off by 8pm! So having a day off (sometimes) on a Sunday is a perfect excuse to go out, plus it’s quieter and cheaper!

We (Graemeand I ) try and find different places to eat locally, usually through one of the deal websites (Groupon/Living Social) but last week we ventured into town to The Botanist.

It was restaurant week and we took advantage of their 2 courses for £10 offer. Nowadays I like to have eaten, drank and be back home for 9pm (gone are the days of nightclubbing until 2am) but they only had reservations for 8.30pm onwards, so 8.30 it was!

We arrived super early (7.45)  and guess what, the place was pretty quiet (as I suspected) and so we got seated straight away with a table overlooking Grey Street.

We already knew what we were having (the luxury of online menus!) so ordered both drinks and meals at the same time (cuts down on the faffing about!) Our drinks came (which were wrong but immediately rectified) and then our starters. Both the soup and the hummus were well presented and delicious. Then we had the obligatory hanging kebabs – one chicken, one prawn. More chicken than prawns I have to add but delicious all the same, especially the garlic butter sauce!  I won’t bore you with pictures as I think everyone knows what a hanging kebab looks like!

We finished off our pints (all £10 of them!),  paid the bill and completed the survey on their tablet!

We did a quick wander upstairs to the roof terrace, just to say we had seen it and made our way back downstairs (my advice, take the lift up!)

We did enjoy the food but the seating (too low), lighting (too dark) and live singer (too loud) were very offputting.

Would we return? No I don’t think so, unless Graeme grew a hipster beard and squeezed himself into a pair of too tight jeans!

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Sugarcraft Classes

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What a week! All cakes went out smoothly, you’ll be pleased to hear, and although I started the week off thinking “how on earth is this going to happen” it went pretty well! (Apart from Graeme having man flu and loosing the will to live from cutting out 540 miniature circles – yes, I counted them!)

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Saturday I had 2 sugarcraft classes. The morning class went really well, then the snow hit! I had 6 booked in for the afternoon class but only 3 turned up! Which was absolutely brilliant, given the driving conditions! (this is true dedication thank you Laura and Julie!)

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Todays class was great! We had lots of fun, laughter and a bit of swearing! (I think I might start a swear box!) It’s so lovely to see people’s imagination and creativity come out in their designs!
It then got me thinking back to when I started teaching. It was way back in 2006 when I went through my demonstrator training with the British Sugarcraft Guild. I was like a rabbit in headlights but I knew from then it was something I would grow to love. It was very daunting at first (my first assessment was a nightmare, my hands were shaking and I can’t even remember finishing!) but the more I did it, the more I enjoyed it. It feels so good demonstrating to a variety of people who share your enthusiasm!
I went through my teaching qualifications and I’m now an Accredited demonstrator, an assessor and committee member for the BSG and I also teach for Newcastle Council, run my own classes in my shop and go out and about to give one to one lessons.

What I love the most is when I can help people grow and improve their skills. It’s such a wonderful feeling to see their faces when they finish their creations!

For anyone thinking of teaching sugarcraft then the BSG is the way forward. The knowledge and confidence I gained from the training seminars was invaluable.

For anyone wanting to try sugarcraft, why not come along to one of my classes, you’ll love it!

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Are you a good customer?

Following on from my previous post about my last minute customer, it got me thinking, what am I like as a customer?

Thinking back to my young and carefree days (mmm… strawberry 20/20) I used to be a really bad customer. It consisted of  revolving weeks of college, work and clubbing with very little sleep (who needed sleep back then!!) and new clothes for every night out. My very bad habit was to wear something and take it back the next day. It actually became addictive! I didn’t really think about the bigger picture. I didn’t think about how much money the company lost or how it would affect them.

Now as a small business owner, I am a changed person. I totally understand the process and the hassle of returning something or complaining. I never haggle when it comes to handmade goods as I now appreciate what exactly goes into making them (although I do like to barter!) and, when I order online, I try to give myself a few days leeway as I understand the process of processing an order and getting to the post office on time!

The world seems to be turning into a compensation culture but I seemed to have gone the opposite way!

So I ask, what type of customer are you?

P.S. The photo is of one of the ‘last minute order’ cakes which was due to be collected today. It wasn’t collected and she messaged me to say she’d collect it tomorrow. How annoyed am I!