In Celebration of the Bake Off – Norfolk’s largest range of home furnishings

Thank you Pixie Hall Cakes for diverting from your monthly recipe blog to enlighten us all in the ways of the bake off and inviting us to take part in one!


I can’t believe it’s been a year already. You’ve had 12 months of tasty recipes and hopefully useful tips and techniques and I’ve loved sharing them with you. Things are slightly different this month but rest assured, a new recipe will be on its way next month.

This month I want to talk about Bake Offs (I’m not sure if that’s the correct pluralisation but I’m sticking with it).

The Great British Bake Off is back on our screens which is a sure sign that summer is in full swing.  The nation collectively despairs at soggy bottoms, basks in the glory of perfectly risen cakes and swoons over beautiful and creative decoration. I do too. People assume that I must roll my eyes at the silly mistakes that contestants make (remember that bloke who used salt instead of sugar in his cake?) or huff and sigh at the way some things are put together. Honestly though, I feel for them. I’ve made stupid mistakes (I forgot the sugar in a cake quite recently) and I’m always keen to learn new skills so I will always have a nosey at the way in which people work. I love it.

While we watch these 12 lucky people strut their baking skills on TV, how do the rest of us get involved? Baking competitions have been around a lot longer than the TV show has. Country shows, village fetes and town halls have been venues for local people to show off their perfect cakes between tables of identical onions, giant marrows and perfect flowers.  People have long been entering their cakes in the hope of winning a sought after rosette. There’s something special about being able to show people what you can do and cake is such a universally loved medium that I think there’s no better way!

And so, I segue into some information for you. I am hosting a Bake Off at this year’s Fakenham Food Festival to be held at Fakenham Fair on 23rd August at the Millennium park.

Fakenham Bake Off Poster


Fakenham Bake Off PrizeI’m inviting you to put on your pinny, whip out your whisk and get baking! There are 3 age ranges for contestants; under 10, 11-16 and 17+ (adults!) so you can get your kids baking in the summer holidays or even enter yourself. We’ve also got some fantastic prizes for the winning cakes. Aldiss have really kindly donated some of these prizes including some gorgeous Emma Bridgewater cake tins and really cute baking kits complete with a tin to store your finished treats in.



To enter; bring your entry (either 6 cupcakes or 1 whole cake) to the Bake Off Tent by 1pm on 23rd August and fill in the entry card you’re given. A panel of judges (including me!) will taste each entry and choose the winners! It’s as simple as that!

So, dust off your mixing bowls and bring out the wooden spoons. It’s time to get Fakenham baking!

Linds Hall runs Pixie Hall Cakes in Fakenham and can be found selling her delicious baking at Fakenham Farmers’ Market on the 4th Saturday of each month.


Student Essentials – Norfolk’s largest range of home furnishings

So, your A-Level results are in, you got the points you needed and you’re off to Uni!

Student Room

As well as a lot of studying (ahem) there will also be a LOT of partying and one thing is for sure that in-between all the fun and socialising your room will become your haven.  So we’ve come up with some low price, practical items and tips to help you create your home away from home at Uni.


Tatum Bedding

Tatum Bedding (Double Shown)

Your room will be quite plainly decorated and pre-used… so choosing nice, new bedding is your chance to make your mark and freshen things up!

Tip: Get two sets of bed covers, one for the bed and the other for the laundry.

Tatum Single Bedding Set – £16.20

Fogarty Hotel 10.5 Tog Single Duvet – £15.75

Fogarty Cotton Deluxe Pillow Pair – £13.49

Tip: Although it may not be, a quilted protector can make your mattress feel like new.

Fogarty Supertherm Mattress Protector Single – £18



Tip:  The best single item you can have, it provides extra warmth while sitting, it can brighten up dull furniture and spread on the bed to give extra warmth at night.

Thermosoft Throw – £19.99


iLiv RugRug

Tip: Another essential item to brighten up your room and help it feel more like home.

iliv Birdhouse Bright’s Rug – £39.68



Desk Lamp

When that essay is on deadline and you are working into the night to get it finished a desk lamp will be essential to keep you focussed.

Tip: Remember to take a couple of spare bulbs with you too!

Rome Uplighter – £44.55

Leyton Desk Lamp – £27.99



What can we say! A pretty essential item if, you’re planning on washing!

Geo Hand Towel – £4.49



If you are not in halls that are catered you will, in-between the takeaways, want to cook a meal occasionally (honestly!), especially a home comfort like Spag Bol.

Tip: You can buy pans in sets of 3, 5’s or more but a frying pan and 16cm saucepan with a draining lid are all you really need for the occasional Master Chef session to impress your new friends!

Our Cook, Wine and Dine pans are just £11.25 each and are suitable for all hobs including induction!


Tumbler GlassesGlasses

A real student essential. Money will be tight so having a couple of drinks with your new room mates before you go out will make your partying budget go further.

Tip: We sell all styles of glasses but we find the most popular bought by students is the long drink or tumbler – possibly because as having a wine glass full of beer is not as good as a beer glass full of wine…

Our Symphony Brim Long Drink Glasses are just £5.99 for a pack of 6.


Toastie Maker

Never underestimate the power of a toastie to provide a warm, nourishing snack at the end of a night out or to perk you back up for brekkie the morning after.

Tip: You can also use up slices of bread that are a little too dry for a conventional sandwich. Making you food budget go further.

Breville Sandwich Toaster –  £19.99



Forks for Pot Noodles, Knives for buttering toast, small spoon for stirring tea and you’e all set!

Tip: A set of cutlery will see you through but where do all those tea spoons go?!? You can buy extra spoon from Aldiss for as little as 99p for 6.

We have a great collection of 12 piece for just £14.95.


And don’t forget…..

Can Opener – £1.35

Digital Silver Alarm clock – £4.50


We think that’s got your home essentials covered. Don’t forget your pens, pencils & notebooks – or laptop! Have a great time and enjoy your adventure!