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John Lewis Leeds The Place to Eat

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The Venue – ‘The Place to Eat’ 4th Floor.  John Lewis Leeds 

On Monday 15th May, 30 members gathered at ‘The Place to Eat’ in the new John Lewis Store in Leeds. A keen group of home bakers were eager to share cake and catch up with fellow members old and new. Many were CCC virgins, never having attended one of our gatherings before. Even the staff at John Lewis joined in and made a cake. The atmosphere was great.

We were allocated a large area in their 4th Floor Restaurant ‘The Place to Eat’ where we could buy our refreshments before settling down to eat cake and catch up with friends new and old. I left my husband to keep me topped up with drinks as I mingled among the members, trying to chat to everyone.

Many had travelled from outside of Leeds, others coming straight from work and some swapping their childminding duties just to be here.

The Theme – Never Knowingly Under Baked 

I chose this theme as homage to the John Lewis  Never Knowing Under Sold’ policy  

As each member arrived, some with a none baking guest, with their home-made cakes, we could see how talented our members are. Cake labels were completed as they set out their wonderful cakes ready to be sliced and shared among everyone. I always, say ‘Interaction and Conversation begin when you cut the first slice’. That’s what we love about our Clandestine Cake clubs. I always give a warning to newbies. Start with finger slices and watch out for the sugar rush.

With well over 20 cakes, including a couple made by the John Lewis staff, there was plenty to go around.  As with all our cakey gatherings, at the end of the evening we share out any cake that is left over. Filling our containers to take home, to share with family, friends and work colleagues the following day. If ever there is a time to be the most popular person in the office, come to one of our events.

Many of our members would make great contenders for the Great British Bake Off. I wonder if any of them entered. If they did, they are keeping clandestine about it. At CCC we are none competitive, all standards of bakers are welcome. Sunken middles can be filled with cream, golden edges just need to be shaved off and coated in a light buttercream. No-one will be any the wiser and your cake will always taste great. It isn’t a question of whether a cake is styled to death with added props for a photo shoot, it’s all about the taste. Eating that first slice making you want to go back for more means it’s a winner.

The Treats

Thanks to Aileen and Melanie at John Lewis, also to Duanne a CCC member who also happens to work at John Lewis, we had some wonderful treats and beauty bars…

  • Clarins – Complementary Hand and shoulder massages. I nipped in for the first shoulder massage to destress. 5 mins of shear bliss.
  • Lancome – a complementary make up service

By the end of the evening I think every member, including one interloper – we are a sharing group after all, took advantage of these complementary services. Each reporting how wonderful and relaxing it all was.

To top it all, we each had a goodie bag filled with some of the loveliest sample products John Lewis Beauty and Make up counters had to offer, including a few baking products that I’d gathered together from some of my favourite baking brands. Steenbergs and NordicwareUK 


I would like to thank the following for their generous contributions to our goodie bags.

  • Lancome
  • Clarins
  • Mac
  • Mugler
  • Abercrombie and Fitch
  • Nuxe
  • Hermes
  • Urban Decay
  • Estee Lauder
  • Clinique
  • Yorkshire Tea
  • Steenbergs
  • Bubbleology
  • NordicwareUK

Were you there? Have you used any of the products in the goodie bag or taken advantage of the facials and make up sessions that were/are on offer.

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