As the feisty Amelia Havisham prepares for the wedding of the year in the finale of the hugely addictive Dickensian, there’s only one thing we’re dying to see, and no it’s not her wedding dress!
We want to know what her lavish wedding cake will look like, and more importantly how many tiers it will have.
Luckily for us, Nicola Hall, Creative Director at Hall of Cakes, gives us an exclusive sneak peek of her towering creation, and how it came about. Will and Kate, eat your heart out…
How were you chosen to work on this project?
We were approached by Red Planet Productions (who work on behalf of the BBC) last summer. They had searched for a wedding cake company that specialises in Victorian design. We design and make cakes in many different styles but specialise in traditional Victorian wedding creations so they didn’t need to look any further!
What was the brief for Miss Havisham’s wedding cake?
Red Planet had seen a number of wedding cakes on our website, that were very ornate. All white, multiple tiers and adorned with the most beautiful intricate detail. They asked if we would be able to recreate one of these designs as a model for the Dickensian series.
They wanted it to be as tall as possible – ideally 1.2m in height and definitely 8 tiers. We knew that cake would be placed as the centrepiece of the dining table so the maximum height possible was requested.
How long did it take you to create this cake and what inspired the look and details?
We have worked on many similar designs so we knew exactly where to start. It’s difficult to say exactly how long the cake took to make, as all of the roses, petals and leaves are made in advance and applied later on. The vase was also made well in advance and wasn’t put on the top tier until we were on set. But I would estimate about two weeks!
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The inspiration for our Victorian wedding cakes comes from researching lots of different wedding cakes and icing techniques from that period. Architecture plays a very important role. The Victorians were crazy about detail – much of the stunning architecture we see today is from the Victorian period as well as internal decorative mouldings such as cornices and ceiling roses. I actually visited Osborne House on the Isle of Wight when I first set up Hall of Cakes. The home of Queen Victoria is an absolute treasure trove of the most ornate decor and it is detail of this style that can be recreated in icing.
In Victorian times, to have a very grand wedding cake was also a status symbol. Only the finest refined sugar created the whitest of icing and this came at a price. Therefore, the whiter and bigger the cake – the more affluent the family.
In terms of the TV show, why was this style you created perfect for a Victorian look?
Miss Havisham is a very wealthy woman and thus a very grand centrepiece was required for her wedding breakfast.
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How can modern couples bring this style into a contemporary wedding?
We have created many different versions of our Victorian wedding cakes and some of them actually for more contemporary weddings. Whilst Miss Havisham’s cake was very ornate, the detail can be greatly reduced to create a more contemporary look.
The last two episodes of Dickensian will air on BBC One at 8.30pm Friday 19 February and at 6.25pm on Sunday 21 February.