A little while ago, a British expat in France called Sue joined The Good Life France Facebook page and emailed me to say she enjoyed reading my blog in the on line magazine and she thought we might be near neighbours here in Pas-de-Calais. We got talking and found out we did indeed have homes in the same area and a little while later, Sue invited me to an event she’d organised – a meeting of the Clandestine Cake Club.
A secret cake society – it sounded like great fun. I’m not a great cook but I am good at eating cake so of course I accepted her invitation! I was given a time and date to meet and the name of the town to go to – the location was a secret.
All those invited were given advice for the meeting which had a theme as do all CCC meetings – Garden Harvest and we were all encouraged to bring a guest. We were supposed to bake the cake ourselves but my friend Sarah who came with me is much better at making cakes than I am so she made a magnificent chocolate courgette cake!
On the appointed day and time nine cake eating ladies – British and French – met at Hôtel La-Chope in Hesdin in the Seven Valleys area of Pas-de-Calais. Five big beautiful cakes were laid out on the table in the library bar area, tea was served and we had a taste test and a half!
The Clandestine Cake Club was created by a lady in the UK called Lynn Hill. The club has grown hugely in popularity since she set it up at the end of 2010 there are almost 5000 members now. I spoke to her about her idea and asked her what she thought of the CCC spreading to France. She says that there are currently three clubs in France and she is very happy for people to create Clandestine Cake Clubs wherever they are. What started off as a fun idea has really gathered momentum and it’s easy to see why – everyone likes cake, it’s a great way to meet new friends and get together with old friends, it’s fun to swap recipes.
My own Clandestine Cake Club meeting was tremendous fun, I got to stuff my face with cake, have a good laugh with like-minded ladies, get some baking tips and learn that whoopie pies are the new cupcakes. I also met in person with Sue and Doreen, British expats. Both of them “Like” The Good Life France Facebook page and it was really odd how being cyber friends somehow overlapped into real life and we didn’t feel like strangers at all. Although, saying that, Doreen said when she saw me ”Oh – you don’t look at all how I expected!” when I asked what she meant she said “Mad… like us!”
I have to say, I could hardly walk afterwards, I think I must have been around 40% cake! I can’t wait until the Christmas meeting of the Seven Valleys Clandestine Cake Club – that will really cake my day!A bientôt Janine