Emily Churchill works for our photographic studio. Alongside her day job she has an amazing talent for baking and over the past year has created a number of beautiful cakes inspired by our sites and collection. Below she talks about one of her most ambitious creations to date.
Earlier this year I found a photograph of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh cutting a 50th anniversary cake at a staff party in 1984. The cake was shaped like the Queen’s House. Having baked cakes that were inspired by the collection, I thought creating my own Queen’s House cake would be a great challenge.
I baked the cake to mark the closing of the Queen’s House for refurbishment. The house will re-open next year for its 400th anniversary.
The cake was constructed from three layers of sponge covered in white royal icing. Many of the details from the house were made out of icing; including drainpipes, windows and the loggia. I wasn’t aware how many windows there were on the house until I had to make them by hand. I wanted the cake to be as decadent as the house it was inspired by.
The final decorations were the Arts curatorial team; Christine Riding, Melanie Vandenbrouck and Katy Barrett. The fourth figure on the cake was Maurice from Visitor Experience. If you’ve visited the Queen’s House there is a chance that you’ve had the good fortune of meeting Maurice and learnt more about the history of the house from him.
It was painful to cut through something that took a lot of work. Unfortunately we didn't have a sword to cut the cake with but there were no complaints about the taste!
The Queen’s House refurbishment project involves many departments from across the Museum; from curatorial and conservation to press and exhibitions. The cake was a great chance for these various departments to get together to reflect on their memories of the house and to anticipate the changes ahead.
The Queen's House is closed but you can keep up to date with all our latest news by following us on twitter here. To keep up to date with the latest news from Emily and the photographic studio follow @RMGPhotoStudio.