I like cake. Between now and summer curry, cake and the Champions League will feature heavily. In London, an evening starting at Thai Square with a green curry and ending with a slice of Cherry Bakewell and coffee while watching Arsenal give a footballing lesson to, say, Chelsea in the last eight is a perfect Tuesday away. Hotel-room instant coffee will do fine, because it’s all about the cake.
I should say, lest you get the wrong impression, that I am always preparing for a new keynote; creating new training programmes; am writing a book or two; currently ploughing through a biography of Alex Salmond; have Aristotle’s Ethics up on the iPad reader; and always try to catch Newsnight and the Today programme.
But cake features heavily, though ideally only once a day. In Copenhagen for a week training Danes, a real pleasure, with Wednesday free I took a train into the city from the conference venue for a wander and some lunch. It was there I saw it. La Glace, the best cake shop I had ever seen. This may have been down to hunger and cold, but there was a spectacular smorgasbord on three glass shelves and many crowded tables behind. I had not yet had lunch and considered nipping back round the corner for a quick kebab, then diving straight in.
Fortunately I came to my senses, as my plan had been to find a local restaurant with character. And as delaying gratification is a feature of high levels of emotional intelligence, waiting for my cake was a good strategic goal. After a fast-walk around the cathedral, which is- predictably- as far from a baroque pile as it is possible to get, I found a place teeming with locals. This is always a good sign and the poorly located table by the door was compensated for by the fried plaice with prawns and a basket of bread, which was nice. A nice sweet menu was presented, the crème brulee looked especially appealing, but I knew where I was having my cake.
The best thing about the whole experience, apart from actually eating the cake? So often great anticipation is the prelude to bitter disappointment, but this hour in a busy, squashy cake-shop turned out to be every bit as brilliant as the very high expectations I had set.
Spoiled for choice and in danger of blowing it, I nevertheless chose well: a cake with rhubarb, meringue, white chocolate, toasted almonds and burnt marzipan. Now rhubarb and marzipan are two of my favourite cake components but I never expected both on the same plate.
It’s a wonderful world.
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about the author
Russell Wardrop is our Chief Executive. If you would like to know more about this subject, drop him an email and we will be in touch.