Our series of photographic portraits by Charlotte Stone shows Bristol people at work. This month we experience the beautiful confections, hand-crafted by Anna Cake Couture.
This Valentine’s day, ditch the bunch of flowers and take a detour round the chocolates, because nothing says ‘I love you’ better than a drop-dead delicious slice of cake. Perhaps your beloved would prefer a melt-in-the-mouth macaron? Surely they can’t resist a tantalising cup cake topped with fancy frosting? Or maybe, just maybe, you’re looking to go the extra mile and tempt your sweetheart with a tasty treat you’ve created yourself? Well, good news. Because whether you’re looking to spoil your other half in a patisserie palace, or bake them a slice of heaven yourself, you’ll find everything you could possibly desire at Anna Cake Couture in Clifton Village.
The shop’s eponymous owner, Anna Tyler, has been crafting award-winning wedding and occasion cakes for seven years, and recently took the plunge and opened her own beautiful café and shop last November.
“My cake making business started without me really knowing,” says Anna. “I made a few cakes for friends and family, and soon enough friends of friends were asking me too. Before I knew it, I was making cakes for people that I didn’t know. Then I found I was being asked for business cards and my website details, so I decided to establish Anna Tyler Cakes.
“My style is quite simple and pretty, and I’m also a traditionalist when it comes to flavours.”
“I never went to university or any type of cake school, and actually struggled to find cake classes and courses that appealed to me as I was learning. Now I run my own classes, so I can teach people who are in the same position I was, and they can learn everything from fun cookie and cupcake decoration to expert piping.
“Whether it’s through teaching, chatting to customers in the shop, or working with individual clients, I love meeting new people. It really inspires me, and I find that new ideas flood in for each new client I work with. Then I love the precision of crafting flowers and piping, and bringing the designs to life.
“I also draw inspiration from everything around me, in everyday life. It could be an interesting wallpaper, patterned material, or just seeing how two colours work next to each other – if I see something I like, I start to think about how I can recreate it on one of my cakes. My style is quite simple and pretty, and I’m also a traditionalist when it comes to flavours – I like to keep it simple, but execute it perfectly.
“I think that this is apparent when you come into the shop, as my identity is evident in every aspect. The first thing you see is my wedding cake designs, and then the open kitchen allows people to come and watch how I work when I make my cakes. Even the décor is very me – pale grey walls, whitewashed floorboards, exposed copper pipes, and lots of plants and greenery.
“Since we opened, Anna Cake Couture has been really busy and we’ve had such lovely, enthusiastic customers. Both myself and Felix – my partner in business and in life – have put a tremendous amount of time and work into getting to where we are now, and we’re really pleased to see it all paying off.”
Anna Cake Couture: 7a Boyce’s Avenue, Clifton BS8 4AA. Telephone: 0117 329 5959 or visit: www.thisisanna.co.uk