The First Great Leamington Bake-Off

The First Great Leamington Bake-Off

Entries are rolling in for the first ever Leamington Bake Off as judges prepare to get their teeth into tasty treats being made by local amateur bakers.

BID Leamington, which organises the Royal Leamington Spa Food and Drink Festival with the support of local businesses, has teamed up with Sweet As Cake Emporium to launch the contest.

Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, said: “We’ve had such a great response to the Leamington Bake Off and we want to give everyone a chance to enter so we will accept entries on the day, however we appreciate any entries emailed in advance so we can plan for the arrival of so many delicious goodies.

“There are categories for five to 11-year-olds, 12 to 16-year-olds and over 16s with some fantastic prizes up for grabs as well as the honour of being named the town’s best amateur baker for your age group.

“Those who enter should bring their baking to the Festival Information Tent by noon on Saturday, September 5.”

The competition will be judged by three local chefs including Laura Hamilton from Queans Restaurant, Peter Knibb from Restaurant 23 and Jenny Hudson from Sweet-as Cakes as pictured.

Entry criteria and forms for the Leamington Bake Off are available from or

Full details for the free-to-attend festival taking place on Saturday, September 5 and Sunday, September 6, from 10am to 6pm, at the Royal Pump Room Gardens can be found at

Authentic Italian Gelato Handcrafted right here in Leamington!

Authentic Italian Gelato Handcrafted right here in Leamington!

Last month, Leamington welcomed the opening of Swirls Authentic Gelato – a truly Italian ice cream experience!  This delightful newly-refurbished space boasts a sumptuous gelato counter offering 20 varieties of delicious, mouth-watering ice cream and sorbets – all homemade on the premises from seasonal, fresh ingredients, with flavours such as Salted Caramel, Cookies & Cream, Mint Chocolate and tempting fruit ice creams.

Swirls also offers crepes, strawberry waffles, smoothies and gelato milkshakes, which are all freshly made to order.  As you enter Swirls, the inviting aroma of its new Kimbo range of Italian roasted coffee also greets you, leaving you wondering what to order first.

With a passion for all things Italian, Swirls’ owner Clair Edwards was determined to establish a really authentic brand of Italian ice cream here in Leamington – and one that is made solely on the Warwick Street premises.  In what has been a labour of love for Clair and her team, sourcing the right machinery and thoroughly researching the market has been critical.

“It’s so important to us that we make and sell genuinely Italian gelato.  It has to have a certain texture that can only be achieved by making the ice cream ourselves in small batches using the traditional “malcazione” Italian slow churning process. This creates a creamier and beautifully velvety texture.  Where possible we also source ingredients locally and seasonally, we really believe this intensifies the flavour of our ice cream.  We have also crafted our own gelato cakes – delicious layers of strawberry and vanilla ice cream.   Perfect for sharing with friends over a cappuccino!”.

In a recent comparison of local ice cream parlours from blogger BooLovesBaking, Swirls was rated the tastiest ice cream in Leamington and Warwick – offering “magical, creamy gelato and generous one-scoop sized servings” plus the look and feel of the store and the outside seating area were considered a real bonus.  You can also be assured of a very warm welcome from Manager, Paul Deavall and the Swirls team.