Zahra and Philip’s Carlton House Terrace wedding was a joy to be part of for so many reasons. As they were getting married in one of the most stunning luxury London wedding venues there is, we knew their day would be incredible; but they were such a gorgeous couple to work with, too!
The Crème de la Crème of luxury London wedding venues
First things first – let’s discuss that venue, shall we? If you’re looking for an intimate wedding venue in London that can accommodate a smaller guestlist whilst still packing maximum impact and grandeur, then we’d really recommend looking at a Carlton House Terrace wedding.
Carlton House Terrace is a Grade II listed building that overlooks St James’ Park and The Mall, comprising two stunning Georgian town houses. It’s been a site of all things elegant and magnificent since it was built in the 1820s on land owned by the Prince Regent, George IV, right up to present day, as it’s now home to the British Academy and a popular venue for filming! You can see why it’s been voted as one of the top 25 luxury London wedding venues, can’t you?
All of this incredible history means that the dreamy, airy interiors are jaw-dropping everywhere you look, but we still practically fainted when Zahra and Philip showed us where they planned to display the cake. They wanted it to be the centrepiece as guests went through to the wedding breakfast, and so accordingly they planned to put it pride of place in The Gallery, in an ornate arched doorway with gold detailing. It was to be a showstopper, alright – challenge accepted.
Zahra and Phillip’s Stunning Carlton House Terrace Wedding Style
Like so many others, the original plan, a sumptuous summer wedding with a large number of family and friends in Pakistan, was sadly cancelled due to Covid. So instead, undeterred, Zahra and Philip pivoted their plans to a daytime celebration with around 40 of their closest family and friends. They’d married in a civil ceremony a few weeks before, so their Carlton House Terrace Wedding formed their Nikah: the traditional Muslim marriage ceremony, where the marriage contract is signed and the bride and groom say “I do.”
Zahra and Philip got in touch with us about 3 months before the big day, and were so excited to finally be able to get married that they wanted to enjoy every single aspect. This meant we had the pleasure of getting to know them over many Zoom calls as we figured out exactly what they were looking for from their cake. They were happy to share all of their plans and inspiration with us, which we loved. It was so clear that they completely understood what goes into every cake design that we create (though, to be honest, we knew this from Zahra’s first words to us – that she dreamed of having sugar flowers on her wedding cake. From that point on, we knew we were going to get along just fine…)
Though they had an Autumn wedding date, the colour palette for the day was a soft summer vibe, with dusky pinks, light purples, lilacs, ivories, and lots of greenery. To this end, Zahra wore traditional Pakistani bridal clothes in the most stunning shade of dusky purple: a long embroidered shirt, skirt and dupatta draped over her head and shoulders. Each piece was intricately embroidered in pinks and purples and embellished with flashes of silver, so that she quite literally dazzled. On the other side, Philip looked debonair in a navy suit.
A summer-inspired sugar flower wedding cake
Zahra and Philip had found us on instagram, and had been drawn to our signature style of blending brighter colours with softer, subtle elements. With this in mind, we wanted to create a cake design that simultaneously complemented the beautiful surroundings whilst also making a bold statement, helping it successfully stand out in the kind of large, airy room that these small luxury London wedding venues often have.
We know that the talented team at Lavender Green were working with a veritable variety of soft, delicate flowers – which you can see in the incredible arrangements they made – and so we wanted to emulate these on the three tiered cake. Zahra’s only stipulation was to avoid tiny Valentine’s roses and chrysanthemums, but other than that, we had free rein!
To accentuate the cascading sugar flowers, embolden the pale colours and strengthen the deep, bold focal florals and ruscus, we also added some freehand painting onto the fondant. As a finishing touch and a nod to the gold wall details of their intimate wedding venue in London, we added some delicate hints of gold too.
And, of course, cake isn’t just to look at. It’s to taste too, in fact, Zahra and Philip had some guests who were invited especially to the cake-cutting; no pressure, then.
They chose the punchy, delicious flavours of cappuccino coffee and salted caramel for their cake tiers, after falling in love with them in their tasting box. We especially loved how they told us that they’d had a sneaky bite when the tasting box arrived, then waited until the next day to properly sit down, taste and discuss each flavour together. They couldn’t get over how the flavours had gotten even better! This really can, and does happen. This is because the flavours can really soak in as we make and design a cake, and that’s why it’s made over a number of days. The baking, buttercreaming, ganaching and finally the icing are all done so that the flavours can slowly come through, and be absolutely perfect for the big day.
Thank you so much for our beautiful cake – we absolutely loved it. We received wonderful compliments from all of our guests on how good it looked and tasted.
It was truly an honour to work with Zahra and Philip in bringing their dream to life, as well as working in one of our favourite small luxury London wedding venues. Thank you, too, to Carla at The Unbridled, for the beautiful pictures of this Carlton House Terrace wedding!
And if you’re looking at luxury London wedding venues, and for a cake that will match the elegance and grandeur of it whilst tasting divine too – we’d love to hear from you! You can get in touch here.
We are Erica and Charlie Bell, a mother-daughter team creating breathtaking wedding cakes and macarons from our studio in Maidstone, Kent. We love nothing more than getting to know our couples, and creating distinctive designs that are inventive and imaginative. Our one-of-a-kind cakes that are designed down to the very last (sugar) detail. We deliver across London, Kent, Essex, Surrey, Sussex and beyond.