Fete accompli

Jun 4 • Featured, Uncategorized • 794 Views • 5 Comments on Fete accompli

This morning I rang my friend Fiona. ‘Can’t talk,’ she said breathlessly. ‘I’m up to my elbows in cake mix… Izzy, please get your hair out of the icing.’

Yes, it’s that time of year again – fete season. And whether you’re a recent entrant into the primary school system or a seasoned veteran, this can only mean one thing – a sudden outbreak of Competitive Mum Syndrome.

I’ve spent more late nights than I care to count making batch after batch of almost-perfectly iced fairy cakes (if you’re looking for a failsafe recipe, then Nigella’s is brilliant).

I’ve also learned (the very hard way) that if you’re going to run a stall (and if you have a particularly pushy PTA chairwoman, there’s probably no escape), refreshments are where it’s at – drinks and food tend to sell out really quickly, and then you can enjoy the rest of the fete. Or simply sneak off home.

Avoid the Lucky Dip (as it only takes one artful child to snaffle all the prizes and close the stall without any profit – this really happened), the Tombola (it never seems to end), the Candy Floss stall (messy and sticky) and anything too complicated as you’ll probably want to take advantage of a glass of free Pimms or two.

And if you really don’t have the energy to make a batch of cakes, do what my friend Susan does and cheat.

written by Liz Jarvis


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5 Responses to Fete accompli

  1. susan says:

    The school fete – or carnival is what my children’s school call it – I dread it with a passion! We have endless coffee morning to discuss the date, then the stalls that each year puts on, and who is going to make what or how we beg steal or borrow what we need. | Then there are the rotas for who is going to set them up , who will man them on the day and then who will clear up the mess. It never stops. Then you have to pay to go to the carnical to buy stuff from the stalls you have set up. You cant take a picnic because there are stalls of food and that would mean people won’t buy the food . At the end of the day you have spent a small fortune, come home with items you never intended to buy – even things you gave to the school for the lucky dip or tombola – and grumpy children! Then beat this .. we have more coffee mornings to discuss the pros and cons of how it went and each class has to write a paper on how they performed and how it could be improved. Once summer is over we prepare for the Christmas fete!

  2. Adam says:

    lord above – don’t make the nigella fairy cake icing – she uses real cream – not a good idea to leave standing on a stall in all this heat stick to good old fashioned buttercream as outlined on the back of tate and lyle icing sugar – and actually a lot easier to make the trick to making fairy cakes look good is using a tiny splash of food colouring and a few sprinkles – Nigella’s cakes actually don’t look that pretty

  3. sally Brockway says:

    I always volunteer for the tea and cakes stall….so that I can scoff the leftovers!

  4. lisa.lodge says:

    that saves me buying an expensive nigella book! i have just bought a cup cake stand so the recipe is awesome

  5. Becky says:

    This year is my first (and last!) as chair of the PTA so buck stops with me! We only have 69 kids at the school so limited numbers of helpers & visitors. Having said that the average summer fete raises over £1000 so have high standards to meet… We have no outside stalls or entertainments just lots of traditional things, BBQ, Pimms & cream teas!


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