The Big Birmingham Bake opened in Digbeth late last year and offers participants the chance to take part in a GBBO style baking competition (although it is in no way affliated to the official Great British Bake Off).
We were invited to try it out, find out what we thought of it below.
Where is it? 112 Floodgate Street, Birmingham, UK, B5 5SR. Find a map here.
How much does it cost? Tickets cost from £39.50 - £42.50
What's the capacity? There's twelve baking stations and you can have 2 or 3 people in a team. Maximum capacity is 36 people.
Who can take part? Everyone! You don't have to be an experienced baker to take part and all ages are welcome. Children under 18 must bake alongside a responsible adult. You can find all FAQs here.
What's included? All equipment, tools and ingredients are included and everything is weighed out and measured for you in advance. Even the oven is pre-heated to the required temperature for you!
How long does it take? You get 90 minutes to create your baking masterpiece. You are advised to arrive 20 minutes before your slot. For corporate bookings, you can extend this to 3 or 4 hours and challenge your team mates to a more technical bake.
What happens when you get there? Situated in a courtyard on Floodgate Street in Digbeth, you'll arrive to find a scene very similar to the bake off you see on Channel Four - there's a tent fully kitted out with baking stations, as well as a bar and a cosy space with sofas and heaters to wait before your baking adventure begins.
Covid-19 safety measures
The tent itself is light and airy and each baking station is very well spaced from the others. There is a space at the back of the tent where you can wash and sanitise your hands. All flavourings and decorations for your creations have now been portioned out into pots and anything that has to be shared, e.g. bottles, will be sanitised by the staff before they can be put back on the shelf. The judges no longer taste the creations but instead take a look at the bake, texture and decoration. We felt perfectly safe throughout our recent visit and were happy that adequate measures had been taken.
Once you are called in, you take your place in pairs at one of the baking stations before the friendly hosts take you through a few rules and give you the details of what you'll be creating. You then have 90 minutes to bake and decorate your creations. We made baked ring and dome doughnuts filled with creme patissiere, although we were told that the theme changes monthly.
You are given a sheet with comprehensive instructions (which it really helps if you read!). It turns out that the task at hand is trickier than you'd think (for us anyway) - the time limit means you have to work together quickly and make swift decisions on how to decorate your creations.
If you have questions or something goes drastically wrong, the hosts are constantly walking around to help.
Once you've finished, you present your bakes at the front of the tent to be judged. Thankfully the judges aren't as harsh as Prue and Paul and once they've tasted and critiqued all of them, the top three bakes are announced and the winning team are awarded a prize each.
There is also a range of Big Birmingham Bake merchandise available to purchase.
Our verdict: We had such a great time doing this activity and would highly recommend it for a fun team or client event, hen do, birthday celebration or simply a get together with friends. You have to work closely as a team and it's surprising how competitive the atmosphere is!
We didn't win, mainly as our doughnuts were pretty inconsistent, we used all the flavours and our icing was the colour of Heinz tomato soup (we were aiming for the orange in our logo!) but we had a great time nonetheless and would happily return.
Disclaimer: We were invited to take part in the Big Birmingham Bake and therefore our tickets were complimentary. All pictures, words and opinions are ours.