Imagine a large passenger ship something on the scale of the Titanic, but more Art Deco than victorian inside. “Waterfall” style built-in woodwork (rounded corners and edges), high ceilings, and copper and brass details to finish off the look.
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This is the interior of the Royal Salon aboard the Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach Harbor since 1967. It’s also the setting for this week’s wedding cake table designed for Margie and Morgen, two architects from New York.
The Royal Salon has a lovely built-in buffet with a copper back and half-moon shape across the front. It served as the perfect space for the six cake set up Margie requested: All in vintage style, made with buttercream but for one. The center cutting cake (pictured at left) would be decorated with fondant tiers and delicate ruffles.
Margie had little ribbon flags made with various ribbons in her colors, seafoam and coral, and sent them to me to insert in the tops of the cakes. For her central cake, she had a very special paper flag made: It’s been calligraphed with “Margie & Morgen.” (click the picture for a closer view).
Alongside the main ruffle cake is a version of the currently popular Frill cake, seen just to the left and back a little. I first saw this design in Martha Stewart, and it’s beautiful done in vintage pastels like yellow or pink, or white as in this photo (the dark room makes it look a tad yellow, but all cakes were white
This one was a carrot cake, a flavor popular with guests young and old.
Under a glass cloche, a round buttercream cake decorated with simple coral sugar buttons is elevated from just a cake to a precious object. Fun to make and sweet to look at, this cake was a sweet lemon cake (flavored only with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest), iced with vanilla bean icing.
Below you’ll see that on the far right end of the buffet we placed a cake covered top to bottom with sweet buttercream rosettes, and situated it next to the cake that, around the bakery, came to be known as the “Tiki Hut.” Vertical fluting on the sides and top angle of the Tiki Hut cake created a great structural statement among the softer cakes surrounding it, and placing it under a second cloche added balance to the larger one over the button cake. The rose cake was our Pink Velvet iced with Three-berry icing, and the Tiki Hut was a small carrot cake, the bride and groom’s favorite flavor.
Last, but not least, is our sixth cake below, a sweet stack of lemon cake and vanilla bean icing featuring simple Swiss dots on the bottom tier. As any cake-maker will tell you, Swiss dots appear simple and easy, but in fact take a lot of measuring and a steady hand. The eye seeks order, and if one dot is even 1/4 inch off its mark, the pattern appears off and the effect is ruined. And this table is not about odd patterns: It’s about order and grace. The beauty of math.
Adorable calligraphy and intricate letterpress of the main flag by Betsy Dunlap and Blackbird Letterpress, respectively. The flowers were done by Rebecca of Holly Flora who had beautiful dahlias, roses and more to dress the bases of the cake stands as well as the whole room. Thanks Rebecca, for the gorgeous finishing touches to the cake table, and to Margie and Morgen: Congratulations!!