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Fave Places – The Wonder Kitchen’s Sammie Goddard

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Sammie Goddard runs The Wonder Kitchen, a lipsmacking cupcake business that services Oxfordshire, Northants and beyond and has a huge local following. Her pink customized 18ft van Lily is a regular at food festivals, parties, school proms and weddings and has racking for a mind-blowing 500 cupcakes (yeah, just mull that around!). Here are some of Sammie’s favourite places, a couple of which are in our lovely Shire.

Bletchley Park

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I started my cupcake business five years ago, after years in the city doing recruitment, but I do have another job too – as a singer with the 1940’s trio The Sasparillas. I’m really into that whole era, so I’m a big fan of Bletchley Park, it just transports me back to a different time, and I find it fascinating.

The Green Room, Brackley

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I used to live just outside Brackley and my son went to school here so I seem to gravitate to the town! The Green Room is a cool vintage chic café serving amazing food and fare during the day but in the evenings it serves the most fabulous tapas and exceptional gin cocktails (and I say that as someone who doesn’t even like gin).

Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley

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This has to be the best girlie tea I’ve ever had! Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley is the hotel’s legendary designer afternoon tea, is inspired by the themes and colours of the fashion world. When you’re involved in the cake business, it’s a pleasure to eat anyone else’s cakes but these ones look and taste particularly amazing.

Jane’s Enchanted Tea Garden in Kirtlington, nr Bicester

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I think I found out about Jane’s Enchanted Tea Garden on Muddy Stilettos! But I absolutely love it, this slightly bonkers and beautiful outdoor café down by the river in Kirtlington, with fairy lights, vintage record player, dovecotes, and some really good cakes. Everyone should go there at least once, it’s really different to anything else around.

Brackley artisan market

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You’ll always find me and Lily my pink van at this event in the market square beautiful market town of Brackley. The Brackley artisan market just started in April so it’s pretty new, and it’s fab – between 20-40 stalls full of artisan crafts, retro clothes and street food on the first Sunday of every month. I did two new cupcake flavours there last week – I went for a summer theme so there was a pina colada one with a cocktail umbrella in it and a key lime one too to go with the more traditional vanilla and chocolate that I always stock. You never know how the more adventurous cupcakes will go but I love creating new flavours and actually I sold out!

The Milk Shed, Weston on the Green

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Every Wednesday morning I meet with my bestest girlfriends at fantastic The Milk Shed in Weston on the Green near Bicester. Sometimes we’ll sit there for so long it ends up as lunch, and occasionally we’ll decamp to Bicester Village. It’s a very relaxed space and the food is amazing – they do a wicked breakfast and the best BLT sandwich ever. My son is always taken by the homemade gummy bear icecream – he’s 16 and still chooses it!

The peace pagoda and tree cathedral in Milton Keynes

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I grew up in stony Stratford in the Seventies and Eighties and saw the city of Milton Keynes grow Around me – love it or hate it, it still feels like home to me despite living a good half an hour away these days. The peace pagoda in MK has always intrigued me; high up on the hill, this shiny gold and cream pagoda overlooking Willen Lake seems so out of place and yet is also beautiful. I love visiting it, and in doing so discovered the incredible Tree Cathedral on the other side of the road – a natural planting of trees based on Norwich Cathedral that is just stunning and can be used for private celebrations. It’s incredibly peaceful, a real must if you’re up that way.

The Wonder Kitchen cupcake van is available for hire for events, parties, weddings and corporate bookings thewonderkitchen.co.uk

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Northamptonshire