A Tale Of Three Cakes


I don’t bake cakes very often these days but over the past week I have baked three, two Christmas cakes and a birthday cake! As I mentioned on last week’s blog, Daniel drove back to our house on the evening of his birthday after he finished training in Swansea. Unfortunately there was an accident on the motorway which resulted in him getting back rather later than expected, 10.15pm to be precise! He hadn’t eaten dinner, so by the time Sophie and I had sung Happy Birthday to him we were eating cake after 11pm!! Looking at the picture I think maybe I should have taken one before Daniel blew the candles out!

On Saturday, I was on air at QVC with gorgeous Butler & Wilson jewellery while Daniel and Sophie were watching Crystal Palace put five goals past Newcastle United at Selhurst Park. My producer, Pete, is also a Palace fan so was giving me occasional updates via talkback. It was very difficult to keep smiling when we went a goal down and then almost impossible to keep the chesire cat grin off my face when we went into half-time 3 – 1 up. It’s a good job I wasn’t on air during the second half as it would have been difficult to resist punching the air!Apologies to Newcastle fans but it is very rare for Palace to score so many goals in a game!

Daniel and Sophie arrived home at around the same time as me and while Chris went to fetch our curry takeaway (a rare treat in our house) I mixed the Christmas cake. Just prior to sitting down to dinner we all had a stir and made a wish – I wonder if that is a tradition in your house? On Sunday morning, before heading into QVC for the Butler & Wilson Couture show, I laced the cake with brandy, wrapped it in tin foil and stored it in the cupboard where it will stay until 23rd December when it comes out to be covered in marzipan and then iced on Christmas Eve. This was last year’s effort.

Christmas Cake

I had to repeat the cake-making process on Tuesday, my day off, for the cake I make for backstage – at least this year I’m working Boxing Day so they will get their cake in closer proximity to Christmas. Craig and I also volunteered to do the gifts for our colleagues backstage this year so there has been a few emails flying around sourcing the best places to buy ‘alcoholic ‘treats’!

By the way, if you love Butler & Wilson the last two shows of the year are this weekend – check our new QVC TV guide for times – unfortunately it’s my weekend off so I will miss them as I am heading down to Swansea for the first book signing of ‘If He Really Loved Me…’ at Morgan’s Hotel on Sunday from 2.30 – 5pm. Please drop in if you’re in the area. The paperback was only published yesterday so you would be one of the first to buy it and of course it would be signed. If you don’t live nearby but would like a signed copy, head over to my webpage www.juliarobertsbooks.co.uk for information on how to order through Chapter One, an independent book shop. In the mean time, do remember to tune in for Butler and Wilson and watch out for this Christmas Tree brooch – I love it!

Tree brooch

Lots of you will recognise the lovely QVC guest Lorna Ko in this picture but what was making her look so shocked?

Lorna reading book

Lorna interviewed me for Chiswick Buzz TV on Monday, I’ll put a link to the interview on here next week, and I told her that the start of book three was in the back of book two… it is a little ‘dark’! If you live in Chiswick my book is on the shelves in Waterstones – very exciting.

Lorna and me

Lorna has now read the book and kept messaging me on twitter with comments like ‘I didn’t see that coming!’ Tova bought copies so that she has something to read on her trip back to the States – she read book one so she wanted to know what happens next, as did Michele Hope and Imogen Connelly who messaged to say she liked it ‘even’ better than the first book. It is very gratifying getting such positive feedback as you’re never sure if people will enjoy your work.

2 books

Have any of you been watching ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’? I was really surprised that Susannah, from Trinny and Susannah, was the first to be voted out. I thought she did really well and was like a mother figure to so many of the younger ones. I think Vicky is my favourite although I’m warming to Ferne after the snakes challenge… I could NEVER do that!

So I’m off for the next few days but we have some amazing Christmas shopping again this weekend with Today’s Special Values from L’Occitane tomorrow and Links of London on Sunday. I’ll be back on Thursday and looking forward to seeing Ralph from Honora for his final visit before Christmas. If you are on the lookout for beauty Christmas presents we have a whole day of beauty next weekend on the main channel, starring a bareMinerals Today’s Special Value offer (13th December). I’m also looking forward to presenting an hour of Molton Brown as I haven’t done a show with Jemma Forte for months!

Have a fabulous weekend and see you in Swansea on Sunday if you’re around.

Much love
Julia xx


  1. Dawn December 5, 2015 at 9:35 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia, I was wondering what eye cream or serum you are using at the minute? I know you used to use Decleor’ s Hydra Floral Flower
    Dew Gel Cream for eyes which
    was great for
    sensitive eyes
    but this has been
    Hope you have a lovely Christmas.
    Dawn. x

    • Julia Roberts December 11, 2015 at 1:33 pm -  Reply

      Hi Dawn
      I have stayed with Decleor – I currently use two pumps of Serum Hydratensuer at night time, and one pump between the two eyes in the morning followed by the Aurabsolu (brightening). I was using L’Occitane Divine for eyes but think we may have stopped stocking it. Hope that helps
      Julia x

  2. Margaret Miller December 5, 2015 at 11:46 am -  Reply

    Brilliant job on both cakes Julia! especially the Christmas one…. Just beautiful!

    • Julia Roberts December 11, 2015 at 1:34 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Margaret,
      That’s a pic of last year’s Christmas cake but they usually look pretty similar when Daniel & Sophie have decorated them
      Julia x

  3. Pam Stephens December 5, 2015 at 6:11 pm -  Reply

    H…i Julia I try never to miss you with Simon Butler just love your shows together …I agree with you about Susannah I loved her in the jungle but don’t think she got enough showing but there was a bigger character getting more showtime airing ( enough said )..good luck with your new book and have a wonderful Christmas ..love Pam x

    • Julia Roberts December 11, 2015 at 1:39 pm -  Reply

      Hi Pam
      So pleased you like watching Simon and I together – I was sorry to miss his last two shows of the year.
      You could be right about Susannah not getting enough airtime once Lady C ‘got going’! I was happy that Vicky won though.
      Thanks for the good wishes for my new book – it has been in/around the top 200 kindle romance books since publication and I’ve already had some lovely feedback via Amazon reviews – very rewarding.
      Hope you have a lovely Christmas too
      Julia x

  4. Jean Pugh December 5, 2015 at 7:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    You have been busy with your cake making again. A really nice chocolate cake and fruit cake are my favourites, don’t like anything artificial or sweet.

    Managed to watch some of Butler and Wilson shows, Simon makes some lovely things, he is so passionate in what he does.

    I mentioned to you in your last blog that Amazon emailed to say your book would be sent out end of December. Well had another email to say delivery change, received it this morning (Saturday). So pleased as really looking forward to reading it. I will do you a review on Life’s a Beach and Then, will put it on your Website.

    Oh Links of London, they have some beautiful jewellery, must watch that.

    Enjoy your few days you have off.

    Love Jean XX

    • Julia Roberts December 11, 2015 at 1:45 pm -  Reply

      Hello Jean
      As a result of your post on here I contacted Amazon to try and find out why the deliveries would take so long. For some reason, they ordered the initial quantity from America??? Anyway, it’s all sorted now thanks in part to you.
      Would you be able to put your review for Life’s a Beach and Then… on Amazon please? It’s fairly easy – I did one for Deb Flint’s first book and you know what a technophobe I am! You just need to click paperback version – doesn’t matter where you bought it from.
      I wonder if you succumbed to any Links of London?
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  5. Jean Gilbert December 7, 2015 at 2:47 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia just finish your book if he really love me so good can’t wait for book 3 how long to wait thank you for a good read

    • Julia Roberts December 11, 2015 at 1:47 pm -  Reply

      Hello Jean
      I’m so pleased you enjoyed If He Really Loved Me… – if you get a moment would you mind leaving me a review on Amazon please?
      I’m working on the new book now – aiming for May 2016
      Julia x

  6. Valerie Wilding December 7, 2015 at 11:50 am -  Reply

    Keep baking Julia I have given up since my husband passed away 8 years ago. He loved my cooking. I caught your remark about tiring of the ‘Christmas QVX tune’ I despised it last year. Then horror of horrors it was back this year. Please have a word and say we need something less grating and more jolly next year.

    • Julia Roberts December 11, 2015 at 1:52 pm -  Reply

      Hi Valerie,
      I know what you mean. My mum send to do a lot more baking when my dad was alive – we lost him eight years ago too.
      I quite liked the Christmas music when it first came out last year but rapidly going off it. I can make a suggestion for something more jolly but sadly we don’t always get listened to!
      Love Julia x

  7. Marian Bolton December 8, 2015 at 6:13 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Is there no end to your talents Missis?!! Chris makes the Christmas cakes in our house. He’s taken over from his Nan who taught him everything he knows about baking …. which is definitely more than me! Well, you can’t be good at everything, can you now. Not unless your name’s Julia that is!!
    Ok, so I am around halfway through IHRLM and you’ve thrown a right curve ball! (That’s about the only reference to sport you’ll get from me, but congrats to your team.)
    Anyway, back to the twisty, turny plot. I’m here wondering is it Phillippe’s or Gareth’s hands on Holly’s shoulders at the end of the trilogy?! Don’t bother replying cos I know you’ll only tell me to “wait and see”.
    Marvellous read!
    Looking forward to a weekend of beauty. If I can tear myself away from your book of course!
    Marian xc

    • Julia Roberts December 11, 2015 at 1:58 pm -  Reply

      Hi Marian
      You did make me laugh with your comment ‘not unless your name is Julia’ – ever heard the expression Jack of all trades master of none – I wonder if I spread myself too thin!
      I am so delighted you are enjoying If He Really Loved Me… of course I can’t tell you the end! There are quite a few more ‘I didn’t see that coming’ moments, and another HUGE curve ball!!!
      I know you’re reading but don’t miss Beauty Day on my account – there are some fab goodies
      Much love
      Julia x

  8. TINA S December 8, 2015 at 11:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    So sorry I couldn’t make your book signing at Morgans Sunday but I was a bit under the weather. My back has been playing up for a few days then on top of that I’ve had problems with the house again! One of my windows had water pouring in during all this terrible rain we’ve had. I managed to get someone to look at it. To cut a long story short, I’ve got to have more work done. Part of the roof has to be renewed where the water has been getting in and rotted all the felt underneath!! I really needed this expense again as we’re still trying to sell it. I ‘m starting to think I should take it off the market get all the work done and stay put. I’m in a right pickle I can tell you. It’s been one thing after another with this house. I know I should count myself lucky when I see those poor people in Cumbria with all that terrible flooding. My heart goes out to them.
    Well , perhaps we’ll get another chance to meet up? Third time lucky- LOL. I’ve posted your Christmas card by the way. I’m guessing you’ll know which one is from me. It has a Welsh theme of course.
    I watched a programme about the comedian Ben Miller the other night. It was called Coming Home. Its like Who Do you Think You Are but it shows people who find out they have Welsh ancestry. His mother is Welsh and his Great- grandfather was from my hometown of Neath. They showed the inside of the church where my parents were married. They did quite a bit of the filming around here. It was lovely to watch.
    I’ve rambled on again to must close.
    Hope it all went well at Morgans.
    Take care- Tina x

    • Julia Roberts December 17, 2015 at 11:34 pm -  Reply

      Hi Tina
      Sorry I didn’t see this earlier – thanks for pointing it out on my latest blog.
      There has been so much sickness around at QVC and I have finally succumbed – I’m hoping I’ll be over it by Christmas. Hope you’re okay now?
      I often wonder if I have Welsh ancestry with a name like Roberts – I’ll have to look into it some time. Wouldn’t it be funny if I traced relatives back to Swansea!!!
      We’re all up to date now I think
      Julia x

  9. Linda December 10, 2015 at 10:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi, Julia, just love your chocolate cake think I will have to get a heart shape tin looks really good,I love chocolate cake it’s my favorite, my hubby just likes Victoria sandwich ,so have got small tins to make them in .I think my granddaughter would love a heart cake for her 10th birthday a triple one would be nice ,hope you have a good weekend with love Linda F xxx

    • Julia Roberts December 17, 2015 at 11:37 pm -  Reply

      Hi Linda
      I think chocolate cake had to be my favourite, closely followed by coffee & walnut and luscious lemon!
      My mum bought me my first heart shaped tin about twenty five years ago and it’s been a tradition ever since.
      Hope you get one to make your granddaughter’s birthday cake
      Julia x

  10. Tina W December 11, 2015 at 7:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    You are a good author.
    You are a good cook.
    You are a fellow veggie.
    How about writing a vegetarian cookbook next!
    I have tried the recipes which you have previously put onto your blogs and they were yummy, so would love to see them and more in a cookbook.
    Have a good Christmas and here’s to a happy and healthy new year for everyone x

    • Julia Roberts December 17, 2015 at 11:39 pm -  Reply

      Hi Tina
      One day I will try and find time to do a veggie cookbook – I think I would enjoy putting that together.
      Thanks for the compliments by the way.
      Merry Christmas to you too and a Happy & Healthy 2016
      Julia x

  11. Linda finch December 12, 2015 at 10:18 pm -  Reply

    hi julia , just love your chocolate cake I love chocolate cake my hubby only likes victoria sponge
    . my granddaughter would love a heart shape cake for her10th birthday so will have to buy a heart shape tin . I have just spent all afternoon doing Xmas banking for my friend’s will do mine next week
    hope you have a good weekend love linda f xx

    • Julia Roberts December 17, 2015 at 11:41 pm -  Reply

      Hi Linda
      Apologies for the late reply – see above.
      Hope you manage to get some baking done for yourself this weekend
      Julia x

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