A baker who faced a struggle when weddings were not allowed during Covid has been commissioned to create a gingerbread house for Robbie Williams.

Wedding cake designer Samantha Tempest, who is based in Minster Lovell, was last year commissioned to create four glorious gingerbread houses for the singer and his wife Ayda.

She started her bakery business, The Pretty Cake Company, from her kitchen table in 2008 having always loved baking as a child.

She sold hand-made hampers full of signature biscuits, cakes and macaroons for Christmas, Valentine's Day and Mother's Day in order to keep her business afloat during lockdowns.

She said: "I thought I would diversify a bit so doing the seasonal ranges has been good for keeping my brand out there, keeping the wheels of the business going and also for my own sanity.

The four intricate gingerbread houses she created were displayed on the Williams family's Alpine tablescape on Christmas Eve.

Cotswold Journal:

Samantha said: “The woodland animals themed house was my favourite of the four I made. I loved how the bunnies and the deer were looking into the house and I added a log store at the side of the house for a nice little touch. I popped some LED lights into the house to light it up too!

"The second house had lots of lovely little touches too. I added a porch to this house which had a silver door wreath hanging above it. I added shutters on the windows and stencilling was a great and quick way of adding pattern to the roof and walls. The three-dimensional trees were a bit of a challenge and I had to do many prototypes before I got the fittings just right."

Unbelievably the houses were her first attempts at doing gingerbread houses and required lots of research into recipes, baking, and the best ‘cement’ to keep it all together.

The third house was a gingerbread chapel with an ‘Angel’ - Robbie's number one hit - window feature, some large snowflake cookies and rows of 3-D trees.

Samantha said: "When I came to photograph it at 6pm the night before, I found that the balcony had dropped off. I then went into panic mode worrying that by the time I’d arrived at my destination the following morning, that the whole thing would have collapsed.

"So I made a new back-up from scratch. I managed to do a replica in 10 hours and only managed three-and-a-half hours sleep. Of course it wasn’t needed and the original arrived intact, but I knew I couldn’t risk it for this client.”

Samantha has shared her recipes on theprettycakecompany Instagram.