Author Archives: nilaholden

About nilaholden

I am a cake & cookie designer and have my own artisan bakery based in Bedfordshire, UK. We are a proud supplier to Fortnum & Mason and Not on the High Street Partner You can catch up with me on: twitter/@nilaholden or facebook/nilaholden

5 fab ways to use cookies this wedding season

 

5 fab ways to use biscuits in your wedding by nila holden

So you’re getting married..! Congratulations. What an exciting time for you…!

You’ve probably been scouring pinterest for lots of swoon worthy wedding decor, finishing touches and ways to personalise your big day. After all, it should be a reflection of you and your other half-to-be, full of personality and all the things that are great about you as a couple.

Here at Nila Holden bakery we make beautiful iced biscuits for life’s special occasions and we’ve got lots of biscuits to add that special touch to your wedding day. We’ve pulled together a quick list below of ways that real life brides – some of our many happy customers have used biscuits in their wedding day.

They’re engaged…!

He asked and she said yes! You couldn’t be happier for them, they make such a lovely couple (and you secretly can’t believe he waited this long to pop the question). Lots of excitement all round for the pending nuptials.

You’d like to send a small gift along with a note to wish the newly engaged couple well and help to mark the occasion. This Bride & Groom gift set is lovely, you can add their monogram for that personal touch. Also perfect as a wedding gift for the couple that already has everything. Or for those occasions when you’re just too slow off the mark and all the good stuff from the gift list has already been taken.

Will you be my bridesmaid..?

Why not use biscuits to pop the big question? No, not THAT question! THAT question has already been asked hence why you’re on a knifes edge, frantically pulling together spreadsheets of expenses and a to do list as long as your arm and turning into a bridezilla. (Remember – breathe!)

Of course, I mean asking your bestie, BFF and best mates if they’ll be your bridesmaid. There are so many ways you can pop the big question. How about with these pretty biscuits – customised with a name for that extra special touch. How could any friend say no when asked in such a sweet way? Guaranteed to get your bridesmaids agreeing to wear those soft lilac empire line dress you’ve got eye on for them.

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One of our customers ordered our personalised unicorn biscuits to include in her bridesmaid treat boxes. Don’t they look amazing?

will you be my bridesmaid gift nila holden unicorn biscuits

 

Hen party gifts

So you’ve booked the weekend in Marbs and you’ve sworn off the carbs. You’re all dressing up before you hit the town. To say thank you to your best mates for joining you as you celebrate and being total good sports and wearing those hideous scratchy fancy dress outfits in 30° heat, why not get some lovely personalised biscuits? With a name or some other memorable words stamped. Maybe include them in some goodie bags? Here are some pics from the a recent customer. How much would I love to see the photos from this hen weekend!!???  *butler* *foam*

nila holden hen do biscuits

Wedding favours

One of the most popular ways to use biscuits in your wedding is have biscuit wedding favours. Iced biscuits are perfect as they can be customised to fit your theme. Different colours of icing or how about taking a design detail or accent from your wedding stationery for example and adding this to the design of your biscuits?

One of our most popular wedding favour biscuits are these personalised biscuits that double up as place cards and favours as each one is hand stamped with a guest’s name. How brilliant is that? No need to get separate place cards printed.

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These monogram wedding favours are our next bestseller. Adding a monogram detail to your wedding stationery or favours is such a lovely & classic way to add a personal touch to your wedding. There’s something so romantic about seeing your initials entwined and side by side.

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Treats for the little ones

I designed these love heart cookie pop favours for my own wedding a few years back. I was worried that the kiddies would chatter all the way through our wedding ceremony and racked my brains to find a way to keep them quiet – just for 25 mins or so, in a mess free-stress-free-way.

I thought that giving them something to eat might work well but wanted to avoid sticky fingers so came up with these love heart pops – each personalised with a name. They worked an absolute treat and have gone on to be a popular product too with brides.

nila holden bridesmaid cookie gift

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So there you have it 5 ways actual real life bride’s have used biscuits in their own wedding days (including yours truly!). I hope this blog post has given you some ideas and inspiration.

If you’re a bride in the planning stage and you’re looking for ideas then do check out our pinterest boards for more ideas.

If you’re at the ordering stage then pop over to our website for biscuit wedding gifts, prices etc.

Happy wedding planning!

Nila x

Top 5 Biscuit Gifts for Father’s Day

Fathers Day biscuits nila holden collage.jpg

This time next week it’ll be Father’s Day!  Eeek! Are you prepared? Do you have a special gift sorted for your lovely Dad? No? Well fear note, we have the perfect Father’s Day gift for you and there’s just enough time for you to order for the big day.

We’ve got a lovely range of biscuit gifts for your lovely Pops, delicious buttery iced shortbread, beautifully wrapped and delivered direct to you or your Dad.

 

For the first time Dad

happy 1st fathers day biscuits nila holden

For the first time Dad, the first Father’s Day is a truly special moment. After months of anticipation, pre natal appointments and scans, decorating the nursery and trying to settle on a name, your gorgeous bundle has finally arrived. And nothing could have prepared you for it. A good night’s sleep and any semblance of a normal life have gone out of the window. And you wouldn’t have it any other way. These biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to those late night feeds and a yummy sugary burst of energy just when you need it.

 

For the Boring Jumper Dad

 

nila holden fathers day jumper biscuits

For the Dad who loves his boring M&S jumpers how about these gorgeous jumper biscuits? Your Dad loves his comfy beige jumpers.  Over the years you’ve tried to get him to deviate from the plain jumper over shirt combo your Dad wears everywhere. But he always comes back to his much loved knitted numbers from his all time favourite department store. Because they always his size and he can rely on them.

 

For the Tea Lover Dad

 

dad biscuits for fathers day nila holden

Your Dad loves nothing more than a nice strong brew of the nation’s favourite drink and a nice biccie. He takes his tea strong, with a drop of milk. Always the hot water first, then the milk. And it has be in his favourite mug. Which, if truth be told, he doesn’t wash that often. Much to Mum’s irritation. She’s always sneaking into the dishwasher when Dad’s not looking. Well, how about these yummy iced biscuits – the perfect accompaniment to a cuppa. Your Dad will love them.

 

The Stepdad

 

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Well this is awkward. He’s not your real Dad, but you want to get your Stepdad a little gift to say thank you for being there for you and your Mum. You don’t want to go all schmatlzy and over the top (after all he’s got his own kids who’ll do that), but you need something to show how much you appreciate him, for taking such good care of your Mum. And for cooking a mean roast. These are the perfect biscuits.

 

For the self sacrificing Dad

 

nila holden love you dad mini biscuits

 

Your Dad loves his family more than anything in the world and would do just about anything for you, your Mum and your siblings. He does all the taxi runs, he gives up his weekends to mow your lawn, put up your flatpack furniture or check the oil in your car. When you’re running low on funds, he always has a spare £20 to give you. You say you’ll give it back when it have, but he never really expects you will. This box set of 12 mini beautiful biscuits are the perfect treat for the man who knows little about indulgence and everything about duty to his family.

How to order biscuits for Father’s Day:

To place your order, head over to our Father’s Day biscuits gifts, you’ll need to register with an email address to get more info and prices. Once you’ve registered, login and simply click on the gift you’d like to order and checkout. We’ll make the biscuits up and post them out you to or we can send them direct to your Dad.

Last date for orders for delivery in time for Father’s Day is Wednesday 14th June 2017 so head over to our website today to place your order.

Happy Father’s Day!

Nila x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The time I made biscuits for a real life princess (and didn’t even know!).

princess mako of japan studies at university of edinburgh

Oh yes. I made biscuits for a real life princess – Princess Mako of Japan, and didn’t even know! If the name sounds familiar, it’ll be because Princess Mako of Japan has been in the headlines quite a bit lately. The Princess, grand daughter of Emperor Akihito and member of the Japanese royal household is engaged to be married to a commoner.

Japanese law states that if the princess choses to marry a commoner then she must leave the royal family behind and become a normal civilian. There is concern about the Japanese royal family’s bloodline as the Emperor has just 3 grandchildren, two of whom are princesses and will marry and leave the royal family – and just one grandson to continue the line.

Not many people know but Princess Mako spent time living in Scotland a few years back when she studied at the University of Edinburgh for a year. It was while she was studying there that we had the opportunity to make biscuits for her and her friends.

One of her friends was organising a leaving party for the Princess who was heading back to Japan after completing her studies. The friend contacted me and requested a custom order of our personalised floral biscuits.

nila holden vintage floral wedding cookies

These are probably the most detailed and complex biscuits I have in my personalised biscuits portfolio but if I do say so myself, they are pretty stunning and delicious tasting of course.

nila holden vintage floral biscuits for princess mako

Each biscuit has 3 separate layers of fondant icing – one layer of white fondant and the next layer a lovely pinky/peach colour fondant.

I then use a beautiful flower rubber stamp to decorate the fondant icing, which adds embossed detail. Rubber stamps are a great way to add detail fondant covered biscuits if, like me, you are not particularly good at free hand painting.

nila holden floral painted biscuits

Next, each flower is hand painted using edible paint or as in this design, edible dusts that I mix with a small amount of water to to get an edible paint.

painted cookies, edible paints, nila holden cookies

Lastly, each biscuit is personalised with a different name, again using rubber stamps, and then hand painted with a gold lustre dust. The finished effect is stunning – don’t you agree…?

nila holden biscuits for princess mako of japan

I originally designed the biscuits for my daughter’s birthday and the inspiration for the design was a beautiful vintage scarf that I found in a second hand shop in Whitstable. My daughter loved the scarf and so I used the pattern as the basis of the design for her cake and cookies that year.

I loved making the biscuits for Princess Mako’s party and working with all those beautiful and unusual Japanese names.

nila holden personalised biscuits

I’ve made these biscuits in lots of different colours for weddings & events over the years. Here they are in pastel green and purple.

Thankfully, I didn’t know that I was making biscuits for royalty when Princess Mako’s order was placed, otherwise I think I might have been a complete bag of nerves!

We’ve since gone on to make biscuits for the likes of Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and even our own Royalty the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, but this is still one of my favourite orders to date.

I wish Princess Mako all the very best and many happy, healthy days in her married life.

princess mako of japan nila holden biscuits

We have lots of decorative iced biscuits perfect for weddings, parties or birthdays. If you’re looking for an extra special finishing touch or a sweet treat to indulge your guests then biscuits are perfect! Visit the gift biscuit pages of our website for more info, prices and to place your order.

Nila x

Get Ready with Freddie Cousin Brown at Pandora HQ

freddy cousin brown bloggers freddy my love

I was so excited recently to visit Pandora HQ in Oxford Street for a Get Ready with Me event with blogger Freddie Cousin Brown. My daughter is a huge Freddie My Love fan and as soon as she heard about the event she begged me to get tickets as an early birthday present and well, I couldn’t refuse.

So on a Saturday evening in May we headed off to the flagship Pandora store on Oxford Street, and on arrival were greeted by a short queue of attendees all faithfully wearing shades of pale pink (Freddie’s favourite colour).

We were greeted by the lovely Pandora staff (all also wearing pink) and were given a gift box with a preloaded Pandora gift card in a gorgeous ribbon tied gift box, to exchange in the store (squeee!).

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We headed upstairs where the hospitality from the Pandora team couldn’t have been more amazing, they had laid on lots of lovely touches – a cocktail bar, sweetie buffet, manicures, hair styling.

freddy my love event with pandora

delicious sweet buffet at the Pandora Oxford street blogger event

Freddie did a meet and greet. I have to say she is so lovely and super stunning in real life and I found myself coming over all fan girl too, much to my daughters dismay!

Later, Freddy did a really interesting and useful Q&A, outlining her top tips for getting ready in the morning, her favourite make up brands and how to stay stunning looking all day.

nila holden freddy cousin brown pandora oxford street

Freddy’s family – Mum, Dad & sister Coco were also at the event and it was lovely to meet them and chat about Freddy’s amazing success and rise to fame over the last couple of years.

get ready with freddy pandora coco tallulah

After a few hours of pampering, indulging and chatting, we headed down to the store where we exchanged our gift cards for more Pandora goodies. I couldn’t immediately see anything I wanted to buy. As a baker, I tend not to wear too much jewellery, but my daughter was more than happy to make use of my gift card.

pandora oxford street

Back at the Nila Holden bakery, I was inspired to make some pretty logo biscuits with the gorgeous Pandora branding – including of course some pretty pink themed biscuits!

nila holden logo biscuits for pandora

nila holden corporate cookies for pandora

My daughter asked me to make some biscuits for Freddy and her younger sister Coco which we gave to them at the event. Some pink (of course!) loveheart biscuits for Freddy and unicorn and rainbow biscuits for Coco.

nila holden pink loveheart biscuits for freddy my love

All in all, we had an amazing time at the event – huge thanks to Freddy and the Pandora team..!

If you work in PR or marketing for a brand – large or small – and are looking for some extra special yummy treats for your next marketing campaign, product launch or PR event then we can help.

You can contact us direct via our corporate biscuit enquiry form or head over to the corporate cookie pages of our website for more info and inspiration. We’d love to hear from you so get in touch today 🙂

Nila x

If you enjoyed this blog post you make also like to read the following posts:

Word on Water, London’s most beautiful bookshop

Beautiful Biscuits for Berin Made Book Launch

Biscuits to launch the Harrods Sale

Biscuits for SEAT Cars Track Back Campaign

SEAT branded biscuits nila holden

We loved making biscuits for SEAT cars  recently.  The Sales Development Team at SEAT contacted us to see if we could help with biscuits for an upcoming campaign they were launching with their dealerships.

The team were launching Track Back a campaign focusing on ensuring efficient Lead Generation and Management and improving response times within their dealerships, and were looking to for us to make logo biscuits and to ship them to 120 of their dealerships across the country.

It was clear from the outset that some logo / branded biscuits featuring the SEAT & Track Back logo’s would work well. But the sales development team wanted to come up with something a bit more exciting and memorable to tie in with the key messages from the campaign.

We did some work to look at what kinds of phrases and text from the campaign would fit well on the biscuit size & shape we had in mind. In the end we decided on a set of 10 biscuits in a gift box for each dealership, a mix of square and round biscuits with logos and some with words stamped in them. All presented in a lovely gift box.

nila holden track back lead generation biscuits

And then some with the Track Back branding for staff back at the SEAT HQ.  The SEAT / Track Back branding was a dream to work with and the final biscuits looked great – I hope you’ll agree!

SEAT logo biscuits for track back nila holden

After baking and decorating the biscuits, we had a busy morning in the bakery packing up all 120 parcels, each with a gift box and including a letter from the SEAT team explaining to the dealerships that the Track Back Campaign had launched and what was enclosed in the packet.

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We had some great feedback from the team at SEAT  “Hello Nila, I just want to say a massive thank you for the beautiful biscuits. We are over the moon with them and they have gone down a treat…!”

SEAT corporate biscuits nila holden

We have since signed up to be a preferred supplier to the Seat / Volkswagen group and look forward to making many more biscuits for projects and campaigns across the Audi, Skoda, VW & Seat brands.

Are you working on a new campaign and looking for a little something to make your campaign stand out or be more memorable? Logo biscuits could be the perfect thing! Why not send us an enquiry today to get more info & prices or head over to the corporate biscuit  pages of our website for more info and examples of past projects.

We’d love to hear from you!

Nila x

 

Bus biscuits for Here East’s new shuttle bus.

here east bus biscuits nila holden2

We were really excited to make some logo biscuits for Here East recently.  Here East covers 1.2 million square feet in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and brings together business, tech, media, education and data in the pursuit of innovation, surrounded by parks, canals, housing & leisure facilities.

Here East is home to established names and nimble startups alike. “Radicals, reformers, visionaries, industry heroes and like-minded locals – they’re all part of our East London heritage and its geography of innovation…”

We were commissioned by creative design agency We Design who in turn is working directly with Here East, to make some biscuits to launch a new shuttle bus route.

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There was some stunning branded artwork for the campaign which gave us a lot of beautiful content to work with. 

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In discussions with Naomi, project manager from We Design, we discussed the xxxxx and came up with a simple but sleek design for the biscuit artwork. We felt a rectangular shaped biscuit would work well and would be lightly reminiscent of a bus shape.

We made up biscuits with 3 slightly different designs – always something to consider when thinking about branded biscuits. You’ll be keen to get maximum exposure & sharing on social media, and having posts, retweets etc with a few different images being shared is always really good and definitely something to aim for.

here east logo biscuits nila holden1

Here are the biscuits all wrapped up and ready to dispatch. Don’t they look great?

here east corporate biscuits nila holden1

here east bus biscuits nila holden1

We’ve had some really great feedback from Naomi at We Design:

“Hi Nila, I just wanted to say a really big thank you for the bus biscuits, the client was really happy with them and has messaged me this morning to let me know they are going down a storm on the Here East site…!  Thanks again, it has been great working with you on this project!

Are you working on a new campaign and looking for a little something to make your campaign stand out or be more memorable? Biscuits could be the perfect thing! Why not send us an enquiry today to get more info & prices or head over to the corporate biscuit pages of our website for more info and examples of past projects.

We’d love to hear from you!

Nila x

Word on Water floating bookshop, London

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I had a lovely afternoon out walking along the Regents canal around Kings Cross & Camden a few weekends ago. It was a balmy Spring day, a gentle breeze and the sun shining. London is never more beautiful then when she’s bathed in glorious sunshine.

We took the train into St Pancras and from there headed to Granary Square which is behind Kings Cross station.

Granary Square Kings cross water fountains

Granary Square

From there we took a right turn down to the canal and wondered along to Word on Water, a gorgeous little floating book shop housed on a narrowboat.

Word on Water London's only floating bookshop

Word on Water Bookshop

 

Word on water floating bookshop

Word on Water London’s only floating bookshop

Step on board, and you duck down into a gorgeous & cosy looking reading nook crammed full of all sorts of books, fiction/non fiction, adult books and a cute little children’s book corner.

word on water bookshop london

Mind your head as you step on board

beautiful floating bookshop in london

Gorgeous books crammed into every corner

There are a lots of cosy chairs and sofas that you just kind of sink into, great if you want to have a little sit and browse alongside the wood burner.

It was a bright sunny day when we visited and there was something quite ethereal and magical to be down the steps in such a snug little room, with families of ducks and geese swimming by, the sunlight dancing on the water and throwing sparkly beams back into the room.

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Loved this floating bijou emporium of the printed word, a real book lovers dream! Can’t wait to go back soon.

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Word on Water run a number of events through the year, with live music, readings from published authors and lots more. Check out the Word on Water facebook page for news on upcoming events.

On returning to the bakery I was inspired to design some literary themed book biscuits,  including of course some Jane Austin & Charlotte Bronte. And Of Mice & Men – as one of the kids has been studying this at school so we’ve been reading a couple of pages here and there. How great are these and wouldn’t they make a great edible gift for a book lover? Or perfect gifts or goodie bag treats for a book launch?

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As it happens, we’re currently working on a book themed Christmas gift project for a large national book retailer which I’m really excited about. Watch this space for more info in the coming weeks….

Being someone who owns an artisan bakery specialising in iced biscuits, one of my absolute favourite past times is visiting quirky little tea rooms & coffee shops. I’m surrounded by sugar, baking & biscuits everyday at work so you’d think that the last thing I’d want to do at the weekends is step back into it, but I guess it’s a life’s work and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it! From time to time I blog about my experiences, if you liked this post, you might be interested to read these:

London Coffee Festival 

Nila x