Woman’s Weekly readers got a chance to have afternoon tea with Mary Berry at Wisley Gardens. Find out what happened.

Hello, this is Sue from Cookery. I had an afternoon out of our test kitchen last week to go to the RHS gardens at Wisley for a very special reader event – an afternoon tea with the television celebrity and cookery book author Mary Berry

Mary Berry with Cookery Editor, Sue McMahon

Readers were served a delicious afternoon tea (see the cakes in the background of the picture of us above), during which Mary talked about working on the Great British Bake Off and telling us some stories about what went on behind the scenes, and then she answered any baking questions from readers. Questions included secrets on cake making, whether to use butter or margarine and how to make lemon meringue pie.

It was a real pleasure for me to be able to go as I’ve worked with Mary several times as back in 1997 and 1999 she wrote some features for Woman’s Weekly, and so I went to her lovely home for the photo shoots, and I was very envious that she had two kitchens.  She was so nice to work with – and I can vouch for the fact that she really is as nice as she appears on television!  And most importantly, I found that all her recipes worked!

Woman’s Weekly readers enjoying tea with Mary Berry

As well as catching up with Mary again, it was lovely to meet so many readers.  At exhibitions it’s often rushed and I don’t get long to talk to people, but at Wisley it was so much more relaxed and there was lots of time to chat.  The staff at Wisley put on a very good spread, with smoked salmon and ham, and of course cucumber sandwiches, followed by a variety of afternoon cakes. I think that the two favourites were the mini Victoria sandwich cakes which had some Wisley blackcurrant jam in them and the Christmas Eccles cakes, which had a spiced fruit filling.  I was very glad that I hadn’t had lunch beforehand!

Mary Berry signing books

The afternoon ended with Mary signing copies of her latest book, One Step Ahead, which many people bought for Christmas presents.

I’d like to thank all the readers who came – and apologies if I didn’t get to chat to everyone.  Hopefully there will be lots more events like this one as it was a very nice way to spend an afternoon.