Here's why Cheshire Life editor hates carrot cake - do you?

Carrot cake slices on wooden cutting board with whole carrots and walnuts in the background.

Carrot cake? It's just not right, says Cheshire Life editor Joanne Goodwin - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Joanne Goodwin's editor's letter in the September issue of Cheshire Life has caused quite a stir. And all because she cannot stand carrot cake. Read on and tell us what you think...

An invitation to dress ‘smart casual’ is, in my view, as indigestible, and oxymoronic as an invitation to eat carrot cake (but more of cake later).

Cheshire is open once more and for the first time in many months we are including in this magazine that staple and most popular of Cheshire Life features: the social event pictures. 

But the new going out brings with it a dilemma. What does one wear for a social event, especially if the guidance is as open to a multiplicity of interpretations as that phrase so beloved of social event hosts: ‘smart casual’?

Certainly, the past year and a half has been mostly about dressing casually (if we’re being pretentious let’s call it loungewear but what we really mean is pyjamas, tracksuits or gardening gear). Or, occasionally, in preparation for those ubiquitous video calls, upgrading to smart/casual (a good shirt or top) and, is it only me, but a spritz of perfume at camera level? Then pyjamas, joggers, gardening gear from the waist (and camera’s lens) downwards. 

My first outing this summer was to Chester Zoo, to the High Sheriff of Cheshire’s splendid summer soirée. (Dress code? You guessed it: smart casual). The great and good of Cheshire were out in force (who was running Cheshire on the night?) and it was the host, Robert Mee, who interpreted the dress code to best effect. More smart than casual but classically ‘English summer’ in his Wedgwood blue and white striped blazer, blue shirt (no tie), and dark blue slacks.

Others stayed true to that top-half-smart, bottom-half-casual lockdown look with shirt, jacket and... jeans; there were a few formal suits, shirts and ties; some ladies dressed for a country pub lunch, others for a garden party at Buck House. And, I imagine, virtually every one of the guests would have spent time wondering how best to appear ‘smart casual’. What a glorious problem to have.

And so to cake (carrot being the only one I would ever turn down). It was my birthday recently and what I discovered was that people did indeed still need me (thanks for all the invitations) and most certainly still wanted to feed me.

So there was supper from the Top of the Hill Fish and Chip Shop in Sandbach, lunch just over the south Cheshire border at The Gresley Arms, Alsagers Bank (go for the views as well as the food), a fabulous afternoon tea at Churche’s Mansion in Nantwich with my little sister (who was not as little after we worked our way through what is pictured above and more), a fun-filled family dinner at Chimichangos Mexican Restaurant in Middlewich and a get-together with colleagues at the new Cheshire House Bar and Grill in Knutsford.

September 18 is National Hospitality Day, a celebration of the industry we champion each month in Cheshire Life.

And which its editor has honoured by having more than her fair share of 
(non-carrot) cake recently. And eating it.