Over the past year, Montfort has been cooking up a storm… A company-wide initiative has seen the team’s limits undoubtedly tested and challenged, forcing each and every Montfort adviser, paraplanner, director and administrator to physically endure the strain of the kitchen, and embrace their inner Mary Berry. That’s right, 2018 has seen the introduction of, drum roll please, The Montfort Bake Off!

Proceedings started with Montfort founder and managing director, Geraint Davies. As a global influencer and figure within the financial services industry, Geraint in a previous life made quite a name for himself within the hospitality sector having once managed a number of UK hotels and restaurants. A dab in the kitchen, we thought it only right for Geraint to woo us with his skills. Referencing his Celtic heritage, Welsh cakes were of course order of the day… until he used the wrong flour. Presented with two options – the duds and the duddier duds (made with coconut flour), the Montfort Bake Off immediately became interesting. Who knew which way this contest could go?! Could Alex even win?? The unthinkable suddenly seemed possible! Don’t get us wrong, Geraint’s creations were definitely tasty (upon the second attempt) however slightly tainted upon realising Geraint’s cousin Deborah in Wales had slightly more involvement than passing him the wooden spoon or sourcing the ‘family recipe’ – a serious misconduct we’ll have you know!

And thus, the standard was (almost) set and anticipation definitely created… Come every third Monday, or so, the bright-eyed team would eagerly await mid-morning as the next member of staff would present their baked goods. After hours spent toiling in the kitchen that entire weekend, the victim would officially unveil their baked delights and treacherous baking journey to their peers. From lamingtons, cookies, sponges and cakes, the variety and quality has been diverse… We’ve had Easter cupcakes with a hint of curry and an exotic raw polenta cake – the latter you’d assume embraced the latest nutrition trend, however, not. Commendations must be made to Alex who grew his own carrots for his carrot cake, apparently.

From scoring sabotage and creative use of floral props that New Covent Garden Market would be impressed, the competition got down, right and dirty towards the end. Suddenly there was a prerequisite to cook not one cake, but two. And when it came to scoring (out of ten), Montfort clearly has some pretty tough critics with any niceties left back in the cake tin. In one word, ouch…

“Bit too sugary pour moi…”
“Suspiciously good…”
“Icing tasted of curry and sponge a bit hard…”
“Shouldn’t have been made with coconut that doesn’t stick in one’s teeth…”
“Not baked enough. Lower temperatures (180) and longer baking time required...”

Scores remained secret throughout the competition; only entrusted to Montfort's marketing and communications manager to keep a highly confidential record of scores to only be revealed at the Montfort end of year party. A full list of the Montfort Bake Off entries can be found below:

Geraint Davies; 22nd January – Welsh cakes
Glenys Davies; 12th February – Lamingtons
Andy Osbourne; 5th March – Kinder Bueno cookies
Rosie Newman; 26th March – Easter cupcakes
Jonathon Webb; 14th May – Chocolate brownies
Eugen Neagu; 25th May – Romanian cookies
Sian Davies; 6th August – Polenta cake with lime, pistachio and nectarine
Diane Barrett; 3rd September – Victoria sponge
Jeff Bowman; 17th September – Anzac biscuits
Rob Gow; 8th October – Lemon drizzle and cream cake
Carol Lintott; 23rd October – Coffee and walnut cake AND lemon drizzle cake
Ross Jones; 5th November - Millionaire’s shortbread
Alex Norwood; 19th November – Carrot cake AND lemon drizzle cake
Chris-Slater Jones; 4th December – Koeksisters


The prize we hear you ask? Rather than any monetary award or library of cookery books for the winner, Montfort is turning its attention to those undoubtedly less fortunate and will be supporting the local community this Christmas.

Montfort will be supporting a small, yet hugely significant, charity undoubtedly in need of funding. Established in 1990, the Number Five Project is a Guildford-based organisation that aims to provide a stable living environment for all; regardless of background. The direct-access night shelter has sixteen bed spaces available for local homeless men and women from 6pm each evening, 365 days a year. The Number Five Project encourages self-help and personal responsibility for individuals so they achieve their goals and objectives on the path to an improved life.

Should you wish to join us in our fundraising drive, a link to Montfort’s Virgin Money Giving page for Number Five Project can be found HERE. Open until 31st January 2019, all funds raised will go direct to the Number Five Project.

In the meantime, we look forward to announcing the Montfort Bake Off winner come 21st December 2018 - stay tuned! 





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