The Bompas & Parr Biscuit Experience

“My biscuit is so much better than yours.”

“Uh, no it’s not.”

“Yeh it is, mine has pink glitter on it.”

“Well, mine’s got glitter and marshmallows.”

Nope, it’s not a conversation between a couple of small children, this was Ben and I, showing our competitive sides during Bompas & Parr’s delicious biscuit experience, Canvas of Crumbs.


Who knew that popping on a pink hair net, and being let loose on a table of multi-coloured biscuit toppings, suddenly turns you into an over-excited 10-year-old?

Canvas of Crumbs was at Reading Town Hall over the weekend as part of Reading Year of Culture‘s Eat Reading month, and it was brilliant. I saw loads of tweets from people who had been along and created some fantastically bonkers looking biscuits!

Two very happy biscuiteers

Two very happy biscuiteers

We popped along on Sunday afternoon and were welcomed into Reading Town Hall by a biscuit expert dressed in white lab coat, who invited us to put on our own biscuit-creating clothing – a plastic apron, plastic gloves, and that lovely hairnet. (I wanted to share Ben’s photo here instead of mine but I’ve been banned from showing the world that delight, so here’s me looking a little apprehensive instead!).

Rocking that hairnet

Rocking that hairnet.

Our biscuit expert gave us a brief overview of Huntley and Palmers, Reading’s famous biscuit factory, and there were some lovely newspaper clippings in a display case which we could browse too.

We were also quizzed on Reading’s 3 Bs – beer, biscuits and bulbs. For Canvas of Crumbs, Bompas & Parr worked with students from the University of Reading to come up with three biscuit flavours, inspired by each of the 3 Bs. We got to try a small taster of each biscuit – the Gardener’s Secret (a rose and pistachio biscuit inspired by Sutton’s Seeds), the Ginger Thin (inspired by one of Huntley & Palmer’s most iconic creations, the Ginger Nut) and Barley Mow (a biscuit with malt extract, inspired by Simmons Brewery).

Biscuit photos by Nathan Ceddia and Bompas & Parr

Photo by Nathan Ceddia and Bompas & Parr

We were then shown larger versions of each biscuit, stamped with three different, intricate designs, created by illustrator Rob Lowe.

After choosing our favourite biscuit, it was time to get creative! We were shown to a workstation with lots of piping bags full of icing in all different colours, and another table full of glitter, sprinkles, marshmallows, and lots of other lovely toppings! Ben took a careful and considered approach to his, while I just sort of started squeezing the icing and went ‘Oo it’s happening’.

When we finished we took our biscuits over to a very cool little ‘biscuit photo booth’ (the Instagrammer’s dream!) where we took some snaps.


Biscuit 1

Biscuit 2

Biscuit 2

After capturing the best side of our biscuits, we got to pop them in a lovely golden box, stamped with the Canvas of Crumbs logo and tied with a bright orange ribbon.

The perfect package to take home

The perfect package to take home

In the final room there was a biscuit dunking challenge where you could select a biscuit of your choice (bourbons, Jammie Dodgers, malted milks, digestives – you name it, they had it), and see how long you could dunk it for without it breaking. (You had to get it from the cup to your mouth before it broke). The going record was 51 seconds which was seriously impressive! I tried to beat that and totally ended up with biscuity tea.

And there was this hilarious photo booth made out of a giant ginger biscuit:

Spot the ginger nut

Spot the ginger nut

The whole experience was so well thought out, and it was free, which is amazing as we got to experience lots of fun things, and of course, we got to tuck into tea and biscuits too. On our way out we were given a mint green envelope with three recipe cards for each of the 3 Bs biscuits so we can make them at home too.

And that evening we tucked into our biscuits on the sofa while watching TV. It goes without saying that mine was the best biscuit, but what do you think? Biscuit 1 or Biscuit 2? You decide!

To see what else is happening for Reading Year of Culture visit 


4 responses to “The Bompas & Parr Biscuit Experience

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