A WEDDING cake designer and baker from Belbroughton has proven she is the cream of the county by winning a prestigious regional prize.

Charlotte Pearman's Farmhouse Cakes business won Best Wedding Cake Maker for the West Midlands in the Wedding Industry Awards.

And the icing on the cake for the 23-year-old baker is that the win gives her a shot at the national crown, the winner of which will be announced in January.

"I’m still so shocked, and on cloud nine - this is such a massive achievement for my little business, I’m so proud I could pop!" she wrote on her firm's Facebook page.

Charlotte said she had thought of entering the competition before but finally had her arm twisted by people at Arley House, a wedding venue in Bewdley and one of her main customers.

She has been baking from a young age, inspired by her mother, and set her company up while still a teenager as a second job to helping out on her parents' farm.

Like many entrepreneurs, 2020 has been a difficult year for her - the mass cancellation of weddings amid the coronavirus pandemic meaning she has only made three wedding cakes this year.

That was a sharp drop from the 28 she made in 2019 but orders are already beginning to flood in for next year and beyond.

"Things are starting to look up again hopefully, I've got 35 orders slotted in for next year now," the former Belbroughton Primary and Haybridge High School student told the Advertiser.

The awards ceremony was held virtually online as Covid restrictions continue to limit live events but Charlotte was determined to make the best of it.

"It was a shame but it is what it is. I had all my family with me, I'm lucky in that we all live together," she added.

"So we all gathered together, got dressed up, had a takeaway and celebrated as well as we could!"

As for the possibility of a national crown, Charlotte remains modest.

"It would be amazing but I haven't got high hopes - I've already got the one I wanted," she said.