In one word: Retro
"Pies and cakes since 1951" is the slogan and I respect that. Heather Dell has a lot of retro value in their products and I wouldn't be surprised if their recipes and baking methods have changed much in 60 years. Having said that, my personal tastes were not 100% satisfied with their vanilla slice. It's filling tasted much like the sweet pudding mix you can buy, although nice and creamy. The pastry was most unusual, perhaps more common in the 50's. Its colour almost white and its texture resembling a buttery shortbread rather than a delicate golden puff pastry found in the good vanilla slices of today. This combined with the mm thick dusting of pure icing sugar made the whole thing very, very sweet and a bit overbearing.