It is clear from the absence of flour on the shelves of most UK grocers and supermarkets that something is afoot: The Great British lock-in has unquestionably given rise to the Great British bake-in.
Whether it is down to more time, the therapeutic benefits of baking, finding comfort in the familiar, or just plain comfort in cake, the kitchen has found increased focus in every home: after all, there is little in the world that can’t be at least eased by tea and a slice of your favourite cake.
The act of baking, whether pie, biscuit, cake, or bread, is about so much more than just filling time or being industrious: it is a comfort, alerting the senses to other delights, uniting people in both a shared activity and when it comes to testing the results: the proof of the pudding is in the tasting and it usually tastes better when shared.
According to Good Housekeeping the most popular cake to bake at home and share is the classic Victoria Sponge, revolutionised in June 2018 by the revelation that national treasure and world-class cake baker Mary Berry no longer follows the traditional ‘creaming’ method, instead opting for the much simpler and quicker ‘all-in-one’ method.
The current global circumstances are providing impetus and time for change and reflection, not only in the moment but also in the coming months and beyond, as people reassess their priorities and needs. The requirement to stay at home, possibly work from home and the rediscovery of the pleasure of baking will definitely shape and influence people’s wish lists when it comes to selecting a future home: access to outside space (private or shared) will increasingly be viewed as essential, rather than desirable, space for a work station or home office essential and the requirement for kitchens that you can cook and entertain in, with ample storage space for ingredients and utensils, a highly prized feature.
Don’t let the apparent shortage of flour come between you and baking greatness: the shortage of this store cupboard staple in our supermarkets is apparently down the speed at which it can be bagged, rather than a shortage of grain. If you don’t mind larger bags, ranging from 4kg to 32kg, then The National Association of British & Irish Millers (nabim) has provided a valuable online tool that lets you search for flour outlets closest to you, simply by entering your postcode, some of which may be able to deliver: find your flour here.
If the challenges of homeschooling or the call of Netflix have left you short of baking time, but not absolved you, or your family, of the desire for cake, then
Agnes du Sucre may be the answer: long for a classic with a twist? Can’t make that desert gambling destination? Or just need to provide a little magic?
Agnes de Secre provide a plethora of tempting treats including a Victoria Sandwich which is altogether on another level, a Viva Las Vegas sugary feast and a tableau of Rainbows and Unicorns, enough to please any princess.
If your taste in baked perfection leans towards the more traditional, then iconic Yorkshire institution Betty’s of Harrogate will happily send to you any number of classic delights, from fruit cake to fondant fancies!
Mixing bowls at the ready? We have selected six properties, each with a kitchen that makes a house a stunning home, including one that forms part of Mary Berry’s past.
Located within an exclusive private gate road, Telegraph house is an immaculate two-bedroom duplex apartment that has been recently redeveloped to an immaculate standard. Offering open plan living accommodation, the reception/dining room area and kitchen are ideal for entertaining. The kitchen has been designed to the highest specification with a bespoke McCarron designed kitchen.
This exquisite duplex is located within iconic Oceanic House which was built as the offices for the famous White Star Line shipping company. The apartment has been finished to an impeccably high standard in the specification to ensure an uncompromising regard to comfort and security, and an extensive range of modern appliances by internationally renowned brands.
Located within a new development by architect and interior designers Rigby & Rigby, this first floor Great Queen Street apartment is one of three lateral apartments. The apartment is directly accessed via a lift opening the hallway in the historic part of the building, with open plan living accommodation that has been stylishly designed. The apartment boasts a kitchen that has been equipped with Gaggenau appliances and finished in a soft grey marble.
Albert Court presents a generously proportioned two-bedroom apartment, offering spacious accommodation including a kitchen/breakfast room and reception room and contemporary finishes combined with a classical style.
Situated in the heart of Holborn, this stylish triplex penthouse apartment is located over the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of this charming building with a period façade. The building benefits from lift access, CCTV security surveillance and bicycle storage. The penthouse consists of a master bedroom, two further large bedrooms and an open plan living and kitchen space
Hope House, Bath
Our final entry has a direct connection to Mary Berry, being the former site of Bath High School, which Mary attended. The original Georgian house has been meticulously restored: set within six acres of parkland in central Bath, the prestigious development offers a total of fifty-eight, 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom new homes. Featuring the conversion of the majestic Grade II listed building, together with a collection of carefully-designed new build homes.
Properties in Hope House feature hand-finished kitchens by Stephen Graver and Leicht with Miele appliances, with some apartments offering spectacular views across Bath