It was quite sad when I went. Looking back, I realise it was such a great achievement, and to get that far I am quite happy with that. My mum and my family supported me the whole way through, they were all backing me and praised me along the way.
Paul was a nice guy. There was a Cypriot connection as he worked there for a couple of years, and I know he loves the country. We would talk about Greek cuisine and flavours. Mary was really nice, I don’t think anyone could have a bad word to say about Mary. She always seeks for the positive which is really encouraging if you are in a down situation, as when you get a good comment from Mary it raises you up again.
My worst moment in the tent apart from going out was probably bread week. I usually like making bread and I prefer that over cakes, it’s my passion and that is why I was more upset at leaving in Bread week than any other week. I have kind of got over it now, and I have since started getting into artisan breads and have been doing a lot of that since the show. I really enjoy it.
My best moment on the show were the comments I got from Mary and Paul in the second week for my iced biscuits, they were all positive notes. In any situation, Mel & Sue will make you laugh even when you are really concentrating. They were great fun as they lightened the mood in the tent and on the first day of filming they busted out a few jokes and it diffused the tension as everyone was so nervous.
My Uni friends said they would apply on my behalf if I didn’t apply, so I thought I might as well do it myself in case they posted a bad application! They love eating my bakes but not sharing the kitchen so much, so I would cook late at night and have the kitchen to myself.
The reaction at Uni has gone mad, I get recognised and people message me with lovely comments. Students that are two or three years ahead of me were sending good luck messages, which is pretty cool. I wouldn’t have dreamed of this happening when I first went to Uni, and now I even get the staff talking to me about Bake Off, which is quite a surprising and weird experience!
Studying and being in Bake Off was a challenge but I knew what I was getting into, so I had a strict timetable split between the two and I got into a rhythm and did both at the same time. The toughest thing was keeping it from my friends and flatmates, particularly when they would come round and see me making Danish pastries which I wouldn’t ordinarily do and have to try and explain that.
I am in my final year now and on leaving I want to go into the baking industry, although I would like to link it to writing as I did journalism in my first year. So maybe a cook book – my grandmother taught me how to make Greek pastries – I like baking Greek classics and then I mix them up a bit.
I didn’t really feel like the youngest in the tent as most of the time I just felt like one of the Bakers. Although some of the challenges that included making jam and jelly were tough for me as I had never made these in my life before.
I have just finished my second year exams and have a month off now so it will be a relaxing time and I will be watching Bake Off every week. This time now with the family as I will be back at home and can sit back and enjoy the show, although I know the family will want a Bake Off bake each week!