The Rise of the Home Baker – uncut interview

Ruth Clemens

In the Spring edition of Archive, Anna interviewed Ruth Clemens, runner up on 2010s The Great British Bake Off. Here, exclusive to our website, is the uncut interview.

To you, what is the importance of baking?

If we don’t teach our children how to bake it will die out, the power is in our hands to maintain the tradition. In the past few years there’s been a massive supermarket boom, we’ve been conned into thinking its wonderful, but it will never taste as good as home made.

Why do you enjoy baking?

I’m not good at cooking at all, but I love baking. I watch shows like Masterchef, which are way out of my league, but I love baking for everyday purposes, to put biscuits in the tin. I like baking because it’s a giving past time, it’s very selfless.

How did you apply for The Great British Bake Off?

I saw an article for keen home bakers and thought it looked like fun!

“I like baking because it’s a giving past time, it’s very selfless.”

Did you want to win the Great British Bake Off?

I never set out thinking I’d win, it was all about enjoying the experience. As long as I was enjoying it, I was happy taking part. I didn’t like the competitive part, I made a lot of friends and it was upsetting to see them go.

What do you think about the British reputation as a ‘tea drinking, scone eating society’?

[Laughs] I think it is something we British do very well! I’m very proud of our heritage.

What do you love about baking?

I like to play at baking, all the recipes on my website are my own work, which I’ve adapted from traditional methods. Baking never goes wrong, it just doesn’t always go right. My family are my critics, if it goes down well with the boys, then it’ll go on the website.

What are you favourite recipes?

My ultimate favourite recipes are my scones, ginger cakes and minced meat and onion pies.

Visit Ruth’s website for more information about her home baking experiences, recipes and tips.

Twart – Twitter Art

Art impacts society in many different ways. But, does society impact art?
We tweeted up and coming artists and photographers and asked them: “how does your work reflect your culture and surroundings?”

If you’ve got an opinion on art and culture, leave a comment here or tweet Archive.

Ken Powers
My art is designed to draw your attention to and accentuate the beautiful and often overlooked mundane subjects that surround us.”

Alissa Fereday
@ AlissaFereday
“Mine is almost all a reflection of where my heart is at the moment and what growth I’m experiencing as a painting builds.”

Julia Forsyth
“I’ve been asking myself the same thing! I guess the reflection is more internal than external – tough question.”

Jamie Berry

“Art is a reflection of where and who I am today, wherever and whomever that happens to be.”

Dawn Giunta
I tend to find inspiration in the mundane. Something ordinary will just strike me in such a way & I have to share its beauty. ♥”

Damien Franco
I don’t think I could answer that in 140 characters!”

Home Comforts on Holiday


The beautiful North Wales scenery

 “I’d never been on holiday to Pontins before, it was like a little home away from home! And having never stayed in a chalet before I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was a little self contained apartment. The kitchen had everything you could need, I love cooking and it was really nice to go somewhere and still have use of kitchen facilities.

Camping is really really not my thing, I just hate it, I’m a real indoors kind of girl. The Prestatyn Pontins Centre was a stone’s throw away from the beautiful beaches, within easy walking distance of the town centre which had plenty of shops and lovely places to eat – you can’t stay in the apartment and cook every night can you?! But best of all, I could go back to the chalet with a smile on my face, knowing that I wouldn’t have to use any horrible shared ablutions and at the end of a long day, run a hot bath and just relax.

For families, Pontins offer loads of entertainment and activities on a daily basis, all you have to do is check what’s going on at the welcome desk in the morning. And if you love to swim, you’ll be happy to know the splash centre with its crazy water slides is open all day.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive holiday that’s loads of fun, I’d recommend the Pontins centres, there are loads across the country, the biggest site Blackpool and Prestatyn is the second largest.”

Check out Holly’s Pontins Accommodation Picture Diary below.

A bit of a British institution, generations of children have been whipped into a frenzy by the sight of the Pontins sign.

The morning dawns bright and beautiful over the Pontins Centre.

Apartment 514 - a warm, comfortable and relaxing weeklong seaside holiday

A table, a Tv and a sofa just out of view, it may be a little basis but in my opinion, it sure beats a tent!

Small but self-contained, this kitchen was a real luxury.

 All photographs ©Holly Hardiman 2010

For more information on Pontins Holiday Centres and details on how to book a holiday, visit the Pontins website.