The owners of a Chester tearoom are ‘thrilled’ to be featuring on two national TV shows.
Next week, viewers will be able to see Mad Hatters Tea Room on Bridge Street Row feature on the second series of Britain’s Best Bakery which airs on ITV1 every weekday at 4pm.
It showcases bakeries from different sections of the country each week, judged by TV chef Mitch Turner MBE and baker Peter Sidwell, with Chester featuring next Tuesday.
Each week the bakeries are set challenges, with each round being judged by Mitch and Peter.
These include taking part in a ‘speciality bake’ and a timed ‘blind bake’ following a recipe they are given, before the winners from each round go through to a regional heat, semi final and the final.
Ann Gardiner and Kerri Elston who own Mad Hatters, said they were delighted to have been approached to appear on the show and they both ‘jumped at the chance’.
Ann said: “We both love a challenge and it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to take part in a programme all about our passion – baking!
“It was great to meet other bakeries, some of whom had been trading longer than we have been alive! We were able to chat recipes, techniques and to eat some fantastic produce.
“It was a tough schedule with two days filming in the tearoom and around Chester, and then three days away in the Lake District filming for the first challenges, and although tiring it was lots of fun.
“We can’t give away how any of the bakeries did, so no spoilers!
“This series will also see a cookbook accompanying the programme and we’re really excited to be a part of this and have one of our recipes published,” she added.
And that’s not the only bit of excitement they’ve had, as last week Ann and Kerri were thrilled when celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal called them to invite them to afternoon tea where he asked them to appear on an episode of his new series of Great British Food .
“The episode sees him tell the history of afternoon tea, culminating in the event itself,” said Kerri.
“We are both huge fans and Heston himself is very personable, very enthusiastic about what he does, and had plenty of time to chat with us which was just the icing on the cake. “It’s difficult to put into words how amazing the experience was, it was creative, surreal, tasty and innovative – an inspired take on the traditional afternoon tea!
“It’s certainly an experience that will stay with us, and it was a privilege to take part.”
The episode featuring Ann and Kerri has been given a preliminary airdate of April.