It has been an "incredible" and sometimes overwhelming year for Candice Brown since she was crowned The Great British Bake Off champion in 2016, but she says she has been supported by family and friends every step of the way. And the 32-year-old, who is launching her own afternoon tea at the Dalloway Terrace in London, credits some new friends including Fearne Cotton, Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes for supporting her as she adjusts to her newfound fame.
"With Fearne Cotton, she's on the front of the book [Candice's cookbook, Comfort] which is amazing and she didn't have to do that," Candice told HELLO! Online. "At the very beginning when I did my first red carpet she came up and we had a picture, and I've seen her at bits and pieces and we always have a good chat. We've messaged and things like that, and she doesn't have to do that. That means a hell of a lot and it completely blows my mind. For amazing role models like Fearne, for them to take the time to talk to me and answer any questions, that's amazing."
Candice said it was "amazing" that Fearne had been so supportive
Candice has also struck up a bond with Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes after meeting them on ITV's This Morning, with Ruth recently commenting that she was "blown away" by Candice's talent on one of her Instagram photos. "Ruth and Eamonn are like actual salt of the earth. They are exactly what you would imagine, they are funny, they are lovely, they are warm and they are exactly how you see them," Candice said. "They have been so, so supportive, and I've obviously been to do bits and pieces on This Morning so I see them and we do talk a lot."
Candice said Ruth and Eamonn have been a great support
The former teacher has achieved things she could have only dreamed of since winning Bake Off, including releasing her debut cookbook and now creating her own afternoon tea, and she got emotional as she reflected on how far she has come. "Things like going to the Baftas, going to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award and meeting Sir Chris Hoy who is just one of my sporting heroes, and writing a book… people sending me pictures of their baking and it working," Candice said about her most unexpected moments. "I think the biggest thing for me is that I did do it and I can do it, and I am still me and I'm not being anybody else."
The Great British Bake Off winner is launching an afternoon tea at Dalloway Terrace
And she has gone out of her way to put her own personal stamp on her new afternoon tea menu, which features treats including a chicken and chorizo roll, feta and courgette scone, and peanut butter and jelly profiteroles. "I tried to keep it along the lines of your traditional afternoon teas but putting my own little spin on it," Candice explained. "I love all things vintage and old fashioned and everything like that, so I wanted to try and keep it sort of vintage and I think Dalloway Terrace is just perfect for that.
"Afternoon tea is so well loved, I didn't want to blow people's minds with all these flavours but I wanted to put my own stamp on it, and I think I've managed to do that."