Words by Amy Sedghi
When we speak, Sophie Faldo is in the middle of baking a cake, “It’s just a lemon and raspberry fondant,” she says breezily as if I’ve caught her throwing together something as simple as a packet mix. The cake she is baking is for a Blind Veterans UK charity evening.
Commissioned as an officer in the Royal Artillery, after attending the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, Sophie served all over the world, including in Afghanistan, before working as a surveillance consultant, a personal trainer and an Alpine ski touring instructor. She’s a rower and track cyclist having competed at national levels. Phew! Keeping up?
But if you spent last summer gripped by the baking goings-on in a rather famous white marquee tent, then you’ll know Sophie better as the 2017 winner of the Great British Bake Off. How’s it been since winning Bake Off? She hesitates, “Yeah, it’s been a real change, but quite fun.”
From penning pieces to taking part in quiz shows and getting in the thick of it with her boyfriend at the Michelin starred Black Hat restaurant in Kew, she’s certainly been busy embracing the opportunities that come with winning a much loved national contest. Although, with her impressive CV and list of accomplishments, Sophie’s clearly never been shy about taking on a challenge.
Starting out as a rower, she took to the bike following a bad back injury during a yoga class. “The coach put me on a Wattbike, whilst the others were out on the river,” she explains. “I thought ‘this is silly, I can cycle, I might as well take it up a bit more seriously’, so I joined a club”.