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Down Hall Hotel in Hatfield Heath is new home of The Great British Bake Off with Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and new host Matt Lucas

The 11th series of TV's The Great British Bake Off is being filmed at Down Hall Hotel in Hatfield Heath.

The iconic Bake Off "tent" has been pictured in the venue's 110-acre grounds in aerial photographs published this week, amid speculation that the venue was switched from Welford Park in Berkshire to halve the commute for judge Paul Hollywood.

The 54-year-old baker lives in a £1.45m farmhouse in Kent, around an hour's drive from the 98-room hotel and spa in Matching Road.

Down Hall (39346174)
Down Hall (39346174)

He is expected to resume his deliberations with chef Prue Leith, 80. She replaced veteran Mary Berry when the show left the BBC.

However, it is being predicted that the 12 contestants will be younger than usual as a Covid-19 safety precaution.

The presenters are The Mighty Boosh comedian Noel Fielding, 47, and fellow funnyman, Little Britain's Matt Lucas. The 46-year-old replaces QI and Fifteen to One host and comedian Sandi Toksvig for the 10-episode run, which usually kicks off at the end of August.

Paul Hollywood will be hosting a one off baking lesson. Picture: Porchlight (39346443)
Paul Hollywood will be hosting a one off baking lesson. Picture: Porchlight (39346443)

There were fears that the coronavirus pandemic would prevent filming of the Love Productions money-spinner for Channel 4. A celebrity version of the show was screened in March.

It is now being reported that the first three episodes of Bake Off 2020 will be extended from 75 minutes to 90, accommodating an extra break for advertising between the baking challenges.

Now the new home of the show's three tests – the signature bake, the technical bake and the showstopper – Down Hall is more usually associated with wedding cake. It was named venue of the year at the annual Essex Wedding Awards and specialises in English afternoon tea.

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