Yan enjoys Sweet Start in Great British Bake Off 2017

Great British Bake Off Week 1

On the first week of the Great British Bake Off 2017, Yan has proven that growing up in a Chinese household where steaming and frying are the default cooking methods, does not hinder her baking skills even when she is up against some of the best bakers in the country!

Signature Challenge
For this fruity challenge, she makes a classic Apple Crumble Cake, but forgets one key element – turning on the oven! But she keeps calm, quickly whips up a second batch and bakes on. The judges love the sponge, but it is clear Steven’s Bonfire Night Cake has won their hearts in this challenge.

Technical Challenge
Who would have thought making 12 Chocolate Mini Rolls can be so complicated? But Yan pulls it off, placing fourth out of 12 with her evenly-shaped rolls, each filled with a beautiful and creamy swirl. Winner is Kate from Merseyside.

Yan in GBBO 2017 Week 1

Showstopper
Yan’s idea of an illusion cake is a Banana-Ramen Cake, with such delicate details like the Salmon roe and noodles, it totally fools the judges’ eyes. Paul Hollywood calls it ‘a work of art’.

Yan in GBBO 2017 Week 1Star Baker belongs to Steven who stuns with a simple yet surprisingly realistic BLT Sandwich illusion cake, made with a delicious chocolate hazelnut sponge and peanut butter frosting.

Yan in GBBO 2017 Week 1

Leaving the white tent in Week 1 is Peter, whose coconut cake and showstopper with a broken knife fail to impress. Placing 10th in the technical challenge has not helped.

The next episode of the Great British Bake Off will air at 8pm on 5th September on Channel 4.

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How to see Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget (1)

Day 1

  • Itinerary: Vatican – Castel Sant’Angelo – Piazza Navona – Pantheon
  • Total Cost: €96.20 per person

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

1. Vatican ~ €55

Take Line A on the Metro to Ottaviano (€1.50). To make the most of your time at the world’s smallest state, join a guided tour so you can skip the queue and absorb all the knowledge your tour guide has to offer.

A standard ticket to visit the Vatican costs €16, whereas guided tours vary between €40 and €300 depending on the nature and length of the tour.

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

I joined Maya Tours on one of their morning groups for €55 – no particular reason, they simply were the first one that I came across on my way to the Vatican.

The 2 1/2-hour tour included access to all Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica, and was led by the charismatic Deborah, who made sure our time was as enjoyable as it was educational. Don’t miss the Swiss Guards as you exit the Basilica!

Opening Times

Monday to Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday: 9am – 2pm

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

2. Lunch ~ €3.80

Stroll along Via della Conciliazione (directly facing St Peter’s Basilica) and enjoy lunch with a view at your choice of cafés and restaurants, or pick up a couple of pizza slices to go for just €3.80.

3. Castel Sant’Angelo ~ €13

Sant Angelo Castle is just a stone’s throw away. Outside, you will be greeted by street artists and musicians. Take a glimpse of River Tiber and Ponte Sant’Angelo, and brace yourself for a more majestic view from the top of the castle.

Movie fans like myself will also remember one of the most climatic scenes in Ron Howard’s 2009 thriller Angels & Demons was filmed here.

Opening Times

Daily: 9am – 7.30pm

*Closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

4. Piazza Navona

Just 15 minutes walk away is this beautiful plaza, buzzing with street performers, travellers, families and young crowds. The oval-shaped plaza is best known for its three fountains, most notably Fontana dei Fiumi (Fountain of Rivers).

5. Gelato ~ €3

Stop for a delicious scoop or two at Punto Gelato on Piazza di S. Eustachio.

Opened in 2014, Punto Gelato is one of three ice cream parlours of Gunther Rohregger, the founder of Gunther Gelato Italiano.

Gelato doesn’t get more Italian than this – made with natural and local ingredients like Marsala Wine, Piedmont Hazelnut, Sicilian Orange and Gorgonzola Cream. You will be pleasantly dazzled by the range of unique and unimaginable flavour combinations!

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium Budget

6. Pantheon

Around the corner is the world famous Pantheon. Once an ancient Roman temple, it is now the home of Christians and holds masses every week.

But it is more than a place of worship. Even the great Michelangelo marvelled at its architectural beauty. It boasts the largest self-supporting concrete dome in the world, with a diameter of 43.3 metres – which is also the height measured from the top of the dome to its marble floor.

Opening Times

Monday to Saturday: 8.30am – 7.30pm
Sunday: 9am – 6pm

*Closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25

7. Dinner ~ €19.90

Following a friend’s recommendation to avoid tourist trap, I had dinner at a cosy little place called La Fiaschetta, just 15 minutes walk from the Pantheon.

Tucked in an alleyway and secluded from the buzz of the city, it offers the most delicious and authentic Italian food I’ve had in Rome, epitomising the philosophy of simple things done well. All for great value, too.

How To See Rome in 3 Days on a Medium BudgetGet in the mood for a holiday in Rome with this gorgeous tune by the legendary Andrea Bocelli and Ariana Grande, and look out for my post on what to do and see in Rome on Day 2!

5 Things To Do in Marbella & Benalmádena

Marbella – the sunkissed Andalucian town famed for its luscious green golf courses, beautiful resorts and vibrant nightlife.

A short drive away (30-45 minutes on the scenic A7) is Benalmádena – with a spectacular coastline and marina that pull in tens of thousands of holidaymakers every year.

However, if you fancy a different style of travelling, these two towns equally have nothing short of amazing to offer.

1. Old Town, Marbella

5 Things To Do in Marbella & BenalmádenaForget your map. Take a stroll aimlessly along the streets of Marbella’s Old Town that oozes history and character. As you pass through Plaza de los Naranjos, stop for fresh churros served with an indulgent hot chocolate sauce at Churreria Ramón.

2. Parks, Marbella

5 Things To Do in Marbella & Benalmádena
Photo credit: Listen2Mama.

Cross the Avenida Ramon Y Cajal. Enter the tranquil Parque de Alameda, adorned with tiled mosaic benches and towering palm trees.

A little further down the road is a bigger park, called Parque de la Constitución. From here, you can easily hop over to the next street for a breezy seaside walk.

3. Old Town, Benalmádena

5 Things To Do in Marbella & BenalmádenaLike many pueblos in Andalucia, Benalmádena is a quaint little town lined with whitewashed houses on its steep and narrow streets.

Check out Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, a local church that gives stunning view of the coast.

For a quick lunch, check out this little place opposite Restaurant El Muro on Calle Santo Domingo. Get four tapas and one drink for just €5.

4. Castillo Monumento Colomares, Benalmádena

5 Things To Do in Marbella & BenalmádenaThe Colomares Castle is a rather unique monument that honours the great traveller Christopher Columbus.

It took seven years to build and spans 1,500 square metres, featuring different elements that represent Columbus’s journeys and achievements.

The castle also houses the world’s smallest church in the world, as listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Read more about it here.

Opening Times

Winter
Daily: 10am–1:30pm, 4–6pm

Autumn & Spring
Daily: 10am–1:30pm, 4–7pm

Summer
Daily: 10am–1:30pm, 5–9pm

Entrance Fee: €2

Website here.

5. Theme Park & Cable Car Ride, Benalmádena

5 Things To Do in Marbella & Benalmádena
Photo credit: Teleférico Benalmádena.

If you are travelling with family or young children, Tivoli World and the nearby Teleférico Benalmádena, which runs cable car rides that offers panoramic views of Sierra Nevada and the coast, are perfect for a fun-filled day out.

Tivoli World
Opening Times: check website for latest schedule.

Entrance Fee: check website for different packages.

Website here.

Teleférico Benalmádena
Opening Times

April to June: 11am-7pm

Entrance Fee: from €11.90, check website for latest prices.

Website here.

More Spanish music to get in the travelling mood…