The baker, author and proprietor of ARAN Bakery, shows us round all her online hangouts and digital sweet spots.

Flora Shedden has spent most of her life in the kitchen. By the age of ten, she had begun insisting upon making her own birthday cake, and two years later, she was the Shedden family’s designated Christmas cook. In 2015, she made it to the semi-finals of The Great British Bake Off – at twenty, the youngest-ever contestant to get that far.

Since then, there has been no stopping her. A baking column in the Sunday Telegraph followed, as did a variety of presenting jobs for BBC Radio Scotland’s food shows. But perhaps her most ambitious project to-date has been the opening of the sensationally beautiful ARAN Bakery in Perthshire, Scotland, where she lives. There is a restaurant element to the business, which offers creative and delicious dishes, but frankly, we’re here for the cake, which is already – of course – legendary.



In keeping with her prodigiously precocious achievements, she has just published her second cookery book (Hardie Grant), named, simply, Aran: Recipes And Stories From A Bakery In The Heart of Scotland. Each chapter takes you through a distinct time of day at Aran, sharing recipes beginning in the wee hours (Blueberry Crumble Brioche or Pear Tarragon Danish), to midday fuel (Chanterelle, Shallot and Gruyère Frittata or Black Pudding Sausage Roll in Twalhoures), and right through the afternoon, (Blether, sharing Apricot Almond Frangipani, or Whiskey Eccles). It is an achingly lovely account of her business’ daily life.

Here, Flora shows us round all her online hangouts and sweet spots, and explains why you should never, ever jump to a conclusion on social media.

My favourite website...

I don’t know if it classes as favourite, but most of my Internet time is spent on Xero, for invoicing and Nisbets for kitchen kit. Such is the way of running a small business! Sous Chef is my most enjoyable one.



My favourite app...

Instagram. I am addicted.

My favourite blog...

I love Anna Jones’ blog/website. Her cooking, aesthetic and general work ethic is endlessly inspiring.

My Internet hero...

I am a big fan of Alison Roman after Kitty Coles introduced me to her on our London shoot. She is painfully cool.

My favourite podcast...

I love Kermode and Mayos Film Review, The High Low and also Desert Island Discs.

My most recent buy online...

The Cook House cookbook.

Last book you downloaded or read ...

I am mid reading Diary of a Bookseller which is exceptionally good. The last book I read was Sweetbitter which I cannot recommend enough to those in the food world.



Favourite tweeter...

I am becoming more and more useless on Twitter nowadays. I did always enjoy the @wewantplates account though.

Favourite Instagrammer...

@dianahenryfood, @rachelaliceroddy and @ottolenghi for food, @liza.giles for art and interiors and @wormlondon for flowers.

Social media allowed me to meet...

Almost everyone! I live in the middle of Scotland, which despite having excellent food producers isn’t hugely abundant with food writers and stylists. I don’t think I could do the job I do without social media.



The best digital advice I've been given...

Don’t take it too seriously. I have had the odd backlash when I have said something flippant or it has been wrongfully interpreted. It can be quite overwhelming and exceptionally isolating reading hurtful replies. My best advice is to be polite to others, as nine times out of ten they are not intending to offend.

My screensaver is...

My boyfriend James with my five year-old cousin on his shoulders, and her toy monkey on top of her shoulders.

My standout online memory...

Reaching our Crowdfunder target for ARAN Bakery. It was an very exciting moment and I was blown away that so many people wanted to support our little project, It’s something I will be eternally thankful for.

My pet online hate is...

Jumping to conclusions. You can't read a tone of voice!

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