At Home with Ashley Thomas collection London - Arabstoday TV hit The Great British Bake Off has created an enormous boom in bakery and high tea-ware, new sales figures reveal. Traditional style cake stands, food mixers, baking trays, measuring jugs, scales and even oven mitts, are selling like hot cakes, says high street store Debenhams. The dramatic rise has coincided with the broadcast of the BBC series, which now commands one of the biggest audiences on television. Said Debenhams head of Home Buying Alice Duggan: “Thanks to Mary Berry, Britain is becoming a nation of bakers once again. Her reassuring yet authoritative tone of voice makes all food lovers want to do ‘the decent thing’ by baking beautiful, hand-crafted dishes at home rather than buying them in a supermarket.” And for the very first time, the baking boom is being taken up equally by men as well as women. Experts are calling this ‘the Hollywood effect’ after Berry’s co-judge, Paul Hollywood. So great is the trend that Debenhams has launched a new range of high tea and bake-ware items, At Home with Ashley Thomas. Sales of traditional style cake stands, used to display home-baked delicacies, have seen the biggest rise, up by 207 percent on this time last year. Baking Accessories are also up 38 percent and the new tea-time range, At home with Ashley Thomas has shown an increase of 50 percent. Alice Duggan, Head of Home Buying said: “We first saw an upsurge in our traditional teatime and bake-ware products around June, at the time of the Queens Jubilee and all the street parties. We are delighted that the impetus has been maintained throughout the summer and think it is a trend that appears to be here to stay.” According to catering industry analysts bookings for afternoon tea have overtaken lunch reservations in many hotels. Bookings for traditional high tea are 25 percent up since last year. Afternoon tea originally started in the 18th century as a way for Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford to bridge the gap between an early lunch and late dinner. The idea was picked up by aristocracy and the trend rolled out across the country with hotels quickly offering afternoon tea as the fourth meal of the day.