Why The Great British Baking Show Really Films In A Tent

The Great British Baking Show (known as The Great British Bake Off in the UK) brings up a lot of questions for the American viewer. But while we'll always wonder how they manage to cast such sweethearts on the show compared to the people you see on reality TV in the USA, one thing we're really curious about is why The Great British Baking Show is filmed outside in a tent. 

The tent brings no small amount of woe to the bakers. The temperature and humidity fluctuate based on the weather, leading to sugar sculptures that never harden, chocolate that melts, and bread dough that over-proves. But it turns out that the tent has a symbolic meaning that's hard to sneer at. 

So why does The Great British Baking Show film in a tent?

Filming in the tent doesn't have to do with not having a large enough indoor space to fit all of the bakers and their equipment, nor does it have anything to do with natural lighting or ample airflow. Instead, the tent is meant to bring to mind a ye olde time "village fete," a local village celebration often seen in the summers in small British towns (via Distractify). 

A village fete is sort of similar to an agricultural fair (via Hampshire History). Baked goods, jams, and pickles are sold (via The Guardian), there are stalls for playing games, arts and crafts stalls abound, and the village comes together to celebrate the bounty of the land and community. What better inspiration for a competition show that features the sweetest, most respectful reality TV contestants ever, along with new takes on traditional British baked goods to boot? 

Has The Great British Baking Show ever filmed outside of the tent?

Of course, there was one time when they left the tent, but cooking outside of it proved to be even more of a challenge than dealing with the heat and humidity inside. That's because, in a challenge in the eighth season, the final three didn't go from the tent to the indoors (via The Kitchn). Instead, they were tasked with cooking pita bread over an open fire, outdoors, with not even a tent to protect them from the sun (luckily the challenge didn't require any chocolate work!).

Not only did the bakers have to make perfect pita bread in order to win the challenge, but they also had to manage the fire, keeping it hot enough to bake their dough but not so hot that it would burn. At the end of the outdoor challenge, we wouldn't be surprised if they never wanted to leave the tent again.