Betty’s Tea Room, York

I’ve always wanted to visit Betty’s in York, UK. A very traditional tea rooms established in 1919, it’s quintessentially British, from the service to the staff attire.

Due to it’s high standard and excellent reputation it gets exceedingly busy. When we went they were queuing out of the door today! Foreseeing this, I pre-booked a table in their Belmont Rooms, on the first floor. We were sat down much quicker, avoiding queuing in the cold.

We were made to feel very welcome; sat on a beautifully laid table. The staff couldn’t be more helpful, so respectful and attentive. We felt very special and well looked after.

I ordered Betty’s Earl Grey Tea. It was so lovely; served in a traditional tea pot with the leaves and a tea strainer – as it should be in my opinion.

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We were then presented with an exquisite afternoon tea stand with sandwiches including; coronation chicken, roast ham with a sweet whole grain mustard, egg with cress and prawn. They were extremely tasty, freshly prepared and they were more than willing to bring more if required. I thought about it but looking at the rest of the stand I wanted to make sure I had enough room for the cakes! After all that’s what it is all about the sweet treats. Hehe.

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I then sampled the stunning homemade sultana scones with jam and clotted cream – need I say anymore. An absolute pleasure to eat!

Then the highlight (in my opinion) the patisserie cakes.

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The fruit tart was particularly good but my ultimate indulgence was the Black Forest macaron with a rich, chocolate cream filling with fresh cherries and an alcoholic kick at the end. Divine.

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We had a delightful afternoon, the ambience was fabulous, with a lady playing the piano, it was extremely relaxing. If you’re ever in York you must visit Betty’s, to experience a traditional and friendly food experience. There are not many like Betty’s around these days sadly. We are swamped with franchises setting up coffee shops and cafés, don’t get me wrong I like some of them but feel we should maintain our traditions and heritage in the classic and individual tea rooms of English history and culture. I understand you pay the price but it’s a small price to pay when you receive an excellent service and a day you won’t ever forget for being so lovely!!

Please note Betty’s also sell cakes, bread, souvenirs and gifts which are worth looking at. As well as being a fabulous tea rooms they also sell excellent produce, perfect for a gift or to take home for yourself.

Betty’s Tea Room a must to visit and the perfect way to spend my New Years Eve. Have a lovely evening everyone.

Stephy x x

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Mega Sandwich- Chicken , Avocado and Rocket

One of the many pleasures in life is a proper sandwich to keep you fuelled through the day. I’ve become a little obsessed with avocados recently. I think I’ve been watching too much Nigella, as I know she is a huge fab of them and cooks regularly with them.

I love their marbled pea green colour, very vivid and a healthy food, high in good fats. I was struggling to think of how to use them other than for guacamole and then I thought how about as a sandwich filling?

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It was so delicious!!!! Mmmmmm….
I used a chunk of ciabatta bread, cut it in half length ways and put in my avocado (not mashed but still quite chunky) well seasoned with a hint of cayenne pepper for a kick. Next I added sliced cooked chicken and a good handful of fresh rocket. You could even add mayonnaise if you wanted.

It was sooooo tasty and now a favourite sandwich filling. Great to enjoy yourself or for packed lunches and lunch guests. A heathy, guilt-free option.

Enjoy! Stephy x x

Bouillet Patisserie – Lyon

Having already sampled the delightful gateaux’s in a patisserie in the centre of Lyon we decided to travel around the city to discover more culinary delights!

Viola we found this fabulous patisserie. The Macarons were a delight. I scoffed the most tastiest Macarons I think I’ve ever eaten!

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It was well worth the steep climb to reach the shop, French streets are so pretty. Rustic and full of charm and character.

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I ate a variety of flavours including; pistachio, coffee, chocolate orange and lemon. Tres tres bon! Before you ask, no I didn’t share them, I ate them all myself as something’s in life are meant to be indulged by oneself and this is one of them.

The patisserie Bouillet is well worth a visit.

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You are truly spoilt for choice, not a bad thing, but I found the Macarons particularly superb!

Next to try making them myself…….

Stephanié x x

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My Fab French Foodie Adventure Continues, Baking Afternoon

As much as I enjoyed relaxing and chilling out in France, after all it was a holiday. No holiday would be complete to us bakers than having a baking afternoon. Some might say this is a bit strange and not relaxing at all but to me it’s so therapeutic.

It was a challenge having to read packets and ingredients in French, I had a panic as to whether or not I added enough baking powder but it turned out great in the end.

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I wanted to bake a traditional English cake, a Victoria Sponge but with a twist. Having only one baking tin I decided to put the filling on the top, not in the middle. Not traditional I know but my French friends thoroughly enjoyed it. Viola.

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It was great to bake a cake for friends, in France and try their beautiful, traditional sweet treats too.

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This apple tart was a delight, lovely thin pastry, with no soggy bottom. (Mary Berry would have been impressed.) The apples beautifully presented, a feast for the eyes and stomach.

A pleasant afternoon with tea and cake; what’s not to like!

Stephanié x x

My Fab French Foodie Experience

I’ve recently journeyed to France. C’est trés bon. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the different culture and way of life. It’s steeped in history and has much to see and experience.

I stayed in Lyon, a truly magnificent city. I was so impressed with the ambience and the real ease of accessibility around the city.

Most of all however, I adore the food!! I have sampled some amazing dishes and of course the patisseries and boulangeries. In particular my favourite patisserie is Pignol. I was so impressed with it’s authentic and traditional French feel, with a wide variety of cakes to eat! You are truly spoilt for choice.

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It took me a while to decide I have to admit but in the end I decided on this;

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A hot chocolate with chattily cream and for the cake;

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Words can’t describe how amazing this was!!!!

You can’t come to France though and not sample Macarons. Delicious. Not only a delight to the eyes, an explosion to the taste buds. I wasn’t disappointed! I have to admit to trying to make these at home but due to impatience didn’t allow them to rest properly, hence they didn’t rise properly. I have learnt my lesson; next time I try them it will be very patient. Even if they are a fraction like the ones I had in France the would be a real treat.

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As you can see; I was spoilt for choice. In the end I chose; Pistachio, Coffee, Chocolate Orange and Lemon. Yum yum!! Let’s just say…I was blown away.

Please visit France to experience the amazing patisserie.

I next sampled some amazing bread and pastries.

This was my first French breakfast. So tasty and perfect with a coffee.

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You can’t come to France and not go to Paul world famous and well renowned. I had a gorgeous late night snack. Haha.

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I tried guinea fowl for the first time and loves it. Great with a huge chunk of bread and wine!

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Safe to say I’ve had an ace time in France and highly recommend the food!! Paris is known for being a romantic city but Lyon is known as the food capital of France…I know which one is chose!

Stephanié x x