Coffee&cake@Bettys, Northallerton

Bettys is a very civilised place. Traditional surroundings, staff in uniform and all the baking, patisserie, tea and coffee brewing skills you expect from a quality British institution. We’ve been to the Harrogate and Ilkley branches before – now it’s the turn of Bettys in Northallerton.

I have a cafetière of coffee made with Kenyan Karatina beans while Rock is happy with a cup of Bettys cafe blend. We share a piece of the Autumn berry cheesecake and the tangy lemon slice. They are both excellent with the cheesecake winning the beauty contest and the lemon slice winning on flavour.

As usual, as we leave Betty’s we wander into the shop to buy bread and pastries for later. It would be foolish not to!

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Breakfast@Lynwood&Co, Lechlade

If you read The Guardian’s ’50 best breakfast places in the UK’ it almost feels like they have been reading this blog. Six of the 50 places have been featured in WadeandRockandFood. However, the article did bring one nearby place to our attention that we have not visited – Lynwood & Co.

This cafe in Lechlade has a relaxed friendly atmosphere. It is owned by Australian, Rob Broadbent, who makes an extraordinary flat white for Rock and an equally beautiful cappucino for me. Great coffee makes a great start to any breakfast. Can the food match the coffee?

We don’t have to wait long to find out – even though every item is freshly cooked. I have scrambled eggs on sourdough toast with smoked salmon. It is sensational but, at first, I can’t exactly work out why. Then, I taste the bacon sandwich that Rock has ordered and is raving about between mouthfuls. Now I understand – it is the bread!

The bread is made by Max Abbott of Sourdough Revolution. His bread is the lightest sourdough I have ever tasted and it is full of flavour. Max is in the cafe while we are there and takes the time to chat to us about his baking process.  Indeed, it’s all about time with Max – his starter goes through stages of fermentation and then his dough is fermented before being put in the fridge for several hours. In effect, each loaf takes days from starter to baking!

While chatting I try a pot of the tea. Only because I’m aiming to linger here for as long as possible. The tea is very good but it does not reach the standard set by the coffee.

Just in case I have not made myself clear – the bacon on Rock’s sandwich is fantastic and the smoked salmon on my plate is equally fabulous. In any normal breakfast – these would be the stars of the show. But this is not normal, here the coffee and the bread outshine all the other stars – Lynwood & Co is simply on another level!

Coffee & Cake@Woodruff’s, Stroud

After wandering around the farmers’ market in Stroud and buying loads of interesting goodies for the next few days… it’s time for coffee and cake. Woodruff’s is a favourite stop for us when we are in Stroud. It is an organic cafe that was established almost 20 years ago and it now has a reputation for great food and friendly service.

The atmosphere in the cafe is buzzing and convivial. Rock has an americano and I have a cappucino – as always the coffee is excellent. There are always a range of freshly made cakes to choose from and, as ever, I want to be adventurous. Beetroot & salted caramel cake – that should do it. It is very moist, the beetroot and salted caramel icing is fascinating in colour and tastes good too. 

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As usual, this has been a great place to chill before heading back out for more food shopping!

Coffee & Cake@The Bakehouse, Greenodd

We are at The Bakehouse in Greenodd and it is not often that a piece of cake is so good that I have to blog about it. However, along with excellent coffees, we are enjoying a piece of their iced gingerbread. It is covered in a thin film of icing that perfectly sweetens the beautifully moist and fully flavoured gingerbread. It is so good that we go on to buy white rolls for tomorrow’s lunch and take home a custard tart for afternoon tea. If you are in the southern lake district looking for coffee and/or baked goods then this place should be at the top of your list.

Postscript: The rolls and the tart were fantastic too!

Coffee@The Thoughtful Bread Co., Bath

Rock has honed her baking skills on courses with two extraordinary bakers both based in Bath. We’ve blogged about one of them, Richard Bertinet, before and today we had the chance to visit the cafe of the Thoughtful Bread Co. where the other, Duncan Glendinning, sells his wares.

The cafe is modest in size but the bread, salads and pastries on display all look very appetising.  There are even purple wraps made with beetroot! We order coffee and, just because the mood takes us, a sausage roll.  The coffee is fantastic and the sausage roll is the best I’ve had for a very long time.

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They are planning to extend the cafe into the premises next door and I’m sure we will be visiting the new set up as soon as it is in place.

 

Coffee&Cake@Green Pavilion

There are few better places to stop than a really good small, independent cafe that serves great coffee and cakes that are genuinely home made.  The Green Pavilion in Buxton is a florist but it has a wonderful cafe attached.

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Sometimes, when I order a large coffee, I leave half of it because it just isn’t good enough. Not here – the coffee is beautiful.  It is matched by a selection of really interesting cakes. Rock and I shared the courgette and lime cake – fabulous flavours, very moist and not too sweet.  The place was busy – with others having a freshly cooked breakfast (which looked really good) or just stopping by to get a coffee.  Despite being very busy…the service was both friendly and helpful.  We loved it!

Coffee@Birsay Bay Tearoom

Sometimes you just need a decent coffee and a good view to help you get through the day. The weather has been pretty awful and there are very few really good places nearby where we can stop for coffee & cake.  We’ve heard that the Birsay Bay Tearoom is worth a stop and it overlooks one of the more interesting places on today’s route – the Brough of Birsay.

Rock orders a home-made coconut cake and, because I’m in the mood for something savoury, I order a cheese scone.  The coffee and the coconut cake are both good but the cheese scone is fantastic – really light and yet full of flavour.  With great views and good service this has been an ideal place for a mid-morning break.