Autumn is well and truly underway and what better time to fully embrace the wonderful drink that is tea than on a cold evening in November. When the lovely people at Tearoute offered me a change to try their tea I jumped at the chance. Tearoute is a mail order tea service with a Greek twist. They use Mediterranean sourced ingredients in a wide range of tea blends that are so fragrant they smell incredible.
I got send some Rooibos Abyssinia which had chocolately notes and was pleasantly spicy. I became obsessed with it the week I had a really bad cold as it sorted my scratchy throat and blocked nose right out. Which is funny because on the website rooibos is described as being something that improves headaches, asthma and allergies.
In addition, the fact you can see the leaves and spices in the blends is really something and having larger tea leaves really enhances the flavour of the tea and improves the overall clarity of the flavour.
I can’t wait to try more from this range and I think it would be the perfect Christmas gift for tea lovers of the world wishing to try something a little different.
You may have noticed I have been slightly quieter than usual lately (apparently I’m no quieter in the flesh!). I seem to be arriving home from work later and then, full of good blogging intentions, parking myself on the sofa all evening. Anyway, here are a few things that have been putting a smile on my face.
1. Cadbury with Ritz and Lu. I was lucky enough to be sent a few samples of these and being the chocoholic that I am I got wildly excited. In actual fact these are the perfect size to have as a post run snack (I basically only run to justify chocolate). I particularly love the Ritz bars, salt and chocolate always work amazingly together in my opinion.
I am particularly loving the sweet rhubarb tea after Miss B gave me a cup when we were both working late. I am one of those tea lovers who feels her troubles melt away as she drinks her tea. These are quite simply perfect. Plus, since moving to Harrogate I drink so much Taylors and Yorkshire Tea (just trying to blend in the locals).
3. Growing herbs. Making all my pasta, chicken and salads just a little bit more tasty this week. Plus they brighten up my kitchen and I can kid myself that I have green fingers while I keep them alive.
4. The BBC Good Food Show which is on in Harrogate this weekend. I get far too excited about food shows. It’s the equivalent of the Toy R Us trips my mother used to take my brother and I on as a child.
Finally a non music related love:
5. New music. So I have a new boyfriend who happens to do a bit of music journalism. Perk for me as I get to see lots of new bands. Current favourites are Natives and the Summer Set. Perfect music to dance around the kitchen while I bake cakes (I categorically deny that I do this).
So Bettys is something of an institution in Harrogate (and, well the rest of Yorkshire). What can I say? Since moving to Harrogate I have become immensely fond of the place. It does help that one of my flatmates works for Bettys and on occasion brings home free cake. No cake is lovelier than a free Bettys cake.
Anyway, last week I went with some of the girls from work to Bettys and had a lovely afternoon eating scones and drinking tea. The staff were immensely accommodating of 8 girls turning up for tea and cake and didn’t bat an eyelid about us sitting in the shop for a good while sipping tea. We ate in the Montpellier Cafe Bar in the Harrogate branch – you can also dine in the tea rooms, or the Imperial Suite (if you’re pushing the boat out).
Anyway, here is a selection of photos from my visit.
Miss S, ED and I were a little bit naughty and got a couple of cakes to take home (I nibbled on my bits over the next few days). The shop reminds me a little bit of a Christmas grotto.
Now, I must add, to anybody who is put off entering Bettys due to the queue – don’t be. It moves pretty quickly and once you are inside you will be served really quickly. The staff are all really polite and knowledgeable (although I would say that, my housemate and cousin both work there). If you really have an urgent need for cake, there is a shop where you can buy cake to eat in the comfort of your own home (or on a picnic if you’d prefer).
If you live in Harrogate, York, Northallerton or Ilkley you’ve probably been in a Bettys branch. If you don’t, its worth visiting one of these places for cake (plus North Yorkshire is dead nice!).
You can find out a bit more about Bettys as a whole here and the tea rooms here.
So, as I think I mentioned it was my birthday on Monday. It was also a bank holiday and once again I applaud my parents for managing to have me at the beginning of May near to a bank holiday weekend. I mean, it is pretty amazing that I rarely ever had to go to school on my birthday.
Anyway, my parents, J and I spent a happy afternoon having afternoon tea at the Opus reserve bar which is part of the Radisson Hotel in Manchester. It was a gloriously sunny bank holiday and we had a completely lovely time sitting by the windows in the sun drinking tea and eating cake.
My parents and I all had traditional afternoon tea – which included the tea of our choice; sandwiches; freshly baked scones with jam and clotted cream; and a selection of cakes and Prosecco and fruit jelly.
J (who had been making the most of the weather on a bike ride) chose the Gentleman’s afternoon tea. This is a great one for people who might not like traditional afternoon tea as they prefer savoury items. This one included – the tea of your choice; mini fish, chips and mushy peas; pork pie; Yorkshire pudding with gravy; freshly baked scones with jam and clotted cream; and rustic sandwiches.
We spent a good while basking in the sun and drinking cups of tea.
Now, it always surprises me how full you can get on all the cake and sandwiches, but the staff were so helpful and happy to box up the remaining cakes for us to eat at home.
You can find out about afternoon tea at the Radisson here.