12 December 2014

Tea and Cake Shopping at Bettys

By heck, it's been a while since I wrote about tea round these parts! I've definitely still been drinking plenty, fear not, and in fact it's taken my until my second purchase of Betty's Spiced Christmas Tea before I got round to posting about it. Also, to justify buying so much I thought I better rave on about my other Bettys goodies from the shopping trip too! 

Once I knew we were staying in a cottage very near Northallerton, I knew I had to work a trip to Bettys in somewhere - it being the only branch to so far elude me (and since we only went in the shop bit rather than the cafe I'm still due a return visit!) We made a trip in on the Sunday of our holiday and I was determined to top up my depleted spiced tea stash as well as grabbing a Fat Rascal or two to go with it! 

bettys advent cake

The Betty's Fat Rascal is a magical thing - like a giant scone, made with citrus peel as well as currants, and hand decorated with glace cherries and almonds so each one has a cheeky rascally face. These things are already bursting with butter but if you warm it up slightly, slice in half and spread on even more butter, it's a potentially life changing experience. I know my world has not been the same since my first experience with these at the Ilkley branch earlier in the year! 

So obviously, I added a couple of these to my order. Then something wonderful happened. The lovely lady serving me uttered the immortal words 'We also have a festive version...'. If there's one thing that makes me very happy this time of year, it's festive versions of things that are already brilliant! The festive Fat Rascals, or Advent Cakes as they are officially known, are just as big and buttery and awesome as their all-year-round chubby counterparts but with extra fruit, a dash of spice, an almond topping and a sprinkling of icing sugar! Now that I know these exist I'll be sad to see them go at the the end of the season but I hope to pick up at least another one before then. I can see it becoming the cake equivalent of Lush's Snow Fairy - a seasonal treat to look forward to, but sadly one that I wouldn't be able to stock up on a years worth for! 

The other cake I picked up on my travels was this gorgeous slice of the amazing Engadine Torte. This was originally another cafe discovery for me - this one was originally recommended to me by a charming gentleman at the York Stonegate branch. I know I more or less just said this about the rascals, but this is one of the best things I've ever eaten. It's essentially layers of hazelnut meringue and buttercream, decorated with a sticky little pile of caramel and hazelnut. It's crispy and creamy and chewy and melt-in-the-mouth all in one go. Would you believe I shared this with my cottage-mates? It was tough but I really think everyone should try this at least once and thought I'd do my part to spread the love - the looks on the faces of the testers indicate I wasn't alone in my love for this! 

And finally to the tea! I'd only had a teeny weeny little bag of this before (I'm not even sure if it was really on sale the first time, it certainly wasn't on display or anything, but my beady eyes spotted it hidden away and I made sure I didn't leave without it!), but that didn't last long and I was back for more! I was just going in for a bigger bag but spotted this very fetching festive tea caddy and thought I should treat myself!

tea with orange lemon and cinnamon

This has a base of China black tea, with lemon and orange peel, cinnamon and safflower petals, resulting in a spicy tea with a hint of citrus - Christmas in a brew, basically. It smells heavenly and tastes delightful - light and refreshing but warming and sweet. It has a more subtle flavour than some of the other Christmas Teas I've been drinking recently  The info on the tin suggests serving without milk but, and call me a tea philistine if it fits, but I think it's lovely with just a splash of the white stuff!

Thankfully I got a big enough bag this time round that is should hopefully last me throughout the festive season - though I might try and keep a little in the tin throughout the year just so I can sniff it any time I want, mmmmm!

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