The tree planting season has now arrived and I have been working with several schools during National Tree Planting Week, 26th November to 3rd December, to create new woodlands and help improve hedgerows.
When people find out that Bettys is my family business, after, “Ooh, do you get to eat as many cakes as you want?!”* they often ask what it was like to grow up with such a 'Yorkshire institution' in the family. Well, the answer is simple – it meant a café full of cakes, a shop full of biscuits and a bakery with a tap that poured chocolate! It was exciting and fun and delicious. Of course, the grown up answer to the question is much more complex, but through a child's eyes that pretty much covers it.
As an increasingly popular complement to festive plates of mince pies, you might view stollen as something of an indulgence. Possibly even a slightly wicked one. But the rich, fruity spiced bread has fans in surprisingly holy places. Originating in Germany, the oldest record of stollen being enjoyed as a Christmas treat dates back to Italy in 1545, where church dignitaries tucked in at the ecumenical Council of Trent.
Exquisite chocolates have been a part of the Bettys story from its beginning. Before that, even: when he opened the very first Bettys Café Tea Room in Harrogate in 1919, our founder Frederick Belmont could already style himself ‘Chocolate Specialist’, having refined his skills studying with the master confectioners of Switzerland and Paris.