bakery cakery visits....north yorkshire

The first of our holidays this year was a trip to North Yorkshire.  I have visited family in the area many times in the past, especially as a child, so it was great to be back drinking more cups of tea than ever, catching up and exploring a little further afield than usual

I thought it would be helpful to summarise the trip by offering my recommendation on places to stay, visit and most 

First things first, a little map so that you can get your bearings

north yorkshire.png


Low Burn Cottage, Leavening

We stayed at Low Burn Cottage, in a little village called Leavening.  It was very well equipped, with four bedrooms and, wait for it....a wood fired hot tub!  An added bonus for us is that dogs are welcome

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Low Burn Cottage



Yorkshire Lavender, Terrington

I have always wanted to visit a lavender farm and although there is one just down the road, I am yet to find the time to go.  So, using the excuse of being on holiday we popped along to Yorkshire Lavender.  We were a little concerned after reading some of the recent reviews commenting on the newly introduced £3 entrance fee during the summer months, but it did not disappoint.  

The gardens were beautifully landscaped, and the smell was so calming.  They had a large variety of lavender for sale, which I couldn't resist, and on our way out we purchased some locally made lavender ice cream....yum!

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beautifully landscaped

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Ripon

Words cannot describe how truly amazing the, National Trust owned, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden are.  I have very fond memories of playing pooh sticks here as a child and eating the delicious Yorkshire Dales Farmhouse Ice Cream served at Studley Tearoom

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National Trust

truly amazing

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fond memories

pooh sticks


Chapter One Bistro, Malton

Malton is known as Yorkshire's food capital and Chapter One Bistro certainly lived up to the name.  We sat in the cutest little courtyard, the service was second to none, the food....great tasting, fresh, locally sourced and homemade and they were dog friendly....what more could you want

The Crown and Cushion, Welburn

Catching up with family, we had a very enjoyable Sunday roast at The Crown and Cushion, the perfect country pub set in a beautiful little village, also ticking the dog friendly box  

Quayside, Whitby 

If I am honest, I was a little disappointed by Whitby as a traditional seaside town.  It has been notably overtaken with tourists (ourselves included).  That said, as per its reputation, we did have some great fish and chips from Quayside, possibly the best I have ever tasted

Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms, Harrogate

It is a bit of a family tradition for us to visit Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms in Harrogate when we are in the area so it would have been rude for us not to this time.  I can highly recommend the traditional afternoon tea

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Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms

family tradition

blog | bakery cakery visits....north yorkshire I bettys tearoom

highly recommend

afternoon tea

The Golden Fleece Hotel, Thirsk

We popped into the market town of Thirsk for a little look around and were surprised to come across The Golden Fleece Hotel where we tucked in to some stone baked pizzas and a cheeky glass of wine.  Although not overly advertised, they are dog friendly

I hope this helps to give you a few ideas if you are ever in the area....happy holidaying!

Bakery Cakery | Kiara

compost....the perfect recipe

Although making your own compost seems very overwhelming, it really isn't, I promise.  It is an inexpensive, natural process that converts your kitchen and garden waste into valuable and nutrient rich food that will keep your garden growing year after year

the bin

First things first, you need to select your compost bin.  The most popular types are the blackwall compost converter, made from 100% recycled plastic, and the slated wooden composter.  To give us a little encouragement, our lovely local authorities have teamed up with to provide reduced price compost bins

The best location for your bin is on soil as it allows for aeration and drainage along with providing ease of access to bacteria and fungi that convert the waste into compost.  If a solid floor is your only option, add a few inches of soil to line the bottom of your bin before adding your waste

    compost bin.jpg

    the bin

    100% recycled plastic blackwall compost converter

    the recipe

    To make good compost, you need a 50:50 mix of green:brown waste

    green waste

    Green waste comes from both your kitchen and garden in the form of grass cuttings, weeds, fruit and vegetable peelings and teabags

    green waste

    fruit and vegetable peelings

    brown waste

    Brown waste comes from both your home and garden in the form of woody hedge trimmings, cardboard, pet bedding and paper or newspaper (shredded or scrunched)

    We are proud to say that 40% of our packaging is biodegradable so you can pop it on to your compost heap, as brown waste, when you have finished with it

    biodegradable (with writing).png

    the wait

    This is where the patience comes in, as it can take anywhere between six months and two years to make compost.  Carrying out a little maintenance will help to stay at the lower end of this:

    • Turn your composting waste every month or so
    • Manage the moisture balance by adding more brown waste, if your compositing materials are too wet and smelly, or more green waste, if too dry and fibrous

    The first year I made compost, I filled two blackwall compost converters and left them alone for 18-24 months.  When I opened the bottom, much to my surprise, looking back at me was this dark brown, crumbly and nutrient rich compost

    Do your bit to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and start composting today

    if you have any questions, please comment below and don't forget to share your compost with us over on social media @bakerycakerybox

    strawberry aftercare

    Is your strawberry crop coming to an end?  Are you feeling smug about your harvest?

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    strawberry crop

    coming to an end

    blog | strawberries....the aftercare | first batch.jpg

    feeling smug?

    a good harvest

    Unfortunately it doesn't end there.  You need to undertake a little strawberry aftercare if you want the same success year after year

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    success year after year

    a little strawberry aftercare

    cutting back

    If your strawberries begin to fruit in spring to early summer for a four to five week period (summer fruiting), then they will need cutting back to approximately 10cm following the harvest.  However, if they fruit in both spring and early autumn (perpetual fruiting), just remove the old leaves following the harvest, do not cut them back.  In addition, remove any straw, from both, to reduce the chances of pests and diseases

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    remove straw

    reduce the chances of pest and disease

    blog | strawberries....the aftercare | runners in a pot.jpg

    keep the runners

    perfect for replacing old plants


    When the runners start to grow, either tuck them into your beds or push them into a pot of organic compost.  The roots should be well established by September, when you will be able to cut the "umbilical".   They will be perfect for replacing old plants

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    replace and rotate every three years

    increasing soil fertility 

    replacement and rotation

    Strawberry plants are best replaced every three years, with the second year providing the best harvest.  If you keep your runners, they will make an ideal replacement.  You should also rotate your crop, between beds or pots, every three years, increasing soil fertility and reduceing the chance of pests and diseases

    if you have any questions, please comment below and don't forget to share your delicious strawberries with us over on social media @bakerycakerybox

    Bakery Cakery | Kiara

    which goes first....

    ....cream or jam?  The age old question that I am sure most of us discuss when we indulge in the great British tradition of cream teas

    With Wimbledon season (and the British summer) here, it only seems right to share this traditional Be-Ro scone recipe with you

    Ingredients (makes 6)

    • 450g Organic Self Raising Flour
    • 100g Organic Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
    • 300ml Organic Milk
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    traditional Be-Ro scone recipe

    ....cream or jam?

    Some of our favourite organic suppliers:


    1. Start by pre heating your oven to 180degC

    2. Chop the Organic Unsalted Butter into approximately 20mm cubes and place into your mixer

    3. Add half of the Organic Self Raising Flour and mix until you have a breadcrumb like mixture

    4. Whilst continuing to mix, add the remaining Organic Self Raising Flour and Organic Milk, a little at the time, until you have a slightly sticky dough.  Note: you may need to add a little more Organic Self Raising Flour/Organic Milk to achieve the correct consistency

    5. Roll the dough out to a thickness of 25mm and cut your scones, using a cookie cutter, to approximately 65mm in diameter.  Note: if you don't have a cookie cutter, a glass of a similar size will be absolutely fine

    6. Place on a lined tray and brush the tops with milk before baking for 30 minutes

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    roll the dough

    to a thickness of 25mm

    cut scones.jpg

    cut your scones

    to approximately 65mm in diameter

    cooling scones.jpg

    bake for 30 minutes

    allow to cool or enjoy warm

    Once baked, either allow to cool or enjoy warm....maybe with a large dollop of clotted cream, topped with seedless strawberry jam and a side of fresh strawberries?

    blog | which goes first.... | scones

    Finally, if you have any questions, please comment below and don't forget to share your delicious bakes with us over on social media @bakerycakerybox

    Bakery Cakery | Kiara

    unwanted visitors

    A few weeks ago I promised a blog post on how to naturally keep those pesky slugs and snails at it is

    I do not know how they can eat so much but I do know that they can destroy a bed of potatoes (amongst other things) overnight 

    There are many options out there but only a few that I have found to be successful

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    slugs and snails

    they can destroy a bed of potatoes (amongst other things) overnight

    The most effective solution has been copper tape....wrap it around your gro-sack, pots and raised beds but be aware, you may need to double up the tape to stop the really big slugs

    blog | unwanted visitors | copper tape

    copper tape

    the most effective solution

    There are also two nuisance (for the slugs and snails) options that work well alongside the copper tape....gravel and roofing felt

    To slugs and snails it is a little like walking barefoot on a stoney beach....we only really do it if we have to

    blog | unwanted visitors | gravel


    a nuisance option that works well alongside the copper tape

    The longer you make the journey to the gro-sacks, pots and raised beds the more effective it will be

    A final little tip....I have found that slugs and snails are less fond of red potatoes so maybe give red duke or desiree a try

    Bakery Cakery | Kiara

    kick start your seed growing

    This year I decided to be brave (and patient) and grow some of my vegetables from seed.  I have made numerous mistakes along the way, although they do say that mistakes are proof that you are trying, however I am pleased to say that I now have lots of healthy looking plants

    Here are my top three tips to kick start your seed growing:

    mini munch cucumber

    less is more

    tiny seeds will turn into giant plants

    one: less is more

    I started growing seeds with the thought that only 20% will actually grow.  That wasn't the case, it was more like 90% and I have now been overtaken by tomato plants....25 of them

    So, I would recommend purchasing a good plant propagator and being aware when sowing, tiny seeds turn into giant plants


    gently does it

    ift your seedlings by their leaves

    two: gently does it

    When your seeds become seedlings and are ready for their first repotting remember to lift your seedlings by their leaves.  They are very fragile at this stage so lifting them by their stems will likely cause the roots to break off....I unfortunately learnt this the hard way


    slowly up the housing ladder

    don't overwhelm your seedlings

    three: slowly up the housing ladder

    When repotting your little seedlings and plants, slowly increase their pot size, even if that means repotting four or five times.  Just imagine, if we moved from a studio flat in the city to a five bedroom house in the countryside, we would feel a little overwhelmed....they are the same, so take it slowly 

    Good luck and as always feel free to comment below with any questions

    Bakery Cakery | Kiara

    potatoes and gro-sacks go together like peas in a pod

    If I was asked to recommend one thing for anyone to grow, whether you are just starting out or an experienced allotmenteer, it would be potatoes....the number one vegetable crop in the world and....the resistant starch, found in cooked and cooled potatoes, is considered a superfood for your gut, what more could you want?

    Don't have space for a vegetable patch?  Not keen on digging?  This is where gro-sacks come into play....if I am honest, I have the room to grow my potatoes in the ground, but I still use my trusty gro-sacks from Marshalls Seeds....why?  Well, I don't have to dig the ground over (which is really hard work), I can move the gro-sacks around the garden throughout the year, I have more control over the soil quality (no stones), when I am ready to harvest my potatoes, I can tip the bag upside down and there is no risk of spearing my best potato with my spade....the list goes on but I think you get the idea

    So, where to need to pick your potato will find a great guide at 'potatoes more than a bit on the side', whether you prefer your potatoes fluffy, smooth or in a salad

    Next, purchase your tubers (aka seed potatoes; very similar to what you would buy from the supermarket, but certified virus-free) will be able to find these in most garden centres and even some supermarkets.  However, if you are looking to purchase online, I can recommend Marshalls Seeds, Suttons Seeds and Sarah Raven.

    This is where the growing your tubers into an egg box (with the lid off) in a light, frost free environment to chit (aka sprout).  Once you have 2-3 good chits (aka sprouts) it is time to get them in your gro-sacks.  Put a good 10cm (4") of organic compost in the bottom of your gro-sack and place your tubers into the soil, approximately 4 per bag, then cover with a further 5cm (2") of organic compost

    blog | chitting potatoes

    chitting potatoes

    once you have 2-3 good sprouts it is time to get them in your gro-sacks

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    planting tubers

    cover with a further 5cm (2") of organic compost

    You may have noticed my homemade irrigation system here....the one downside to gro-sacks (okay there is one) is that it is difficult to ensure the water soaks all the way to the bottom of the bag....this will unfortunately effect the quality and quantity of your harvest.  This problem can be easily solved with a drain pipe and a drill (if you don't have either of these, let me know, I am sure we can knock something up for you)

    blog | homemade irrigation system

    homemade irrigation system

    all you need is a drain pipe and a drill

    Now it is time to watch and wait.  As the leaves start to grow, slowly add more soil (aka earthing up) until you eventually get to the top of your bag.  Variety dependant, you will be able to harvest your potatoes either during or after flowering

    blog | potatoes and gro-sacks go together....

    potatoes and gro-sacks go together....

    blog | peas in a pod peas in a pod

    I shall leave you with one out for those pesky slugs.  I will give you some ideas for keeping them away very soon.  In the meantime, if you have any questions please feel free to comment below

    Bakery Cakery | Kiara

    there is no space too small

    Welcome to my new blog, 'GROW', where I will be providing you with 'grow your own' advice, giving you an insight into to our local producers and walking you through some special recipes from the garden....we don't want all of that produce to go to waste

    For those who are completely new to 'grow your own', before we jump into how to get growing, you need to identify your space.  I regularly hear people say, 'I would love to grow my own but I just don't have any/enough outdoor space'.  Fear not, you can start as small as a windowsill in your home to gro-sacks, pots or hanging baskets outside your front door or even as far as an allotment and greenhouse

    Here are a few images for inspiration but also take a look at our pinterest board, 'there is no space too small'

    crocheted hanging baskets

    crocheted hanging basket

    Soul Made Home, Etsy

    the original grow-sack

    the ORIGINAL gro-sack

    Marshalls Seeds

    lean-to greenhouse

    wall frame greenhouse

    Access Gardens Products

    wooden greenhouse

    wooden greenhouse

    AB Timber Products

    I shall give you some time to have a think about your space but if you have any questions, please comment below

    I will be back soon with my first 'grow your own' suggestion