Bettys Ilkley

Bettys IlkleyOur local Bettys is a place I love to frequent; their cakes and breads are simply divine and I’m always popping in to buy niceties for clients.  Synonymous with quality, prestige and all things rather splendid, it’s a taste of days gone by and a bit of a Yorkshire institution… a reliable jewel in the ‘White Rose’ crown (so to speak).  When friends or family visit from ‘down South’ or abroad it’s the kind of place you take them to, just for the experience!

Bettys Tea

Recently, Bettys, Ilkley has undergone a bit of a revamp – I popped in to see what they’d done with the place.

Bettys ShopBettys Macaroons

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Bettys Chocolate Desires

Gone is the dark, heavy wood and ‘in’ is a lighter, fresh ambiance which still keeps in tact, all we think of as ‘BETTYS’.  The Ilkley store is now instantly recognisable as on par with the Bettys at Harlow Carr, and I understand all the other five sites in Yorkshire have either been revamped or will be following suit in the coming months.  The refit has been undertaken by Thompsons of York.  Sustainably-sourced oak, cast bronze fittings and marble counter tops give the place a feeling of solidarity and fine craft.

Bettys Artisan BreadsBettys Fat Rascal Bettys Coffee 1 Bettys Coffee 3Bettys Coffee 5

Whereas the coffee and tea counter felt off-limits before, you can now get up close to the goods, touch the beans and try before you buy in a new tasting area.

Bettys Easter DisplayBettys Hot Cross Buns

Another new feature is a chocolate counter offering a selection of 20 varieties of handcrafted chocolates, available to buy loose for the first time.  The shop also offers a wedding and celebration cake consultation service.Bettys Chocolates 2Bettys Chocolate Peppermint CreamsBettys Chocolates 1 Bettys Patisserie Bettys MugsBettys Cakes 2 Bettys Shop

It’s great to see Bettys investing in their next season… it is one of the ‘irreplaceable’s on The Grove in Ilkley and I hope they’ll be with us for many more years to come.  Fat Rascal anyone?

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Carluccio’s

Though chain restaurants can get a bit of the down-thumbing among small independents, the bottom line has got to be, does the space serve a purpose for the community and those it wishes to attract?  Carluccio’s opened in Ilkley this week and having received nothing but excellent service every time we have visited others in the area, (mainly Trinity Leeds), we were pleased to see its arrival on our high street.

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Three factors are usually at play when eating and drinking out.
1. Do I like the space/the place/the atmosphere?
2. Do I like the goods?
3. Do I like the service?
Tick these three boxes and you stand a chance of getting the bonus ball – customer loyalty.
Not many places will consistently get all three right. Any place you do visit knowing they tick box number one, can then let you down on the other two for all manner of reasons.
Visiting Carluccio’s on its’ second day open, the sun streamed in through the glass roof creating a warm welcome.  It’s a light and easy space to be in, (plus we’ve enjoyed other Carluccio’s) = box number 1 ticked.

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Suffice to say as we only had a drinks and pastry, this isn’t a review of the food, but to show you the space.  The coffee wasn’t anything I remember as particularly special but we enjoyed our time there and the staff were friendly.  (Hands-down the best coffee in Ilkley and the place that ticks all three boxes every time is still Toast House.)

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Carluccio’s is a safe bet…a good call.  We can already see us visiting it more than we did The Grove (which was there before) and we’ve always had great food and service in the past – what’s not to like?!

Visit Carluccio’s website here.

My Girl
This face though…
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Jamie’s Italian York

When Jamie’s Italian asked me if I’d like to visit their restaurant in York, it didn’t take much time to consider.  Though I have known about Jamie’s in Leeds and more recently, Harrogate, we still had not eaten there…why?  I think it’s a case of ‘go with what you’ know but as you may be able to guess from the recent blog posts, now my little lady is growing up, exploring new places whilst eating out more has been something we’ve enjoyed doing this summer.

Jamie’s, York, is tucked away down the very historic slope to Lendal Cellars… we did not know there was a courtyard there so were delighted to find out we could sit outdoors as the day was hot and we wanted to soak up as much of the sun as we could (we are at the back-end of a poor-weather Summer lets face it!)

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What followed was a dining experience that surpassed all our expectations.

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Cured meats plank – starter

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Seasonal vegetables plank – starter

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Roasted heritage carrot and avocado salad – starter

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Maisy looked after us ⇑, she not only knew her food but was quietly enthusiastic about it (seemed only right she should be the face of this post).  The other staff we encountered were warm and friendly and each we spoke to seemed ‘switched on’ to delivering not just a great meal but CUSTOMER SERVICE – it makes such a difference!

The food was delightfully different – (seems such an average term for what we ate) but by that I mean, it wasn’t just same dish, different name.  The food collaborations that were clearly well thought, tasted amazing and what one knows of Jamie Oliver, trusted that it had most likely been sourced locally following the ethos of all that Jamie Oliver stands for…. just guessing!

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The special of the day – slow cooked beef

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Salmon salad

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In her own words, this was exquisite

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My superfood salad with chicken – starter size as a mains, more than enough!

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Miss P’s happy chicken lollipops – she LOVED!

Though we had three courses, in the middle of the day, none of us felt ‘stuffed’ – which is always good when you want to try the next course!

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The industrially warm decor was everything you’d expect if you’ve at all watched Jamie Oliver on TV – the presence of the man himself is felt everywhere and fans can take home a piece of the action!

By the time desserts had arrived, the sun had also and we all wished we didn’t have to be elsewhere quite so soon!

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Raspberry and honeycomb pavlova

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Miss P’s epic brownie (I had the adult size too so can confirm – it was amazing!)

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Amalfi lemon meringue cheesecake

As we settled the bill and walked back up into the street, we agreed that a new bench-mark had been set.  That we might just have found ourselves a new favourite… time will tell.

You can visit Jamie’s Italian York website here.

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POST NOTES:

Miss P and I shared this experience with LIFESTYLE YORKSHIRE’S biggest fans, my parents – both great with a camera!  Photographs have therefore been taken on the same camera but by myself, them and Miss P!  I managed to whittle 160+ images down to the few selected here and was interesting seeing what we all captured.

CHRISTIANS CAFE BISTRO

Christians, Harrogate, is a place on my radar PURELY because of social media… Instagram to be precise.

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A couple of months ago I was followed by Christians and after numerous ‘likes’ on various posts of mine,  cottoned on to the fact it was a restaurant in Harrogate.  The photos in their feed of folks outside on sunlit evenings made me wonder how the heck I’d not heard of this place… curiosity took me further to their website where I made an instant connection with their WHY…

The STORY of how a young guy (Christian), followed his dream and has come to be where he is today, 1 year down the line… I’m such a sucker for that stuff.  Essentially, Christian has connected to the world with his STYLE OF LOVE – which, by the way is what this blog used to be called before LIFESTYLE YORKSHIRE… I had to go check it out.

Christians 15 Christians 19 Christians 4Christians 13 Christians 3 IMG_1954We went one very dreary Sunday morning just before 12 and were among the first to arrive, within half an hour the place was pretty much packed out… though we didn’t order one, people clearly love the Sunday Roasts here!

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Asking to move tables (as we’d been seated in the furthest back corner of the restaurant), was no problem for the staff, nor was upsizing my starter to a main.  Small things, but how many places do you go where it completely messes with the system to request little things like this.  Our food was fantastic, great value and knowing it came from Yorkshire farmers, again, (as with Keelham Farm), is supporting local businesses, which I also like to do.
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Christians has an organic feel of being a ‘third place’.

There’s a sense of community on its Instagram feed, they have live music, charity events, outdoor wood-fired pizza ovens … it’s a place to hang out…

Though we went in July it was raining (surprise!) so though no-one was sat outside we could imagine it being absolutely delightful sat in the cleverly designed gardens, kids running around on the grass.

We could also instantly picture it at Christmas; real trees, festoon lighting, carols, hot toddies and amazing food… you get the idea and will just have to go yourself if you can!

Visit CHRISTIANS CAFE BISTRO WEBSITE here for more info.

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Post notes:

Christians is part of a collective group of other businesses called Crimple Hall.  There’s a Food Hall, Art Gallery, Garden Centre, Huge Antiques Barn and more besides to wander between.  We spent more time there than we expected, which was welcomed on a grey day.  That said, (and it could be down to being unobservant on my part) but the signage wasn’t amazing.  Once we left the sat nav in the car, we were in the proximity of all the other places I mention here but couldn’t see obvious signage for Christians.  In a nutshell, wander through the antiques place and you’ll find it out back!

Juicy

This year I succumbed to the juicing ‘thing’.  Having seen countless pictures on Instagram of people’s jars of dark green sludge I wondered what the heck was the big deal… (I mean really)?!  But a few months ago after a little research into the health benefits of ingesting so much goodness into the body in such a pure form, decided to get myself a machine and give it  a whirl.

Juice in a jar

My health is something I’m committed to, it’s a deliberate choice and, certainly for the last ten years would say we eat well so I wasn’t expecting a radical change of any kind.  As with many health decisions, it’s probably more a case of all the illnesses and ailments we don’t get as it is seeing a drastic difference in any way,  (a post I wrote last year looks at this a little more called Wellbeing and the compound effect of Invisible Habits).  I found I enjoyed the taste and now juice every other day; visits to the doctor might be twice a year across the family; colds and coughs etc rare… so something must be working!

If you’ve considered juicing I’d recommend you go for it – there’s really nothing to lose and your bodies only going to be better for it.

Here’s one of my favourite recipes:

Juice:
2 apples
2 carrots
2 sticks of celery
1 large uncooked beetroot
Large handful of kale
Generous slice of lemon
Even more generous amount of ginger
Then blend in:
Third of avocado
Powder from 1 capsule of friendly bacteria
2 teaspoons of wheatgrass powder
1 teaspoon of maca powder
1 teaspoon of spirulina powder
I learned about juicing benefits from Jason Vale here, bought this juicer at half price and get my powder supplements from Holland and Barrett.
All you juicers out there do let me know your favourite concoctions!
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CHESTERS by the RIVER

Strawberry Shortcake

“Ooh this time last week”… do you ever say that?  Well we are today because last Sunday we spent a large portion of the day at one of our favourite lifestyle places to hangout, CHESTERS.

Blackboard and Chalk Signage

Chesters is everything you’d want for a relaxed and terribly civilised Sunday.  Nestled by the River Brathay at Skelwith Bridge, everything within its doors is housed behind a beautiful slate facade looking every-bit the part in its woodland surroundings.  Yes, you’d think there’d be a picture of the exterior but it monsooned last Sunday so there was most definitely no way I was going to get that shot!

Cakes, Cakes and more Cakes

Each time we have returned to Chesters from when we first discovered it ten years ago, it has only ever improved; something you would never think it needed because of it being so darn perfect as it was.

Chester the Dog

Complete with outdoor decking you can descend to the river to if you fancy a paddle on a warmer day, else don the wellies and just go for it.  It’s a place you go to gently while away the hours eating, drinking and if you fancy, doing a spot o’ shopping… what’s not to love?

Ok first up, the food…

Food ready to be cooked Orange San Pellegrino Some amazing multi-bean dish Thai Chicken SaladHow do you choose?Victoria SpongePeanut BlondieLemon MerangueBarista at work Cute Tipping Pot

Amazing right?!  The menu is fantastic and extremely good value for money, if visiting you have to play a game I invented here called ‘Cake Roulette’.  Simply buy the same number of cakes as per people in your party (maybe add in a coupe of extras) then take a bite and pass it round!  Means you get to sample more of the INCREDIBLE baking that happens here.

On the other side of the building is an absolutely delightful shop selling everything from books to exquisite pieces for the home, girly things, man stuff.  These pics are only the smallest representation of what’s there but needless to say, post eating it makes for a very happy experience!

 

If you’re planning a trip to Cumbria any time soon, this place is most definitely worth a visit, you can visit their website here to find out more.  Happy Days! X

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Summers light, Scented candles and Smokey eyes

Hello Summer! Well…almost here at Beau HQ though I know for many it has already begun.  The warmer weather in Yorkshire has been most welcomed and the life that it enables us to live is such a delight.  I love all seasons but I think I’m really mostly absolutely a summer girl…. What about you?

1.   First up on this weeks favourites is exactly that summer vibe; warmer and lighter nights!  This week my girl and I after a post-school shop in nearby Harrogate, decided to turn the car round on the way home and go back into the town for supper.  We both simply wanted to stay out longer in the evening warmth and had the most beautiful time just talking away like ‘big girls’.  We went to the newly opened Lucia’s which has lots of al fresco dining… Highly recommend!  Didn’t  get a photo from the frontage this time but there’s a post I wrote earlier on Facebook here.

As we left and walked back to our car through the town houses pictured here, we found ourselves amidst a reading festival and surrounded by people just…doing.. life… ahhh so romantically gorgeous.

Crime Reading Festival

We passed this handsome heifer on the way home too… perfection.

Highland Heifer in Yorkshire

2.   Next up True Grace candles.  Normally associated with colder nights and snuggling in, but after a friend gave me one of these for my birthday I just had to buy another fragrance because they are such a summery delight.  True Grace candles I have long been a fan of but never owned. Till now.  The fragrance (when they are not even lit) wafts under your nose when you least expect and are so gorgeously scented, I’d highly recommend as a gift.  We have Chamomile (which isn’t like the herbal tea, ie kinda nice but tame….) and the one I’ve just bought is Lemon Tree… Soooo amazing and very summer.  You can buy online from Noras (here)

True Grace Candle: Lemon Tree

3.   Thirdly, as temperatures rise, eye makeup that doesn’t budge!  I came across 24 Hour Colour Tattoo (by Maybelline) about a couple of months back and immediately bought in 4 shades… It is amazing and half the beauty is you don’t need to be too precise!  Darker all-over the eye shades often require you to be needing long enough to apply i.e. night out for Moms or twenty-something with lots of time to experiment with application! This… Not so.  It ‘blends out’ really well meaning you can kinda swoosh over your eyes and it looks good!

Maybelline Tattoo

It’s called 24 hour Tattoo because it’s extremely hard-wearing.  The shades I’ve swatched here are (left to right) ‘On and on Bronze’, ‘Metallic Pomegranate’ and ‘Permanent Taupe’ and will definitely be coming away with me this summer!
So, that’s what’s been loved this week, what’s on your radar?   Do share what you’ve been experimenting with, recommendations are the way to go!  I for one am oh so happy with the change of pace and routine the summer days bring.  Till then! Xx

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