Salami and Co

Dogs and cake. I mean what could be better? I always pictured the perfect cake-eating scenario as a fat slab of cake sitting alongside a fancy-pants latte with a cute little design sitting perfectly in the froth. But this dog friendly coffee house has made cake dates with your dog socially acceptable and taken the perfect cake-eating scenario to a whole new level.

Salami and Co Coffee House

Salami and Co nestled in alongside the hustle and bustle of Otley’s market square in 2016. Their minimalistic but somehow homely interior immediately puts you at ease as you walk through the door.  I have visited Salami and Co on a number of occasions (sometimes as dog walker but more often than not, dog stalker) and tried a number of things from their absolutely divine brunch menu.

I know my posts often focus in on the cake but I have to mention their beautiful brunch options. They have a small but perfectly crafted menu of dishes and they are always so pretty, you almost don’t want to eat them. Thankfully, they are just as tasty as they look and this is why Salami and Co is definitely one of my favourite brunch spots. All their ingredients are locally sourced and are lovingly put together to make something really special. I opted for this smoked salmon dish and the charcoal and citrus flavours that sit beside it really made it unique. And just look how pretty it is!

Smoked Salmon and Poached Egg Brunch

And the cakes were just as delicious. My boyfriend and I were planning on sharing a cake but just couldn’t decide between these two beauties so of course, ordered both. My favourite was this chocolate and vanilla layer cake, smothered in pistachio buttercream and sandwiched together with a generous layer of jam. Yum yum yum.

Chocolate and Vanilla Layer Cake

For such a large layer cake, I was almost expecting it to be a little dry but this cake was everything a cake should be and much much more. It was moist and packed full of flavour and even though it was a hugeeee slice, I polished off every little crumb because it was just so moreish.

Lemon and Rose Cake

The lemon and rose cake was equally tasty but the stand out cake for me was the chocolate number just because chocolate for me will always trump everything else.

All the food at Salami and Co is put together with so much love and attention and it really shows when you are served such deliciousness every single time. The coffee house itself has such a lovely welcoming feel and what could be better than sharing your experience with some seriously cute canines!

Salami and Co Otley

If you have a pup, you definitely need to treat them to a visit as they are treated like the ultimate VIPs and there’s a whole menu created just for your little furry friends.

Next time you are in the area make sure you pop in here and experience Salami and Co for yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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Sift: Cafe & Bakery

We’ve had an unlucky couple of months in Yorkshire in terms of weather, haven’t we? The Beast from the East has rather rudely outstayed it’s welcome and trapped us in our ridiculously thick winter coats instead of peeling back those layers ready for Spring.

But there is a silver lining to all this bad weather. It means my cake ventures become a necessity rather than a luxury… surely there’s some health benefits to keeping warm with a coffee? The cake I can’t justify, it just feels right. And I’m all about the feels.

Sift Cake Counter

Sift: Cafe and Bakery landed slap bang in the middle of Otley late last year and since then, it has definitely made its mark on the quaint little market town. My boyfriend and I attempted our first trip last month but unfortunately we couldn’t find a spot as it was just so busy (always a great sign).

Second time lucky, we made it in last weekend and we settled in for an alternative Saturday brunch…coffee and cake. I don’t care what you say, coffee and cake is right any time of the day.

What I loved about Sift was the perfect simplicity both in interior and in cake. Minimal menus, minimal cake selections and minimalistic surroundings help to really focus on what’s important – long overdue catch ups with friends, coffee dates with that special someone or family outings with the little ones in tow.

Sift Cafe Otley

After ordering a latte and cinnamon bun, I had the perfect chance to watch other folk come and go and enjoy the super relaxed vibes that sift has lovingly created. At one point, a lovely lady popped in just to give a gorgeous bunch of flowers to the owner and seconds after she had left, they had already been put in a vase pride of place on the counter. Little things like that really make it place you could visit over and over again, knowing you will get a warm welcome as you devour your favourite cake.

Latte and Cinnamon Bun

I was so impressed by the cakes and coffee that I decided to order some cupcakes for my sisters upcoming 30th birthday celebrations. Now I know what you’re thinking, you’re the cupcaker why aren’t you baking them yourself?!

Sometimes folks, you’ve got to hand over the reins to the experts and Sift definitely know how to nail a super tasty cupcake. I ordered a delectable dozen cupcakes, ready to collect for a surprise weekend away in the Lake District.

Sift Bakery

Have you ever been to the Lakes? It’s the perfect place for escapism and luckily it’s only a couple of hours from home. Love it or hate it, social media can often take over your life and sometimes, it prevents you from really enjoying the ‘big’ moments in life.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love social media and it’s a big part of my cupcaker life and work but sometimes having a break can do you the world of good. The Lake District is the perfect place to switch off and explore beautiful surroundings with the people that matter the most (it’s also a place with virtually no phone signal so social media escapism is pretty much a must).

The Easter weekend was full of surprises and celebrations with my closest family and friends and Sift’s gorgeous cupcakes took centre stage. Two of my friends are vegan so I asked for 6 vegan friendly cupcakes and Sift certainly delivered. The cupcakes ranged from carrot cake cupcakes (my sister’s favourite) to Easter inspired chocolate and vanilla buttercream cupcakes – which were so so delicious. And the vegan selection were just as tasty with a colourful collection of fruity little numbers including lemon and poppy seed cupcakes and a couple of raspberry and rose cupcakes thrown in there too.

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The variety of flavours that we got were something I didn’t expect from ordering a dozen cupcakes and each cupcake was lovingly baked, individually designed and perfectly unique. All of Sift’s cupcakes were devoured that evening and each one was equally delicious. If you are ever searching for that extra special touch for a celebration, these home-baked cupcakes really do make the ideal finishing touch.

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I couldn’t have asked for a more idyllic Easter escape and we stayed in the most charming country cottage that added to the whole experience. The cottage was all my future house goals rolled into one and I spent the weekend daydreaming about one day owning a place like this myself.

Charcoal cottage really felt like home and was the perfect place to create some lifelong memories (my sister getting engaged in the lounge was a real highlight) and it was the ideal base for exploring all the pretty places the Lakes has to offer.

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We were also really lucky with the weather and the promise of spring finally seemed to come true with sunshine peeking through most days! Although we did have snow on the way home (yes snow…in April!)

Hopefully now we can look forward to some proper Springtime weather and we can finally start to peel back those layers… fingers crossed!

P.s. Huge congratulations to my lovely sister and her fiancé on their engagement.

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Mint Brasserie and Tea Room

Hello! Remember me?

I have been unforgivably sloppy on the blogging front and for that I can only apologise. To make up for it, I am armed with excuses but more importantly, new recipes and cake havens for you lovely lot to indulge in.

Firstly, I wanted to kick off 2018 with a bit more productivity in all areas of my life. That’s why I have been busying myself with bits and bobs over the last month or so.

Including a last minute getaway which I’ll get on to in a moment.

Guernsey Coast

First things first though, cue way overdue New Year’s resolutions that no one really cares about…

Promise I will keep it short and sweet.

I have joined a gym (!) I know can you believe it?! Well it wasn’t intentional but baking cakes and eating cakes doesn’t really promote a healthy lifestyle. (Who’d of thought it ey) so to restore the balance a little, I thought I should make a more conscious effort to keep fit.

I have also started reading again too. I used to be an absolute book nerd pre-university. However, if there is one thing that is going to make you scared of picking up a book again, it’s reading approx. 3 million books a week on an English Literature course. So after a short hiatus, I finally conquered the fear and I’m back to being a geeky little bookworm.

And last but certainly not least, my final resolution was to be a bit more organised with my blog and make sure I am keeping up with regular posting. Although outwardly it may seem I have failed miserably if January is anything to go by, I have actually been busy upping my Instagram game and preparing some fresh new content to share with you all.

Starting with the little mini break I took last week.

After some gin-filled birthday celebrations, my boyfriend and I decided to head off for a few days to visit some family over in Guernsey.

Guernsey is a beautiful little island just off the French coast, often overlooked in favour of its larger sister island, Jersey. But with so much history and coastal charm, I can definitely see why the rich and famous choose to set up camp here.

Most of our time was spent walking on the beach, chilling out and catching up – which was just what we needed. And after another long but beautiful coastal walk, I couldn’t be happier to sit down in a quaint little tea room and tuck into some cake (after all, we had earned it). Introducing the charming Mint Brasserie and Tea Room.

Mint Tearoom Guernsey

First of all, let me tell you the best thing about having someone to eat cake with. If you are as indecisive as me when it comes to choosing a slice, you can order two pieces with no judgement and share them both, therefore lessening the risk of making the wrong choice.

In this case, we had a double whammy of cake heaven. I am a big fan of the Victoria Sponge Cake, they say you should never mess with a classic and this is a prime example. Mint delivered the lightest Victoria sponge I have ever tasted, it literally melted in your mouth. The sponge was perfectly balanced with a generous helping of whipped cream and finished off perfectly with the sweetest squidge of strawberry jam. It may be simple but my oh my, that combination is all kinds of satisfying.

 

Can I go anywhere without having something involving chocolate? The answer is no, I cannot. So my follow up cake was a chocolate peanut butter cake (your mouth is watering isn’t it) well mine certainly did when I spotted it in the counter. This chocolate cake was sandwiched together with thick and crunchy peanut buttercream, finished off with a sticky chocolate ganache. It was so indulgent and each bite was made even better with the chance of getting a random nugget of chocolatey nuttiness nestled between the crumbs.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

What I loved about this place was that it didn’t try to be something it is not – no instagrammable fanciness just for the sake of it, just good old fashioned cake, baked to perfection. They even have all the old school recipe books on the table for you to look through as you sit with your coffee (naturally, I banked a few of these bad boy recipes to inspire some future bakes of my own).

Traditional Cake Recipes

Thank you for a traditional tea room experience Mint, Guernsey is lucky to have you. I quickly found out there isn’t much in the way of good coffee and cake hangouts on this island so I was so happy to discover this hidden gem. If anyone has any suggestions on where I should visit next please comment below and give me another excuse to eat cake (not that I need it).

In the meantime, check out my latest cupcake recipes and let me know if you give any a go, I would love to see how you get on!