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Sunday, 28 October 2018

How I'm Starting Autumn in York

October is one of my favourite months, mainly because it marks the start of my favourite time of year. Although I definitely have an undying love for the summer heat, I absolutely adore the last three months of year and for me October marks the start of that. I love the crisp mornings, the leaves turning golden and most of all, I love the atmosphere at this time of year. There are so many things to look forward to, from Halloween to Bonfire Night to Christmas to New Year and it makes me feel so happy and content. This is the first Autumn that I've spent living away from the good ol' north east and there's a few things that Andy and I have done over the last few weeks that I've just had to share with you guys. Warning: it'll probably make you hungry! 


Anyone who knows me at all will know for sure that I am a sucker for a good afternoon tea and my blog definitely shows that. I have had afternoon tea everywhere and it is one of my favourite ways to spend a day off so when The Principal York invited us along to review their champagne afternoon tea with their new Autumnal additions, obviously I couldn't wait to get in there. I've walked past the Principal and admired it's grand exterior from afar many, many times but I'd never actually been inside so I was so excited to see if the interior matched the beautiful outside and I wasn't disappointed.

The interior is absolutely breathtaking and gets the balance between modern and traditional just right. The Principal remains true to it's rich heritage but is also up to date and cosy, with high ceilings, beautiful chandeliers and wide staircases, modern and muted colour palettes and amazing attention to detail, I could have probably spend a good few days wandering around taking photos of it. 

Afternoon tea is served in the Garden Room, a big, bright room with huge windows and view across the Principal grounds right the way to the Minster. As for the food, it's up there with one of the bets afternoon teas I've ever had. Maybe even the best afternoon tea I've ever had. It started with a little starter, a trio of artichoke and potato soup, game terrine and a Yorkshire blue cheese muffin and I honestly could have eaten triple the amount it was all so nice! It was very autumnal, with the soup and the spices in the terrine, it was definitely exactly what I was looking for at this time of year. 

As for the main event, the Head Pastry Chef Brian Roberts creates all of the amazing cakes and pastries that appear on the afternoon tea and he came out to explain them all to us before we tucked in. There were three different types of scone; buttermilk, orange and chestnut and currant, cherry and almond, all served with homemade orange jam. Yep, they were as beautiful as they sound. The desserts were all perfect for Autumn, with pumpkin spices, bramble and apple crumble and so many more amazing flavours, also including a favourite from the chef every week to mix it up a little bit.

Overall, I can't recommend this enough and I absolutely loved every piece of the afternoon tea You can find out more about The Principal York Afternoon Tea on their website, including menus, prices and booking information. 


As a proud and self-proclaimed Instagram basic bitch, I could not let Halloween pass without going to a pumpkin patch. I've carved pumpkins every year since I was a lil baby Salt and Chic and after seeing all of the amazing photos on social media of pumpkin patches, I had to find the closest one to me. The Balloon Tree is a farm shop and cafe just outside of York and has a Pick Your Own feature on from May to October, including picking your own strawberries, raspberries and of course, pumpkins. There's something so satisfying about picking your own rather than buying from a shop and the pumpkins we did get were huge in comparison to the ones you buy at the supermarkets. We also got a few little itty bitty pumpkins for display alongside our carved ones and I love how they look on our sideboard in the living room! Andy did a very elaborate Gears of War carving as you can see whereas I did a Jack The Pumpkin King (the same as every year and of course, 100% basic bitch) and don't they just look adorable!? 

We also had lunch in the Balloon Tree before going out to the pumpkin patch and the food in the cafe is delicious too, with sandwiches, cakes and everything you could want from a traditional English farm shop. I went for chicken and brie and it was laaavley. 

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And finally, is it really the last part of the year if your intake of Sunday lunch doesn't increase by a thousand percent? I love a good Sunday lunch, especially on a rainy, cold, Autumn day so a couple of weeks ago on a miserable Sunday, we headed over to Oxo's On The Mount to test out their three course Sunday lunch. The restaurant is part of the Mount Royale Hotel and if you've driven past it before you'll have undoubtedly noticed it as it has the most beautiful exterior, covered in ivy that is unmissable. The interior is warm and homely, with traditional furniture, well put together decor and a beautiful garden to sit in if you are lucky enough to get the weather. We stayed in the restaurant as it was so miserable outside and it has such a lovely atmosphere, with fantastic service and a lovely menu.

We both opted for three courses (obviously!) and I think the starters may have actually been my favourite part of the whole meal! I went for deep fried goats cheese which was just as heavenly as it sounds and Andy went for the soup, which I tried and got major food envy for. The main courses were fantastic too, with beautifully cooked meats, plenty of veg and amazing Yorkshire puddings of course. It also involved lots of cauliflower cheese which I don't see too often when I go out for Sunday lunch so I was very happy about that. 

For the desserts, we shared and went for sticky toffee pudding and a cheese board, which are two of my all time favourite desserts and they did not disappoint. I was full to bursting point by the end of the meal and it was the perfect meal to fill a rainy Sunday afternoon. We obviously went home afterwards, laid on the sofa and played a ridiculous amount of Xbox - I mean, can you think of a better lazy weekend day?

You can read more about Oxo's Restaurant on their website.

How are you spending your Autumn?

Amy x


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