This week, the nation is celebrating National Cake Week, as well as the long-awaited final of series six of “The Great British Bake Off” which had the whole of #TeamCoco on the edge of our seats from the start to the finish. All the recent talk of creaming, piping, soggy bottoms and fluffy sponges has sent the deal experts at online travel deals company Travelzoo into a baking frenzy.
“As over 13 million people tuned in to watch Nadiya claim the trophy of Britain’s best baker last night, ‘The Great British Bake Off’ is proof that the UK is truly cake-mad and our traditional baking skills are something we hold dear,” said Louise Hodges, Travelzoo spokesperson. “The UK often gets portrayed as a nation of poor food by other countries, however when you look into it, Britain has a rich and delicious tapestry of regional culinary delights, and we’re particularly famous for our cakes and bakes – you really can’t get much more British than a Victoria sponge or an afternoon tea with clotted cream and jam!”
Travelzoo has identified Britain’s top 10 favourite bakes, their origins and the best locations, tea shops and villages Brits should head to in order to enjoy these treats. We’ve also come up with tips on other things to do in the area to work up an appetite (or burn off some calories).
Travelzoo’s 2015 Great British Bake Off Hotlist
- Yorkshire Curd Tart, Yorkshire – It’s only right that the top spot on our list hails from the county of Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain. This is a speciality tart from Yorkshire and is a variation on the cheesecake – it uses fresh curd and is also filled with currants and egg.
- Where to try it:Bettys Tea Rooms in York is an iconic tea room and bakery that also happens to bake an exceptional Yorkshire curd tart.
- While in York:Visit York Minster, one of the largest cathedrals in northern Europe, and walk along The Shambles, York’s most famous street, which has buildings dating back to the 14th century.
- Bakewell Pudding, Bakewell, Derbyshire– Allegedly, the Bakewell Pudding was the result of a simple cooking mistake, but the pudding went down so well that it became a dessert in its own right.
- Where to try it:Bakewell is a quaint town in Derbyshire’s Peak District and the Bakewell Pudding Shop is the perfect location for this British favourite.
- While in Bakewell:Take a step back in time with a visit to Chatsworth House, a stately home belonging to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, or Haddon Hall, an English Tudor country house in Bakewell.
- Eccles Cake, Eccles, Salford, Greater Manchester – We’re sure Bake Off finalist Tamal Ray is a fan of his local bake. The eccles cake – also known as a squashed fly cake (although that doesn’t sound as appealing) – is a little round cake from Manchester and is made from flaky pastry filled with currants, so technically it isn’t really a ‘cake’ at all!
- Where to try it:It’s no surprise that the Eccles cake originated in Eccles and if you want to try the best Eccles cake around visit Ward’s Bakery.
- While in Eccles:With over 20 public parks and five local nature reserves, Eccles is a good place to enjoy the great outdoors. Spend the evening at nearby Salford Quays relaxing in one of the waterside bars.
- Chelsea Bun, Chelsea, London
Buns were one of the final challenges on this series of “The Great British Bake Off” final last night so we couldn’t leave them off our list. According to an old tale, over 50,000 people queued up to try the Chelsea bun when it was first created by the Old Chelsea Bun House in the 18thcentury
- Where to try it:Chelsea is a borough of London with plenty of tea rooms; for the best Chelsea bun in town make sure you visit Megan’s Deli for the unique blueberry version.
- While in Chelsea:Once you’ve had your fill of buns, put your oversized sunglasses on and stroll down King’s Road – you can start with brunch, pop in and out of the boutiques, and finish your day dining in style at one of the many restaurants, pubs and bars.
- Banoffee Pie, Eastbourne, East Sussex – Although believed by many to have originated in America, banoffee pie was actually invented at The Hungry Monk restaurant in Eastbourne in 1972.
- Where to try it:The Hungry Monk no longer exists but there are plenty of other places to try banoffee pie, one of which is The Dolphin.
- While in Eastbourne:Walk along the chalk cliffs of Beachy Head for stunning views and peace and quiet or, for the quintessential British seaside experience, stroll along Eastbourne Pier.
- Sticky Toffee Pudding, the Lake District, Cumbria
A few countries have tried to claim sticky toffee pudding as their own, but it was in fact created in the Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel in Cumbria.
- Where to try it:We recommend either the restaurant at the Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel, or the self-styled “Home of Sticky Toffee”, the Cartmel Village Shop.
- While in Cumbria:You’re spoilt for choice of places to eat, drink and ramble when in the Lake District – just make sure you take in the beautiful surroundings.
- Cornish Split, Cornwall
In Cornwall, a cream tea is traditionally served with Cornish splits –semi-sweet bread rolls that are used in place of scones.
- Where to try it:It’s very hard to find a Cornish split outside of Cornwall, so make sure you visit Berryman’s for this treat if you’re down in the West Country.
- While in Cornwall:There’s plenty to do in Cornwall beyond eating cream teas. Head to Newquay to surf the waves or spend a day at the Eden Project, the world’s largest indoor rainforest.
- Aberffraw Biscuits, Aberffraw, Wales – The recipe for Aberffraw biscuits, also known as Aberffraw cakes, is said to date back to the 13thcentury, making it Britain’s oldest biscuit recipe.
- Where to try it: The Welsh village of Aberffraw is near the coast, on the Isle of Anglesey. There are plenty of cafés in the area – we recommend finding one with a sea view to take in while tucking into these sweet treats.
- While in Aberffraw:Why not visit Snowdonia? It’s only a 30-minute drive from Aberffraw and will give you plenty of opportunity to walk, jog or cycle off all those Aberffraw calories.
- Dorset Apple Cake, Dorset – Dorset apple cake is the perfect winter treat, as it uses local autumn apples to create a warm and comforting bake.
- Where to try it:The Walnut Tree Gallery in Sixpenny Handley, Dorset.
- While in Dorset:Explore the windswept beauty of the Jurassic Coast – Durdle Door’s iconic limestone arch is a must-see after hunting for fossils and enjoying the many cliff-top walks.
- Dundee Cake, Dundee, Scotland – Dundee cake is a traditional Scottish fruit cake, often made with currants and almonds, and dates back to the 19thcentury.
- Where to try it:Visit T Ann Cake, where the cakes and tarts are baked from scratch every morning (and afternoon if they’re having a busy day).
- While in Dundee: Spend your morning checking out the art at the McManus Galleries, before taking a step back in time at Broughty Castle.
For amazing deals to some of the baking centres of the UK visit Travelzoo’s UK breaks page: travelzoo.com/uk/uk-hotels-breaks/