York is such a beautiful city, so when #TeamCoco’s Rachel McAlley was invited for brunch it was a great opportunity to experience a few treats in the city.
Patisserie Valerie has recently undergone some major changes, with the company going into administration, it was a welcome surprise to hear the good news that a number of the cafes had been bought by an investor and were remaining open.
We arrived at one of York’s premier shopping destinations, the Coppergate Centre where patisserie Valerie is located, on a bustling street, opposite one of the city’s most visited tourist attractions, the Jorvik Viking Centre. A perfect place to people watch as York has the second-most visiting tourists outside London in England.
The first thing we noticed when walking through the door is that this café is a busy one, with customers filling most tables, and others buying takeout cakes, which of course Patisserie Valerie is well-known for.
The café being so busy meant that we had to wait quite a while before our order was taken, but the staff were lovely and accommodating.
It was a sweltering hot day in York, so we opted for soft drinks rather than the famed coffees and teas that donned the menu. We chose a couple of brunch items, one a child’s cheese toastie (£5.95 with dessert) and the other was smashed avocado, served on thick sliced bloomer toast, with a grilled tomato, dash of smoked paprika and watercress on the side (£6.75).
The avocado toast lacked any avocado, it was a simple spread of what seemed to be guacamole rather than any pieces of avocado, however the grilled tomato on top was beautifully cooked, exceptionally fresh and was very tasty. The watercress could have done with some form of dressing, to enhance the flavour, but all in all it was presented neatly and it filled a little hunger gap.
All was not lost though as the selection of cakes was indeed excellent, we opted for a take-home box of 4 cakes (£12 for 4) which included strawberry gateau, blackforest sponge, baked cheesecake, a fresh raspberry tart, and we ordered 4 dainty macarons (£1 each) too.
The stand-out cake was almost certainly the blackforest sponge, a chocolate sponge layered with whipped cream and cherries, finished with amarena cherries and chocolate fans. This was truly delicious and exactly what we expected from Patisserie Valerie. Plus, the macarons were melt-in-the-mouth divine, and the raspberry tart was quite excellent.
Would we revisit, yes I think we would. Maybe not for avocado toast but 100% for the outstanding cakes and very good service.
Patisserie Valerie is located at Unit 16 Coppergate, York, YO1 9NT.