A contemporary bakehouse and dining room from the chef patron behind HOME and The Owl in Leeds will open in Boston Spa in May. The brainchild of chef Elizabeth Cottam, CORA will offer bakery and patisserie-based breakfasts, lunch and afternoon tea tasting experiences, alongside an ever changing selection of speciality cakes, pastries and wines.
The modestly named ‘bakehouse’ aims to offer something a little special to the mix of independents currently residing in the village which is situated on the banks of the River Wharfe.
Talking about CORA, owner Elizabeth Cottam, said: “‘We’re offering elegant, yet fun and playful pastry and bread creations that are very different from what you typically find in your traditional tearoom or old fashioned french patisserie.
I love making a real event out of eating so I decided to create a place where the ceremony of afternoon tea could be embraced and rolled out to other dining times of the day too. I’ve included a wide variety of expected and unexpected ingredients and flavours in the menu to update the patisserie format. To turn up the sense of occasion even more, every dish is paired with an optional carefully selected wine or cocktail.”
Over the summer months, the team will check the weather forecast each week and, when the sun is predicted to shine, they will open their books for picnic hamper pre-orders. These packed hampers for two will include blankets, food, champagne and a little map to direct you to a perfect sunny spot by the river.
Liz continued: “One of the most exciting things about this project is that I’ve tracked down and pulled together a full female senior team. My general manager, head pastry chef and head baker, alongside me make up an incredibly creative and formidable partnership. The development process has been so inspiring and enjoyable, I’m very much looking forward to showcasing what these amazing women can do.”
Whilst the first few weeks after opening will be for collection only, customers can expect to tuck into Bloody Mary sourdough with rare breed bacon and tarragon tomato jam, foie gras and plum Danish swirls, mushroom and black garlic parfait on marbled, truffle ciabatta with Pedro Ximenez sherry butter, black sesame and tangerine eclairs, little pear drop pies, cakes made of sour cherries that look like clouds and many very special flavoured breads and other tasty treats. The tasting experiences will include both savoury and sweet dishes selected by the chefs.
CORA will also bake a small selection of products to take away each week, alongside two tasting menu boxes for brunch and lunch, each containing items that will change weekly. Customers are advised to pre-order to avoid disappointment.
Liz concluded: “It’s a great time for us to open and we’re hoping the summer months will be filled with people enjoying the dishes we’re creating for CORA’s opening. Our aim is that by June we will be able to offer customers the full, dine-in experience, but until then we are happy to serve people via the retail counter and help a lucky few picnic in style.”
Image by Ben Bentley. L-R, Rosie Wilkinson, Elizabeth Cottam, Mary-Jane Walker and Audry Colombet.