Betty Berkins has been on my radar since the summer of 2019, when it opened in the hills of Northeast Wales, overlooking the Dee Estuary. It’s an interesting location, just off the A55 North Wales Expressway, making it perfect for a break on your way into or out of North Wales, although both times I’ve visited, I’ve walked from my house in Holywell, following Wat’s Dyke Way for most of the way.
Occupying a large, single-storey farm building, which it shares a gift shop, Betty Berkins offers plenty of choice when it comes to seating. There’s a large, partially-covered outdoor seating area, with views across the Dee Estuary, more outdoor seating in front of Betty Berkins itself, plus plans for a terrace at the rear (with more excellent views). Heading inside, the spacious main room is supplemented by a function room at the back, plus there’s a dedicated space for visitors with dogs.
Betty Berkins offers separate breakfast, brunch and lunch menus, plus a wide array of cakes, all made on site, using local ingredients wherever possible. The coffee, meanwhile, is from old friends, Allpress, with a standard, espresso-based menu, backed up by a selection of tea and hot chocolate.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Betty Berkins is easily accessible from the A55, where J32 is your friend. Heading east, the off-ramp deposits you opposite the entrance, while if you’re heading west, sneak off at J32A, cut under the A55 and follow the signs for Holywell, where you’ll find the entrance on your right. Either way, you’ll need to drive north along the ½ km lane which runs down to Betty Berkins, before parking in the large car park on the right.
Betty Berkins shares a large, single-storey L-shaped stone building with a gift shop. From the car park, Betty Berkins is straight ahead, the gift shop to the right in the bottom of the L, which is also where you’ll find the toilets. Although you’ll need to go inside to order, there’s plenty of outside seating, including five round, eight-person picnic tables with fixed wooden benches, three to the left of Betty Berkins and two directly in front.
There’s also a swing beyond the buildings to the left and, best of all, a fenced-off seating area to the right, known as “The View”, with magnificent vistas across the valley to the north, while to the northeast, you can see the over the Dee Estuary with the Cheshire hills beyond. Home to several large, six-person picnic tables, The View is partially undercover. Even better, the pillars holding up the roof have power outlets, very handy for recharging your phone!
There’s even more seating inside, Betty Berkins occupying a large, high-ceilinged space which is split into two. You enter on the right, with the counter at the back, groaning under the weight of the cakes. There are a handful of tables in this section, along with a pair of two-person window-bars, one either side of the door. However, the bulk of the seating is off to the left, accessed via three large openings in the party wall. In all, there are nine tables through here, each seating either two or four people.
However, there’s more. A hidden door, part of the large menu board to the right of the counter, opens to reveal a separate room (with its own door to the courtyard in front of Betty Berkins). With a table in each corner, this is reserved for customers with dogs. Finally, at the back of Betty Berkins, accessible via its own door from a terrace at the rear of the building, is a lovely, spacious function room. This is used for events (such as Welsh lessons) and is available for private hire. This has five more tables and a pair of window-bars with some lovely views across the valley.
When it comes to food, everything is cooked on-site, using local ingredients wherever possible. There are separate breakfast (09:00 – 12:00), brunch (12:00 – 14:30) and lunch (12:00 – 14:30) menus, featuring a mix of old favourites and more contemporary dishes. There’s a wide range of cakes, plus cream teas and afternoon teas (which must be booked in advance).
I visited twice, once for coffee and cake, and again for lunch (with more coffee and cake). I began my first visit with a flat white (in a 6 oz cup), the Allpress house-blend going perfectly with the milk for a classic flat white. I paired this with a slice of the raspberry and peach frangipane, which was lovely and moist.
On my return, I had an excellent bree, mushroom and caramelised onion toastie from the specials menu, before finishing things off with a cortado. Beautifully presented on a wooden tray, with a slice of orange and a glass of tap water, it was, in my opinion, even better than the flat white. Finally, I had the last slice of the lotus cake, an excellent layered sponge with buttercream filling and a caramel drizzle. Heavenly.
|THE NANT • THE GLASDIR VIEW • PENTRE HALKYN • HOLYWELL • CH8 8BD|
|www.bettyberkins.co.uk||+44 (0) 1352 372068|
|Monday||CLOSED||Roaster||Allpress (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||CLOSED||Seating||Tables, Window-bars; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||09:00 – 16:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||09:00 – 16:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||09:00 – 16:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||09:00 – 16:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||09:30 – 15:30||Power||Limited|
|Chain||No||Visits||13th, 25th March 2022|
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