When “The Moody Baker” of Alston decided to open a branch in Barnard Castle, there was some conjecture amongst the locals. The main concern seemed to be whether the baker would be in a bad mood or prone to unpredictable mood swings that might affect the baking.
However, it swiftly became clear that there was a group of bakers, rather than just one, and they all appeared to be extremely even tempered. Subsequently I have sampled most of their products on a frequent basis since the shop opened and have often mused upon the reason for its title “The Moody Baker”.
In my experience, whatever mood I am in when I enter the shop (often stressed/grumpy/rushed) the lovely atmosphere and baking smells immediately make me feel better. Then, one bite of whatever I’ve bought transports me to an instant Heaven and I savour the delicious flavours that can only be achieved by good ingredients and expert cooking. Therefore, it seems to me that “The Moody Baker” might be so called because it has the ability to turn a bad mood into a good one.
It is difficult for me to name just one favourite item. Topping my list, though, would be their roast vegetable quiche, the Guinness and black pudding sausage rolls and the Brie and mushroom pasty. If I need a full meal then I choose a Wolf pie, which is substantial as well as beautiful (by the way, it’s Wolf ale in it, not wolf meat). It is also difficult for me to explain why, when I do not have a sweet tooth, I am addicted to their ginger cake, cheesecake tarts and chocolate brownies.
I will have to ask them how they decided on the title “The Moody Baker”; there might be an interesting story behind it. This means that I will have to visit the shop again soon. While I’m there, of course, I’ll have to see what’s just come out of the oven . . .