The Home of Chocolate – Goddards York

Located by the side of York racecourse stands a home with a chocolate heritage.  The house is the former home of Noel Goddard Terry the grandson of Sir Joseph Terry the founder of the famous chocolate factory Terry’s of York.  How many of you have had the pleasure of tapping open a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, especially at Christmas?

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Terry’s Chocolate Orange

The family home was built in the Arts and Crafts style in 1927 surrounded by four acres of gardens.  Goddards House is now owned by the National Trust and between 1982 and 2012 was used as their Yorkshire regional offices.  It’s now been opened up to the public and visitors can explore this beautiful home for themselves.  We started our tour in the Drawing Room where visitors are welcome to sit and relax on one of the comfortable sofas and browse archive copies of the chocolate factory in-house newspaper ‘Terry Times’.

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Goddards lounge

Upstairs we viewed several of the bedrooms and Noel Terry’s office with his Underwood’s manual typewriter, his office window overlooking the gardens and his factory beyond.  One of the former bedrooms now houses an exhibition on ‘The Terry Women’ featuring photos and memorabilia of the factory workers.  Displayed on mantelpieces and small tables are collections of Terry’s chocolate boxes over the years.  I recognised some of them as my mother and grandmother used to save the attractive boxes they had been given for Christmas or their birthdays and after all the chocolates had been eaten they would cherish them and use the boxes to store small items such as handkerchiefs and letters.

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Terry’s designs displayed on the mantelpiece

The company opened its Art Deco style factory in 1926 known as ‘The Chocolate Works’ and the Chocolate Orange was first produced in 1931.  Since 2005, after the closure of the chocolate factory in York, Chocolate Oranges have been produced near Jankowice, Poland but surprisingly they are not actually sold in that country!  In case you might not have had the pleasure of eating one of these chocolate delicacies I’ll describe it for you.  The Terry’s Chocolate Orange comprises an orange shaped ball divided into twenty segments similar to an actual orange.  Each ‘orange’ is then wrapped in orange foil and before eating a gentle tap on the foil is needed to separate the segments.

Stepping outdoors into the warm sunshine we strolled through the gardens which comprise yew hedged ‘garden rooms’ and a grass tennis court where visitors can borrow racquets and balls and enjoy a game as the Terry family once did.

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Gardens surroundings Goddard’s York

The gardens were designed to complement the house, in addition to formal bedding displays there are water features and hidden pathways.  The original glass house is still used today by the Goddard’s gardeners.  At the far end of the garden lies the York racecourse and just beyond the former Terry’s chocolate factory.

We then settled down on the elegant rattan chairs out on the Lavender Terrace and ordered slices of Terry’s signature chocolate orange cake with our morning coffees.  The cake was delicious, combining the flavours the Terry family made famous, together with the trademark chocolate orange segment sitting on top.  When the weather is not so favourable, refreshments can be enjoyed in the 1930’s style Terry’s Dining Room.

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Enjoying tea and cakes on the terrace

Have you eaten any Terry’s of York products such as Terry’s All Gold, Terry’s York Fruits or the Chocolate Orange?  Do let me know and it would be interesting to find out in which countries you have bought them.  My all time favourite Terry’s product was Terry’s Neapolitans (small chocolate squares in various flavours) but sadly these ceased production when the factory closed in 2005 so I now buy the similar Lindt ones instead.

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80 thoughts on “The Home of Chocolate – Goddards York

  1. We are big fans of chocolate orange in our house, our son always gets one at Christmas but I am happy to eat them anytime of year! The house looks really interesting, definitely one I think we should pay a visit to sometime. That chocolate orange cake too… yum!

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    1. It’s really nice at Goddards Joy but there isn’t a car park so we left our car in the city centre and caught a bus as it’s quite a way out of town. Glad you like Chocolate Oranges too – a reader from Texas tells me she has bought mint and apple versions !

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  2. Have never had the pleasure of eating one of these. Sounds yummy though. I love that you can just wander around the house and grounds and even play on the grass tennis courts. That would be awesome.

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  3. I had no idea Marion that Terry made more than just the Chocolate Orange. I always have one in my cupboard (always) I just love it so much. I just read one of your followers say they have tried the mint one in Texas (never heard of that either). I have bought them in Hong Kong when I lived there and also here in Australia – they are always in the supermarket here.

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  4. thanks!… lovely place and piece. Never had a Terry’s Orange… well, in it’s entirety, I think I may have been passed a segment or two once in a while.
    My family were more After Eights or Matchmakers at Christmas.
    I’m going to try and hunt down a Terry’s Orange in Spain… there’s a challenge!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely thoughts on this post, I do hope you are able to find a Chocolate Orange in Spain. We also had After Eights and Matchmakers at Christmas, both brands still going strong! I was never a fan of After Eights finding them very soft and sticky but I rather liked Matchmakers, I meant have to give them another try!!

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      1. I’ll keep you posted about my hunting!… yes, After Eights are a bit gooey, whilst Matchmakers have those crispy bits in and come in orange flavor too!
        I’d get about six together in my mouth (I have a sweet tooth, yes!) and nibble along the collective lengths till they disappeared into my mouth. Later, as you know, they came in super lengths, about four inches long I think!… aaaaaaaaahhhh heaven!!!!!!

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  5. I am definitely a Terrys fan. The chocolate orange is a must in my Christmas stocking. 🙂 And yes I remember the Neapolitans too. I had completely forgotten of their existence. But they were so good!

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  6. Being English I have of course eaten a chocolate orange (or two!) in my time. However, I can remember talking to friends in America years ago who didn’t have any idea what they were, and almost struggled with the concept of a chocolate that you have to break into to eat.

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  7. Beautiful manor house and that cake looks divine! I will have to go there when I visit my friend in York 🙂

    I have had the chocolate orange here in Australia but I don’t think I’ve tried any of their other sweets.

    Liked by 3 people

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