This blog has been a long time in coming, but I think its because Bettys holds a spot close to my heart that I haven’t wrote about it till now. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Bettys, then you should be ha ha. Bettys is a Yorkshire based dynasty dating back to 1919, consisting of six tearooms with shops scattered across Yorkshire – each giving home to its hearty menu, classic style and renowned service.
Everyone I know has their own favourite Bettys holding their cherished memories. Mine has to be Bettys Stonegate – or as we still fondly call it Little Bettys. It was a Christmas tradition that every year on Christmas Eve, while my mum worked, our dad would take us to see Father Christmas then take us to Little Bettys as a treat. This tradition still happens today (albeit without seeing Father Christmas) and as I’ve grown older, so did my love for all of the tearooms packed with traditional values and delicious treats.
Due to the power of Instagram in the last few years I have been thrilled to be involved in a couple of collaborations with them. Last year I took over Bettys Instagram for the Halloween period, posting a collection of my autumnal and Halloween themed photographs of their scrumptious products. Earlier this year I was asked to be a ‘model’ (I use the term unpretentiously ha ha) for the new Lady Bettys afternoon tea promotional material (which I will get round to telling you about) and last month I helped out again with the new photographs for the Harrogate tearoom. Modelling for Bettys is always a privilege – I mean who wouldn’t want to spend a day getting dressed up and sat in tasteful surroundings eating and drinking your body weight in mouth-watering goodies!
I am not only a fan of Bettys, but I am also a fan of afternoon tea! So for me, Bettys Afternoon Tea is a natural choice whenever anyone asks me ‘what to do in York?’. People flock far and wide to visit the Tearoom and I’m sure that very few, if any, will leave disappointed. The Lady Bettys Afternoon Tea is taken in the Belmont Room in York (or the Imperial Room in Harrogate) which is a beautiful panelled room with light flooding in through the many windows that look down onto the hustle and bustle of busy Davygate below.
On my lasest visit we opted for Champagne Lady Bettys option which gave us a glass of champagne each to go along side our unlimited tea – YES I SAID UNLIMITED TEA. I always choose my favourite tea when I visit Bettys, their Earl Grey which is infused with just the right amount of bergamot and Dave opts for the Jasmine Blossom which is green tea based. However, a word of advice if you visit, don’t fill up on too much tea as the food just keeps coming! There is the, appetiser, savoury selection and sandwiches followed by a cake selection, and after all that you shall need to make room for the scones!
Our appetiser was a delicate Pea, cucumber and tomato cocktail which was a pea purée with crème fraiche topped with diced tomato and red onion, cucumber and mint. This was swiftly followed by the savoury selections of a miniature Pork & apple pie and a smoked salmon and cream cheese roulade, which may appear small, but, they are quite rich so less is definitely more.
Once the savouries had been devoured we were presented with our tiered cake stand which was over flowing with sandwiches and sweet treats! There was two sandwiches of each of three fillings – ham & tomato pâté, chicken & tarragon and egg mayonnaise which you could happily request more of if you wished – I went for more of the chicken & tarragon as I am not an egg fan (having pet chickens as a kid ruined them for me).
The freshly baked (and still warm) miniature scones were lightly scented with one being lemon and the other rose. These scents were complimented by the tasty strawberry jam and clotted cream. I left my scones till after the cakes though, as some are really rich and the scones helped to cleanse my palate. The selection of beautifully crafted cakes on our stand included a miniature battenburg, fresh berry meringue, gooseberry macaroon, lemon religieuse, a pistachio & chocolate slice and, my favourite, the delicious chocolate & passion fruit cube…. I can’t even describe how good it tastes.
Bettys for me is always a treat and an experience which I look forward to and enjoy. So if you are one of the 6.9 million (WOW ) visitors to York each year and you haven’t experienced Bettys for afternoon tea you should definitely put it on your bucket list. The Lady Bettys afternoon tea is £32.95 per person (or £39.95 with champagne) which having been to a lot of afternoon tea it a great price for the amount of food and service you get when you visit Bettys. The Belmont Room can be booked Thursday to Sunday for the afternoon tea (as can the Imperial Room in Harrogate). However if your only in York for a whistle-stop tour you can still enjoy a treat from their hearty menu in the tea room or pick up a famous ‘Fat Rascal’ from the shop – they are like a blog in themselves.
So as a Yorkshire local I urge anyone living in Yorkshire to visit one of the Bettys tearooms to experience the magic! And as a Yorkshire man advertising Yorkshire to the world I am telling you that NO visit to Yorkshire is complete with a visit to one of the amazing Bettys tearooms.