Visit Bettys tearoom

The Ordinary Lovely: Afternoon tea at Bettys York

Those of you familiar with York will have noticed one of its most famous landmarks missing from my collection of photographs of our day out. Dear, sweet Bettys. For someone like me who believes that afternoon tea is the very best meal of the day, it's a chocolate-smelling heaven and an absolute must-visit if you're ever in Yorkshire. Bettys was founded by a Swiss baker and confectioner by the name of Frederick Belmont who came to the UK to perfect his craft skills. Before visiting last week, I didn't know this little part of Bettys' history but had always remarked how uncannily similar its tea rooms are to one of our old haunts in Zürich, Confiserie Sprüngli. It makes me wonder if Herr Belmont was somewhat homesick and trying to introduce a touch of Switzerland's finest to the UK to make himself feel more at home.

Mum and I had been invited by Bettys to sample their delightful Lady Betty Afternoon Tea in the Belmont Room above its incredibly popular York Tea Rooms. I love the hustle and bustle of the tea rooms and to browse the confectionery (Lady Betty chocolate peppermint creams are divine) but after a busy day of shopping it was wonderful to skip the queue (afternoon tea in the Belmont Room is reservation only which means you can pop through the secret side door rather that standing in line outside) and head upstairs to an oasis of calm, greeted by the delicate clinking of tea cups and the gentle tinkling of keys on the piano. We sunk in to our chairs and were handed cool glasses of Kir Royal to sip on while our incredibly sweet waitress explained the menu and gave us advice on our tea selection. We sampled a couple of different varieties and my advice? Go for the Golden Tipped Assam. It's the perfect rich blend.

We were treated to a succession of dishes, so much more than the scones and sandwiches we were expecting. An appetiser, a savoury selection, sandwiches, scones and miniature cakes ... and more should a particular delicacy take our fancy (coronation chicken on pumpkin seed bread for mum and chocolate and praline slice for me). It's worth noting, I don't eat seafood and even though I hadn't mentioned this in advance, two of the menu items were adapted for me without a moment's hesitation. The service was absolutely faultless ... genial, polite and with wonderful attention to detail. We weren't able to manage all of the miniature cakes and they were whisked off, wrapped individually, placed in a box, and tied with a bow for us to take home (and eat for breakfast the next day).

I'd hand on heart recommend a visit to Bettys, and the Lady Betty Afternoon Tea is a veritable treat, one which I hope to repeat. If you're in York (or Harrogate), it's not to be missed!

The Ordinary Lovely: Afternoon tea at Bettys York
The Ordinary Lovely: Afternoon tea at Bettys York
The Ordinary Lovely: Afternoon tea at Bettys York
The Ordinary Lovely: Afternoon tea at Bettys York
The Ordinary Lovely: Afternoon tea at Bettys York
The Ordinary Lovely: Afternoon tea at Bettys York
The Ordinary Lovely: Afternoon tea at Bettys York
The Ordinary Lovely: Afternoon tea at Bettys York
The Ordinary Lovely: Afternoon tea at Bettys York