High Tea At The Legendary Bettys Tea Room

High tea is a tradition in Britain, with tea shops offering lavish spreads. The most renowned one is Bettys, which opened in Harrogate following World War I
The famous Betty's Tea Rooms at Helenas Square in York in North Yorkshire                                                      Jason Batterham/Shutterstock
The famous Betty's Tea Rooms at Helenas Square in York in North Yorkshire Jason Batterham/Shutterstock

Britain is known for the tradition of high tea with tea rooms serving elaborate services for the occasion. Among the most legendary high tea services is the one at Bettys. The place was launched after World War I in Harrogate, the fashionable spa resort in North Yorkshire.&nbspPeople have flocked to the family-run business, known for its Yorkshire Fat Rascal scones, for more than a century.

How It Started

In 1919, Swiss confectioner and baker Fritz B&uumltzer established Bettys in Harrogate. He received his confectionary training in France. He changed his name to Frederick Belmont once he got to England.

What's On Your Plate

Anyone who has been reared on a diet of Enid Blytons and Agatha Christies will love the afternoon tea at Bettys. The best one can be had at the elegant private dining suite on the first floor of Bettys in St Helen&rsquos Square, York. It is truly redolent of nostalgia and childhood memories with a large selection of cakes, tea, warm scones with jam, cinnamon toast, and divine strawberry milkshakes. A selection of rare and fine teas, especially sourced by Bettys own expert tea buyers to complement the menu, includes an exclusive Bettys Afternoon Tea Blend.

The afternoon tea service here includes&nbspa glass of bubbly inlcuding Rose champagne and Rhubarb champagne. The Lady Betty menu includes many rare and speciality teas from around the world.  While you peruse the tea menu,&nbspa pianist plays classic tunes in one corner. The teas consist of the some of the best ones sourced from&nbspIndia, China, and Sri Lanka. 

You can start the high tea meal with an appetiser, perhaps a &nbspPrawn, Spring Onion and Cucumber Cocktail in &nbspMarie Rose Sauce with some avocado puree. Or you could try the Miniature Red Pepper & Tomato Tarts, and Chicken Caesar Sandwiches. A popular dish here is the Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Dill Roulade served on a wholemeal croute. 

The highlight is the staggeringly impressive spread on their traditional silver cake stands. Think tiers of delectable finger sandwiches, pastries, and cakes. You can choose from roast Yorkshire ham and tomato pate with mixed leaves on tomato bread, or coronation chicken made with free range chicken in spiced yoghurt dressing served on pumpkin seed bread. If you love eggs, go for the egg mayonnaise sandwich made with free range eggs and cress on wholemeal bread.

Desserts include freshly baked Lemon and Sultana scones which come with clotted cream and jam. Then there are miniature cakes such as Salted Caramel Pillow, Passionfruit and Lemon Macaroon and Apple and Vanilla Custard Tart, profiteroles, apple caramel macaroons, and more. 

The Information

Currently, the county is home to six Bettys Café Tea Rooms at Harrogate, Harrogate Harlow Carr, York, York Stonegate, Ilkley, and Northallerton. They also have a craft bakery and a cooking school in Harrogate.&nbspThe luxury, reservation-only Afternoon Tea is a singularly stylish and devilishly delicious experience, served in the elegant Imperial Room at Bettys Harrogate and the Queen Mary-inspired Belmont Room at Bettys York.&nbspYou can book your table online to avoid the queues. More information here.

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