One of the things I was most excited about when we moved to Yorkshire was having Bettys at our doorstep. Slightly sad, but definitely true. On a scale of 1-10 my love for Bettys is off the charts. I was over the moon when I got to attend their blogger’s afternoon tea in London a few years ago. (You can even see me in the video they filmed, briefly.)
Since living in York, Sam and I have popped in for the occasional sweet treat and always a Fat Rascal, but I’d yet to have their full afternoon tea here in York. Mostly because to buy from the bakery shop, you don’t have to wait in the massive queue that stretches around the corner. But all that has changed because last week, I had my first afternoon tea at Bettys in York.
If you want to have full Lady Betty afternoon tea at Bettys York, you need to prebook. We were seated upstairs in the Belmont room which was modelled after the Queen Mary II. All the art deco details and ship-like porthole windows truly set the mood. (Which was helped by the talented pianist who was playing a series of popular musical theatre songs – one table started gently singing along to “The Sound of Music” which made my heart glad.)
I was so excited to tuck into the Lady Betty Afternoon Tea (which is only offered in York and Harrogate). We started with glasses of fizz. Champagne for Sam, and a rhubarb fizz for me. I highly recommend the rhubarb! It’s seasonal and it was perfectly tangy! When it came to picking teas I stuck with a safe option of Bettys Afternoon tea blend, because I knew that it was made exclusively to match our tea, and Sam opted for a lovely earl grey. We were then offered a pea puree starter topped with a tomato mint salsa. I loved it. I wanted to eat more but in reality, its small portion was the perfect palate cleanser before settling in to so many elaborate cakes. Next we had tiny salmon roulade and pork pie slices. The pork pie slice even had a tiny apple jam in the middle; it’s the attention to detail that truly makes afternoon tea at Bettys special.
And then the pièce de résistance came out of the kitchen: the afternoon tea tray. There were classic egg salad sandwiches, chicken and tarragon, and a gorgeous Yorkshire ham. My favourite sandwich was a the sundried tomato and Yorkshire ham, but they were all scrumptious! I’d hardly blinked my eye and we’d gobbled all our sandwiches and set upon our scones. There were rose and lemon scones. The rose was absolutely perfectly balanced and provided a subtle hint; however, the lemon scones held the key to my heart. They were divine and I could eat them every day without getting tired of them. I’m an ALWAYS, ALWAYS jam then cream person.
The dessert tray was the most decadent: gooseberry macarons, miniature religieuse, battenberg slice, merengue, a pistachio and chocolate dacquoise, and a chocolate and passionfruit cube. They were all stunning and outrageously decadent, but if I had to pick one favourite, it would probably be the lemon religieuse.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Bettys offers one of the best afternoon teas in England, and I’d recommend it without hesitation. I was so stuffed that I didn’t even nip downstairs to buy a Fat Rascal, which is really saying something.
Have you had tea at Bettys before? And here’s a loaded question: jam then cream or cream then jam?
Bettys York is located at 6-8 St. Helen’s Square, York, YO1 8QP
***Our afternoon tea at Bettys was complimentary, but all my opinions are forever my own. (Plus I’ve always loved Bettys). ***