As a local blogger and self-proclaimed food lover, I love receiving the numerous direct messages which ask me where to eat and to stay when visiting Harrogate. Two of the most popular questions are: “Where should we have Afternoon Tea?” and “Is Bettys worth it?”
Well, just the other week I went to Bettys to try their new Christmas Afternoon Tea and see if it was still worth parting with a pretty penny or two.
For me, visiting Bettys is always a treat, even though I work there! And when it comes to afternoon tea, I would always recommend upgrading from the café afternoon tea to their bookable. Why? Because it’s a magical experience. It’s an enjoyable treat that should be savoured at least once in your life!
There’s something super luxurious about taking afternoon tea with friends in beautiful surroundings, and there is nowhere quite like Bettys for both beauty and atmosphere.
This Yorkshire institution turns 100 years old next year andI’m so excited to be part of the planning for their celebrations, so stay tuned!
Bettys bookable afternoon tea is available in Bettys Harrogate and York. The bookable afternoon tea is served in rooms above the main cafes. One great advantage to the bookable afternoon tea is the absence of queues. A huge advantage at this time of year.
After perusing the shops along West Park, my mum and I headed up the stairs to the Imperial Suite at Bettys, Harrogate. Here we were greeted by the lovely team who showed us to our table for two. The team were perfectly dressed as if it was the 1930s.
Afternoon tea can be enjoyed by anyone but there’s something so special about going with your mum. It was my mum’s birthday weekend, so I thought it was the perfect treat for her. Plus, she needed some extra love and Christmas cheer as she’s just broken her arm – great timing mum! She is supposed to be hosting Christmas this year.
How much is afternoon tea at Bettys?
Sitting down we ordered a Kir Royale Cocktail, part of theChampagne Afternoon Tea offering at a very reasonable £39.95. Without champagneAfternoon Tea costs £32.95. On the table was our menu which detailed the 19 different teas from which we could choose. After speaking with our waiter, he recommended my mum chose the PureAssam tea; a full-bodied tea for those who like it strong.
I opted for my favourite drink at Bettys – their Pure Peppermint Tisane – it comes is a dainty glass teapot, so you can see the fresh peppermint leaves inside. It’s also perfect for those who don’t drink caffeine. For those who are dairy intolerant, Bettys also offer soya or oat milk as a dairy-free alternative.
What’s included in an afternoon tea?
Unlike other afternoon teas, Bettys start with an amuse-bouche, or an appetiser. It’s my favourite thing to eat. We ate Prawns in a Marie Rose sauce with a zingy avocado puree and crisp little gem lettuce topped with a rich red dusting of paprika. It’s these little touches which makes Bettys a great value for money experience.
Afternoon tea in Harrogate
Mum and I were sat by the window and were able to look out on to Montpellier Hill and the Stray beyond. It was a lovely view even though it was a grey day. Bettys Harrogate is right in the centre of town, in a beautiful Scottish baronial building. Next time you are in Harrogate, look up; our buildings are stunning – truly something to behold.
The main theatre of afternoon tea is when the stand arrives. I had always wondered what the thing was on top of the stand. It’s actually a pineapple and is there because a pineapple is the universal sign of welcome. This is why you see pineapples appearing in many places including interiors and at gatherings.
The theatre of afternoon tea
Stood in front of us was a polished silver stand with three tiers full of the most delicious and dainty sandwiches, scones and cakes. And as if that wasn’t enough, placed in front of us was a plate with a Smoked SalmonRomanov and a Miniature Pork & Apple Pie.
We enjoyed three types of sandwich. Yorkshire ham with Emmental cheese and cranberry compote. Succulent chicken and tarragon mayonnaise and finally, egg and cress mayonnaise. All were delicious, but my favourite had to be the chicken. One reason why Bettys Afternoon Tea is so reasonable is the offer of more sandwiches on request. This is especially helpful if you’re with the hubby and he’s not quite had his fill. However, I think afternoon tea can be very deceiving and I never leave hungry.
Our second tier was the scones. Freshly made each morning, we were presented with a Rose scone and a Lemon scone. As this was a Christmas afternoon tea, I had hoped for a more festive twist on the scones. For example, a cranberry or an orange scone might have been more seasonal. The flavours were a little too spring-like for me.
Then we arrived at the top tier. What a sight to behold. The cakes give a traditional nod to Christmas with a Pistachio & Chocolate Daquoise Sleigh and a festive Stollen Bite – which you have to try as it’s coated in a scrumptious rum butter. Conveniently, the Stollen is available to buy online and in the shops. Next there was an Orange Religieuse choux pastry and a gorgeous Gooseberry Macaroon – one of my favourite fruits in a dessert. A pretty Grand Cru Chocolate and Raspberry Parcel with a raspberry hidden inside and a delightful Miniature Battenburg completed the top tier. The only problem we had was the fact that we had to share all of them.
Service & experience
Bettys is built on excellent quality service, I know becauseI was once a waitress for them. The staff really do look after you to ensure your experience is magical and, hopefully, one for the memory box. The whole Afternoon Tea experience lasts around 90 minutes and by the end of it you’ve had an amazing experience with the people you love in beautiful surroundings. It’s definitely worth making this your top thing to do when visiting Harrogate.
Booking Bettys Afternoon Tea
What I love about Bettys Christmas Afternoon Tea is you can book; unlike the cafe when you are risking a very long queue over the christmas holidays. To book, visit bettys.co.uk/cafe-tea-rooms/lady-betty-afternoon-tea#booking
P.S. Thank you to Bettys for inviting us to take Champagne Afternoon Tea with compliments.