England: Birthday Afternoon Tea at Bettys, Harrogate, Yorkshire

Frontage of Betty's Tearooms, Harrogate

Being a Yorkshire lass Bettys Tea Rooms is always my go to for a lovely northern afternoon tea. Bettys Tea Rooms are charming and offer a traditional afternoon tea which in my opinion is second to none and believe me I have had a few afternoon teas in my time. The first Bettys Tea Room was opened in Harrogate in 1919 after Frederick Belmont, a talented and ambitious Swiss confectioner, arrived in Yorkshire and married a local girl. Nearly 100 years later and the company is still owned by the same family and the brand is still going strong.

Frontage of Betty's Tearooms, Harrogate
Frontage of Betty’s Tearooms, Harrogate

The company also make my favourite tea ‘Yorkshire Tea‘ (I have been known to pack these teabags when travelling) with 6 tea rooms across Yorkshire:-

  • 1 Parliament Street, Harrogate, HG1 2QU
  • Crag Lane, Beckwithshaw, HG3 1QB
  • 6-8 St. Helen’s Square, YO1 8QP
  • 46 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AS
  • 32 The Grove, Ilkley, LS29 9EE
  • High Street, Northallerton, DL7 8LF

    Rose champagne at Betty's tearooms, Harrogate
    Rose champagne at Betty’s tearooms, Harrogate

Having an afternoon tea addiction and having only ever been to the St Helen’s Square branch I was so happy when Mr ESLT surprised me with a visit to the Harrogate branch for my birthday last month. Bettys is super popular, it is not uncommon to see people queuing out of the door and down the street come rain or shine. Therefore, I advise that if you are a party of 5 of less to pre book your table via bookatable.co.uk. If you are a party of 6 or more to pre book you need to contact the branch directly, however please be aware if this is the case you need to pay in full at the time of booking. Harrogate is a fashionable, affluent Yorkshire spa town and Bettys fits in perfectly, housed in a beautiful building with gorgeous hanging baskets in the spring and summer months.

Afternoon tea at Betty's Tearoom, Harrogate
Afternoon tea at Betty’s Tearoom, Harrogate

Our table was booked for 5.30pm. We did arrive around 5.10pm and we were told that our afternoon tea could not be served until the booked time of 5.30pm due to the scones being freshly baked but we could be shown to our table on the first floor in the Imperial Room. I think we were given the best seat in the house right in a large bay window. This allowed us the luxury of the cool breeze from the open window as it was an extremely humid mid May day. True to their word on the stroke of 5.30pm service commenced and we were asked if we would like a glass of champagne with our afternoon tea, the answer of course was yes!

Selection of Vegetarian sandwiches at Betty's Tearoom, Harrogate
Selection of Vegetarian sandwiches at Betty’s Tearoom, Harrogate

Champagne delivered we gave our tea order – English breakfast tea. Yes that may be considered a very boring choice but my favourite tea nonetheless. There are of course loads of other specialist teas to choose from if you are more adventurous than us. Two afternoon teas ordered, one with vegetarian sandwiches we sat back and listened to the pianist which added to the fantastic laid back traditional atmosphere. I could not have been happier when our three-tiered stands were placed in front of us, brimming with goodies. Mr ESLT’s sandwiches were – prawn marie rose and oak roast salmon, roast Yorkshire ham and mustard, coronation chicken and free-range egg mayonnaise and cress. All of which he confirmed were delicious. I must admit I often worry when asking for a vegetarian option however not the case here. Here I was pleasantly surprised with free-range egg mayonnaise and cress, mature cheddar and chutney, cream cheese and cucumber and avocado and tomato sandwiches. Again delicious, so much so we asked for seconds!

English Breakfast Tea at Betty's Tearooms, Harrogate
English Breakfast Tea at Betty’s Tearooms, Harrogate

I will admit I begrudgingly shared my second round of sandwiches with Mr ESLT purely because he doesn’t like scones! Crazy I know but great news for me. It meant that I got to scoff 2 lovely, soft, warm scones with jam and cream, poor me! Almost fit to burst we then tackled the top tier of miniature cakes which included a mini Victoria Sponge, macaroon, fruit tart, chocolate cake to name a few. All of which fresh and all of which beautiful. Mr ESLT had informed our waiter when taking our order that it was my birthday so what a lovely treat – I received a gorgeous iced cake with a candle in it at the end of our afternoon tea as the pianist played ‘Happy Birthday’. Thank you Bettys and thank you Mr ESLT for taking me.

Fresh warm scones at Betty's Tearooms, Harrogate
Fresh warm scones at Betty’s Tearooms, Harrogate

A visit to Bettys is not complete without visiting the bakery shop to buy treats for my nana – she loves the Yorkshire tea loaf and marmalade. At £33.95 per person I think Bettys is a great place to take someone for a treat…like a birthday. Or a sophisticated hen afternoon like the one I will be attending at the Harrogate Bettys in September. I can’t wait as the weekend after Mr ESLT and I visited the menu was changed to the Lady Betty Afternoon Tea which I’m sure is just as yummy as any previous afternoon tea I have had at these wonderful tea rooms.

Miniature cakes - afternoon tea at Betty's Tearooms, Harrogate
Miniature cakes – afternoon tea at Betty’s Tearooms, Harrogate

6 thoughts on “England: Birthday Afternoon Tea at Bettys, Harrogate, Yorkshire

  1. I love afternoon tea! I’ve never been for one at Betty’s (only for tea and a Fat Rascal ;)) but it looks and sounds amazing. I’m missing it here in the USA, although I did find a pretty good cream tea the other day! Thanks for sharing – and for making me hungry!


  2. Arguably the most famous tea room in the world! And certainly one to rival anything you’ll experience in London or elsewhere. I’d like to get to taste the Betty’s experience soon.

    Good choice on the tea front too. Do you remember the phrase – “Yorkshire Tea, made with Yorkshire water, ahhhh” 🙂


    1. Couldn’t agree more. The only one that I feel even comes close to Betty’s is Harrods (the scones are fantastic) but I have been left disapointed by others. As you say Betty’s is an experience – from the building to the uniform to the atmosphere and of course not forgetting the food. I don’remember the phase I’m afraid but how true it is. Yorkshire Tea accompanies me all over the world!!!

      I think you need to pay a visit ASAP. ;0) It’s too good not to!


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