RECOMMENDATION | Betty’s Café & Tea Rooms, Yorkshire

21st April 2016

Well-dressed ladies gossiping and giggling, and pretty waitresses with French-maid style frilly aprons and bonnets rushing to attend to them. The first Bettys Café Tea Rooms opened nearly 100 years ago in Harrogate in 1919, and today there are six across Yorkshire.

DSC_8523

With such an aristocratic air about the quintessentially Yorkshire brand, what better time to pay a visit to Bettys than on Bettys 90th Birthday. That’s Queen Betty of course. Also known as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who turns 90 on April 21, and one would expect her to be celebrating with a fair few Royal Doulton cups of the stuff.

DSC_9593

So, with Yorkshire being arguably the UK’s number one tea drinking county in the UK (Welcome to Yorkshire has just launched a Yorkshire Tea trail), I had the genius idea of embarking on the Battle of the Bettys on Bettys Birthday.

To visit each and every Bettys Café Tea Room, trial their tea (English of course) and eventually award the crown (jewels) for best Bettys in the land…

I’ve never in my 36 years stepped across the threshold of a Bettys Café Tea Room, so visiting six of them in 14 days has been pretty hard going; especially for someone who tries to avoid the carbs. It’s been very much against my nature to scoff scone after scone covered generously in cream and jam. I have quite literally turned into that Bettys signature bake; the Fat Rascal. Which is divine by the way. Warm with a good dollop of butter. And tea, one must wash it down with plenty of hot tea of course.

DSC_8446

So I decided to drag along a number of supporting judges to assist me in my experiment including my mother, husband and small children (Bettys is very child friendly with some wonderful touches for the little people) and between us we’ve nibbled, sipped and gobbled all sorts of sweet and savoury delights washed down with cup after cup of Bettys signature Tea Room Blend (and the odd glass of pink fizz too).

DSC_9585


The Bettys Brand

There are a number of fundamental signature touches that are identical across all the Bettys Café Tea Rooms. Firstly there’s the Bettys shop, and a bit like a theme park, one has to walk through the shop to get to the tea room. And walk through again to leave.

All the shops feature hand-crafted floor-to-ceiling fixtures, complete with just enough shelving to ensure that every edible object on display has its own little share of delicious personal space.

DSC_0176

Shelf after shelf of the most fabulous teas, chocolates and preserves are all housed wonderfully in tins and jars and gift boxes and drawers. There are walls dedicated to fresh loaves, scones and teacakes … all baked fresh daily. The pastry and cream cake counters are intricate in detail, with every perfectly formed fondant fancy, chocolate éclair, vanilla slice and strawberry tart strategically positioned by someone quite obviously with a serious case of OCD.

Then there’s the Café Tea Rooms themselves with their marble tables, a combination of olive green leather seat coverings and wicker chairs, plants positioned here and there, silver  tea sets, cake trollies and of course the menus. I say menus, but it should be singular – the offering is identical across all tea rooms and is much more extensive than I would have imagined, stretching way beyond scones and sandwiches and teas and cakes. Naturally, all the wonderful waiters and waitresses are impeccably dressed in black and white sporting crisp white aprons, the signature B brooch and perfect chignons in their hair.

DSC_0126

The majority of the Café Tea Rooms have the same signature dramatic black wrought iron and glass frontage with old-fashioned signage, which is in keeping with a bygone era. And a tower of macaroons takes centre stage in every shop window.

DSC_0205DSC_0218The most apparent consistency across all of them is the great big queue that one has to join to get a table, which can stretch right outside of the door depending on the time of your visit. To make the anguish of having to queue as bearable as possible; most branches have somewhere to sit down while you wait for your table. This detail is especially good for the grey haired oldies and the yummy mummies with babies in arms who, it seems, make up for a lot of the Bettys client base in several of the branches.

But as with every chain (and I hate to call it a chain; Bettys cannot be compared to Pizza Express, Nandos, or Costa Coffee) the fundamental elements of the Bettys brand only form part of the Bettys experience. The location, the customers, the building in which the cafe tea room is housed and the view from ones table all contribute towards your Bettys experience, so choose your Bettys wisely.

God Save the Queen!

(All images are my own).


Visit the official Bettys Website HERE

#GirlAbout

Follow Us

Thanks for reading this post, we hope that you enjoyed it. You can follow Girl About Blog Squad by clicking in the links below – keep up to date with Girl About news and Reviews.

Share this Article

Share it on your own social media channels or with friends

Related

RECOMMENDATION | Odyssey Greek Restaurant

What I like best about Odyssey Greek restaurant is that it genuinely feels like you’re holiday! No mean feat considering the restaurant is actually located in Chesterfield town centre. My husband and I are huge fans of Greece. Between us we’ve ticked off most of the Greek islands and have shared many happy memories there so it’s wonderful to have somewhere that feels like being on holiday on our doorstep. A perfect venue for date night!

RECOMMENDATION | Bottle and Thyme, Chesterfield

For its size, Chesterfield is surprisingly well served by independent cafés and eateries, but Bottle and Thyme is definitely one of the best. With its rustic, shabby chic decor, you are immediately made welcome by the friendly, well-trained staff. Most importantly, in my book, is that they know how to make a great coffee. Proper baristas mean this is the place for some of the best coffee in Chesterfield. There’s far too tempting a selection of cakes and brownies.

2 Comments

  1. Jean | DelightfulRepast.com

    Lyndsey, just discovered your blog this morning. I dreamed of the Yorkshire moors since age 7 when I read Jane Eyre for the first time. Finally set foot on them myself years later. Didn’t get round to Bettys, though I am a lifelong tea addict. Took a stab at Fat Rascals and would love it if you would try my recipe and tell me how it compares to Bettys.

    Reply
    • Lyndsey Thomas

      Hi Jean. Hope you are enjoying the read. I post weekly so keep a look out. Yes, I would absolutely love to try your recipe and compare it – send it over via the contact me section on the site.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow us on Instagram @GIRLABOUTBLOGSQUAD

FOLLOW US

The Girl About Blog Squad is a collective of female bloggers across the UK. One platform made up of lots of localised personal blogs from ladies just like you.

Each blogger has their own personal patch - they are the official Girl About their own little corner of the UK. Their mission is to provide Girl About readers with their recommendations and honest and frank reviews on places to eat, sleep, drink, relax & unwind and have fun in their neck of the woods - with or without the kids.

The Blog Squad and Girl About readers are largely made up woman in their 30s and 40s - multi-tasking fiery females with a lust for life and a level of expectation that comes with being a modern mum, friend, a career woman with responsibilities, commitments and a serious lack of free time - Girl About provides proper honest, down-to-earth, easy to digest and well-written content for your enjoyment, so grab a cuppa and catch up with the Girl About Blog Squad.