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Take Afternoon Tea at Bettys (it’s a Yorkshire Tradition)

by | Aug 2, 2019

Bettys Café Tea Rooms, York

For over 100 years people have been flocking to Bettys in York for afternoon tea. Famous for its Yorkshire Fat Rascal scones, Bettys is still a family business. There are now six legendary Café Tea Rooms across the county plus a craft bakery and a cookery school in Harrogate.

Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms York
Afternoon Tea at Bettys is legendary

A visit to Yorkshire simply wouldn’t be complete without it. Do make sure you allow time on your visit to York to savour all the delights of afternoon tea at Bettys.

It’s the go-to place to celebrate tradition, elegance, nostalgia, great service and all things utterly sweet and delicious. This quintessential Yorkshire experience is definitely not one to miss. There’s always a long queue outside Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms in York so if you’re marking a special occasion, make sure you plan ahead and book a table.

2019 is a very special year for Bettys as it celebrates its centenary. It’s a wonderful excuse to indulge in or gift one of their limited range of centenary specials.

I’ve got my eye on their Centenary Fondant Fancies, a favourite cake of my granny so I need to make sure I keep up the family tradition.

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How Bettys Began

Surprisingly, the story of Bettys is infact, the story of man called Frederick Belmont. He was born in Switzerland and trained in baking and confectionery.

The enterprising and talented young Frederick was an orphan. He travelled to Britain by boat and accidentally took a train to Yorkshire. The mistake would change his life and led to him opening the first Bettys Tea Room in Harrogate in 1919. As his business grew in popularity, he added more tea rooms across Yorkshire. You’ll find two of them in the city of York where Bettys’ Swiss roots are still strong today.

Bettys Fat Rascals Centenary Special Gift

Bettys fat rascal scone Photo: Bettys

Admire the Sweet Creations in Bettys Craft Bakery

Step inside every Bettys café and you’ll find a shop selling an array of artisan chocolates, pastries, cakes and freshly baked loaves all beautifully presented.

It’s impossible not to look at jewelled fruit tarts, adorable chocolate mice wrapped in gold foil and ornate Easter eggs decorated with delicate spring flowers, without them quietly whispering to you ‘eat me’. I defy anyone to walk in to Bettys and come out empty-handed.

The craft bakery at Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms York
The Craft Bakery at Bettys

Enjoy Bettys Afternoon Tea in the Belmont Room

To enjoy a real sense of occasion, put on your best dress and book in for afternoon tea at the Belmont Room in Bettys York or the Imperial Room at Bettys Harrogate.

Sip tea poured from a proper silver teapot and then feast your eyes on the gleaming silver cake stand laden with sandwiches, exquisite handmade cakes and freshly baked scones. Served with fruity preserves and thick Yorkshire clotted cream, they’re scrumptious.

The Art Deco Belmont Room remains unchanged since 1937 and was inspired by the luxurious Queen Mary ocean liner.

bettys waitress Biscuit

Bettys waitress biscuit photo: Bettys

Bettys Centenary Events

Bettys is hosting special events throughout the year in honour of its centenary. You can learn to make fondant fancies at Bettys cookery school in Harrogate,  meet the chocolatiers and see some of the treasured items in Bettys archives. 

bettys chocolates

Bettys chocolates photo: Bettys

  • Book in for Afternoon Tea at Bettys York at the weekend to be serenaded by the café pianist playing favourites such as Moon River
  • If you feel inspired and want to learn the skills to create beautiful patisserie or the perfect loaf of bread, sign up for a course at Bettys Cookery School in nearby Harrogate

Dog Policy Mr Hendricks says, “They tell me that Guide Dogs are very welcome.”


How to Find Bettys York

Bettys Cafe and Tea Rooms, 6-8 St. Helen’s Square, York YO1 8QP

Bettys Cafe and Tea Rooms York



The Foodie Travel Guide

The Foodie Travel Guide

Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures. 

Afternoon Tea at Bettys

  • Enjoy a Luxury Lady Betty Afternoon Tea
  • Served in the Belmont room
  • Specially devised menu
  • Immaculate table setting
  • Get serenaded by a pianist

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