After recommendations by two tea people and a gentlemen on a train in London, I knew I had to visit Bettys during our recent trip to York, England. Who am I to argue with such respected counsel?
We have been planning this trip to York for several years after a few delays, and we even added a day to the trip this time, so Bettys Tea Room was always on my list of things to do. Even after reading some recent unpleasant reviews regarding the staff and treatment on TripAdvisor, I still wanted to go. Thankfully, we had the time and energy to get there. It was only a few blocks from our hotel.
Having read stories about the hassle of long lines waiting to get into the cafe, we were expecting something far more dramatic. Perhaps it was due to the weather or it being a weekday, but we didn’t have to wait more than 5 to 7 minutes at the most. There were two lines going that day, however. One for purchasing items in the store and the other for going in for a meal in the cafe. It’s good to ask and find out which line you’re in to avoid a longer wait if you’re just purchasing one of the goodies from their store. The wood-paneled Belmont Room requires reservations for afternoon tea on Saturdays and Sundays, however.
My husband isn’t a tea drinker (yet!) so he requested coffee and eggs benedict, which he said was fantastic. I, on the other hand, went all out and ordered the Pink Champagne Afternoon Tea. I may never get back to York, so I figured I should “do it up” right. I was NOT disappointed by the service or the meal.
The pink champagne was very tasty and the assortment of delectables brought to us was 3 tiers of goodness. The sandwiches were lovely. Dave and I aren’t big salmon eaters, but the other two types of sandwiches were very fresh and perfectly complimented our coffee and tea.
The scone course was all mine! A wonderfully, flaky, light scone with jam and creme was wonderful with the champagne and tea. Then the dessert course of lemon and raspberry tart, chocolate cake and a spring-colored pink macaroon wrapped me in comfort with my tea.
Oh, yes! The tea! Even though I would have enjoyed settling in at Bettys to sample tea all afternoon, I enjoyed their own Tea Room Blend of rich African and Assam teas. It was a nice fragrant, black, mild tea. I’m drinking some as I type this blog entry because, of course, I had to buy their tea and a mug to bring back home with me to enjoy. If I knew it would survive the trip, I probably would have filled up another suite case with the wonderful treats they have in the store. Go ahead….stop in. I dare you not to buy something!
We found the staff and service at Bettys to be top-shelf. The art deco cafe is not a pretentious room and we were treated with respect and friendliness. Our table was at the window which afforded us views of passerby’s as well as a beautiful flower stand across the street. I sat facing inside because I wanted to take in the tea room. I enjoyed seeing several groups of young ladies come in to enjoy tea together and a young girl and her mother sat next to us and we struck up conversations about travels and tea. I envy those having this tea room close to their living area and being able to drop in with girlfriends for a spot of tea. From what I could see, everyone was having a grand time…as did I! I can now cross Bettys off my bucket list, but perhaps I should then add “a 2nd trip to Bettys to the list now.