if you're ever looking for a place to add you your tearoom to-do list, betty's needs to go straight to the top. established in 1919, betty's really is the pinnacle of traditional tea rooms, serving the likes of afternoon tea, light lunches, lovingly made cakes and an extensive loose leaf tea and coffee selection.
after a day out in whitby followed by a stunning meal at ox pasture hall in scarborough, we stopped by the beautiful city of york on the way back to the midlands. betty's is somewhere i'd wanted to go for a while, so at 11.45am i thought it was best to beat the infamous queues which soon form along the cobbled streets. there's something so wrong about considering lunch even at 11.59, isn't there? this paid off and by 12pm we were seated on a quaint table for two by the window, where we could see a huge queue dutifully growing.
the café features marbled tables, large ornate windows and touches of rose gold detailing. this, met with the charming broderie anglaise blouses and spotless aprons worn by the staff, exudes the elegance of a traditional british afternoon tea.
i went for a betty's signature tea, whilst my boyfriend chose the jamaican blue mountain coffee. coffee lovers will be pleased they take it just as seriously as the tea, with this particular medium roasted blend having a smooth body, mellow flavour and lively acidity. this had a surprisingly fruity and light taste and didn't taste like a strong coffee, nevertheless it was incredibly perky and sam felt on cloud nine for the rest of the afternoon.
now on to the all important lunches. i went for the poached salmon sandwich (£5.95), whilst sam had the yorkshire rarebit toasted sandwich (£6.75). the philosophy of the autumn menu was "where the dales meet the alps" and you could see this with dishes ranging from yorkshire ham sandwiches and vale of york sausages to swiss alpine macaroni and continental matchstick fries.
with mature cheddar cheese, yorkshire ale and worcester sauce, the rarebit was a big hitter. likewise, i delved into my poached freedom farm salmon with lemon mayonnaise, cucumber and rocket with glee. however delicious, these were no doubt very sparing portions and there was no time for sharing.
i felt even the delicate layout of the dish made me eat it in an especially dainty fashion, stopping only to serve myself a little more tea through the coordinated strainer. it was all very british.
of course i had to pay a visit to their confectionery shop, since i still had a little room left. i treated myself to a pistachio macaron for then and a treacle tart for later. of course, i had it warmed up and teamed with some thick clotted cream.
have you ever been to betty's? what is your favourite dish or cake to have there?
betty's café tea rooms
6-8 st. helen's square,
note: we paid for our own meals and all opinions are my own.