Saturday, 18 January 2014

Yorkshire: Betty's Cafe and Tea Rooms

When I was little, we had a tradition of going to Betty's. We used to go fairly often - it was the default spot for birthday celebrations. I think it's where my love of afternoon tea comes from.

I have fond memories of their beautiful tearooms, trimmed with shelves of tea pots and with the gentle soundtrack of a pianist, who appeared in their Ilkley tearooms on a Sunday. There was the time that, after they started trimming the crusts off sandwiches, my mum sent them back because "there was half missing now". There was the afternoon tea when the pianist played "happy birthday" to me and the waitress sang. There were Yorkshire Curd tarts, toasted tea cakes and Rosti's. There were our favourites, the usuals, the Welsh Rarebits and Vanilla slices, and the fruit tarts with confectioners custards. 

For years, we went on Christmas Eve to the Ilkley tea room. It was somewhat of a ritual - a country drive over, a treat to eat, and a drive back home in the early evening, admiring the lights on trees and festive decorations. 

2013 was the first year in quite a few that I've spent Christmas in Yorkshire. Although my parents have both moved away from the area I grew up in, it was so lovely to be back. Staying near York meant that a trip to Betty's on Christmas was a necessity...
Betty's, Stonegate, York
Seasonal menu, with Christmas specials
It's the little things that make it special - the silver tea set, the automatic hot water, and the drip absorbers on the saucers!
China teacups
My favourite: Welsh rarebit, with bacon and chutneys. 
Mr F had a chicken, bacon and gruyere rosti
Lamps, complete with mice. Betty's cafes have these beautiful wooden carvings by the Yorkshire Mouseman
The beautiful shop
Gift packages of tea and coffee
Beautiful wooden drawers
Christmas gifts on display
Cakes to take home
Treats for later
Adorable seasonal specials
My supper - a vanilla sponge with buttercream and soft marzipan decoration
Mr F's cherry and chocolate treat


  1. Gosh, I've always wanted to go - now I really know why I MUST! Thanks...

  2. Go! It's lovely! My rubbish phone pictures don't do it justice.
    They also do a mail order service ;-)

  3. I've only been to the Harrogate one and still remember my then boyfriend's American mum getting it slightly wrong and asking for a Fat B*****d rather than a Fat Rascal...

  4. Ooooh I want to go. We are Yorkshire bound in May - I reckon we'll be making a stop off!