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!|
|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|