Whenever I asked anyone what I should do on a girl’s weekend in York one of the suggestions that came up numerous times was afternoon tea at Betty’s. Actually, it was said that you cannot go to York and not go to Betty’s.
Where is Betty’s?
You can find Betty’s in the center of York, within walking distance of the train station (around 15 minutes).
6-8 St. Helens Square
Booking a table
There are different wants that you can enjoy afternoon tea at Betty’s. One is by queueing up on the day and one is by booking a table to eat in the Belmont Room. Bookings open around 3 months in advance but this can sometimes change so it’s worth keeping an eye out before this.
Tables can be booked online and you can also view the menu here too. Be aware that the Belmont Room menu is different from the regular afternoon tea menu and is also more expensive. However, this is something to consider if you want to be guaranteed a table on the day of your visit to York.
Bookable afternoon tea in the Belmont Room
Smoked salmon, prawn and garlic saffron mayonnaise
Dill cream cheese with gin-pickled cucumber & capers
Kit Calvert Wensleydale with onion chutney
Yorkshire chicken with tarragon & lemon mayonnaise
One lemon & poppyseed and one plain miniature scone with strawberry preserve and clotted cream.
Minature cake selection
Caramel & chocolate pillow
Passion fruit & lemon macaroon
Apple & vanilla custard tart
Experiencing afternoon tea at Betty’s
You get to The Belmont Room through a separate entrance at Betty’s and from the minute we walked through the door at Betty’s we felt special. The Belmont Room isn’t as big as I’d imagined it to be nor is there too many people seated in there. This on its own makes the experience feel that little bit extra.
As we were shown to our table, we had the afternoon tea process explained and given menus. Although the afternoon tea in The Belmont Room is different from the menu downstairs, there are options available such as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free etc. as well as a children’s menu.
You are able to have as much tea (or other soft drinks) as you like and there is a whole menu dedicated to the different kinds of teas available. You’re also encouraged to try different teas each time you want a refill and I really thought this was a nice touch.
As I’m particularly fussy when it comes to sandwiches I had asked for my portion to be plain cheese and plain ham. I’d seen these as options on the children’s menu and assumed it wouldn’t be an issue, and it wasn’t at all. My afternoon tea was served on a separate stand to my two friends and this was perfect for me to keep it all separate. Speaking of sandwiches, these are also replenishable so make sure you ask if you would like some more.
The scones were on the small side in comparison to other luxury afternoon tea venues I have been to. You get a plain scone as well as one lemon and poppyseed and while both were really delicious, I kind of wanted more. The fact that you get one of each wasn’t an issue, it was just the size more than anything for me.
The cake selection was absolutely delightful though. There’s a real mix of flavours with the tartness of the macaroons, the really rich chocolate and the sweetness of the apple tart. The stand out for me was the apple tart and I think I could have eaten a few more of those!
Is it worth extra to book a table?
If you want to be absolutely sure you’ll get a table and don’t want to wait around in a queue for what could be a long time then yes, it’s definitely worth paying a bit more to book a table at Betty’s. This is also a really good idea if you are short of time in York like I was and don’t want to waste time in a queue.
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