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Published December 24th 2019
Where a Swiss orphan made a difference
They say you can find out all about a Brit from the type of tea they drink. When it comes to afternoon tea, nobody does it more elegantly than the English. A quintessential necessity if you are visiting England is to spend an afternoon enjoying some scones and tea. Options in the Yorkshire region are delightful with one such contender standing out from the rest; Betty's Cafe & Tea Room.
Scone w jam and clotted cream @ Betty's Tea Room Ilkley (photo by @neelsmcgee)
Betty's, I have heard, is an institution in the north of England and has been around for over 100 years (which is impressive). It was founded by Swiss orphan Frederick Belmont who successfully was able to fuse his love and background of confectionery, baking and chocolate with the most quintessentially English tradition of high tea. The result is one of Yorkshire's, if not England's, most beloved tea rooms to date.
Betty's has several locations across Yorkshire with Ilkley being one of them. The venue has quintessential English charm, with many of the recipes true to their history. The cafe serves breakfast and lunch as well as its stand out high tea and pink champagne dining options.
I had the pleasure of heading here with my fiancé and his family, we had no booking but it was no issue (that said, it was a weekday at roughly 11am), a short wait and our party of five were seated near the window corner. Our waitress headed to our table and was donned in a very traditional tailored uniform which encompasses the historical legacy that is Betty's.
Scanning the menu, we decided to enjoy the Yorkshire Cream Tea menu item which can be shared between two people (at a cost of £9.95. This comes with two freshly baked sultana scones from our Betty's Craft Bakery, strawberry preserve and clotted cream, with a teapot for one of Tea Room Blend tea. A great option to experience the charm of Betty's.
A variety of twelve teas are available from the menu with the most popular being the Betty's Tea Room blend, consisting of their traditional rich blend of top-class African and Assam teas. Other options include Ceylon Blue Sapphire, China Rose Petal and Spiced Christmas Tea (which I have been told they do serve all year round).
For those not tea-inclined, there is an extensive list of house blend and imported coffees.
Tea and Scones @ Betty's Tea Room Ilkley (photo by @neelsmcgee
Luckily, the wait for our items was not long with the waitress swiftly pushing a trolley our way with the tea piping hot tea and beautifully crafted scones. The aroma was just what you expect from a tea room and we all couldn't help but dig in as gracefully as we could. The warm sultana scones, paired with the fresh clotted cream and homemade jam was perfection.
Unfortunately, after our brief afternoon tea, we were unable to find room for some of the decadent desserts that were on show in the venue's chocolate cabinet (located on entry) and also on the main menu in the dining room. This will definitely be on the list of things to do next time I find myself at Betty's.
With locations in Harrogate, York, Harlow Carr, Northallerton, Stonegate and of course Ilkley, Betty's should be on the top of your list for high tea in the Yorkshire region of England.
Tea set with cubed sugar @ Betty's Tea Room Ilkley (photo by @neelsmcgee)