I’ve been looking forward to afternoon tea at the famous Bettys ever since I moved to Harrogate, and while I’ve been into the shop and gone for lunch, I’ve never actually had their most famous offering, so was pretty excited yesterday to go with an old school friend for a girly afternoon out.
The Bettys in Harrogate is the original one, started in 1919 and it is still a beautiful building with light and airy rooms inside without feeling like they’re packing the tables in. We had a lovely waitress called Joanna serving us and I have to admit I do like their 1920s style uniform as it just makes it feel like there’s something traditional about the place.
We were served our tea first which was the regular tea room blend which very nice but we were offered to change this to another if we had wanted. The food arrived quickly and was beautifully presented on the silver cake stand, and we couldn’t wait to tuck in!
The sandwiches were dainty and light but packed with filling- you could tell the ham was proper farmhouse style rather than average supermarket and the chicken was moist and well seasoned.
The scone was possibly the highlight for me. It was soft and crumbly and full of fruit. The amount clotted cream I slathered on may have clogged my arteries but it definitely was worth it! The only thing I would say was that there should have been more jam between the two of us but that might just be my personal preference for piling scones high!
By the time we reached the patisserie layer we were starting to get full but there was no way we would give up before tasting the beautiful morsels of cake. First up was the gateu de l’opera which we couldn’t for the life of us figure out what it was from the menu until we saw it- it had been on the bake off as a technical challenge and to see if in real life made us understand why- it was tiny and delicate and the flavours of chocolate and coffee butter cream were perfectly balanced. I don’t usually like coffee flavoured cakes but this one was just the right amount and didn’t last long at all before being finished off.
The engadine macaroon also had us wondering what flavour it would be but it turned out to be a wonderful almond and hazlenut taste and and again was eaten with big smiles on our faces.
Finally, there was a fruit tarte which was okay. The fruit did seem fresh which was nice but the pastry was a little thick and so overpowered the creamy filling and fruit a little.
Overall, it was a lovely experience. We didn’t have to wait too long in the queue outside and the food was very nice. However I still left a tiny bit disappointed as it wasn’t quite as amazing as I had expected. Yes it was a nice afternoon tea but I’ve had equally nice ones elsewhere. In conclusion it was a great afternoon treat with a good friend but I will continue to hunt out afternoon teas and see if I can find the best one in Yorkshire!