An Art Deco Afternoon Tea Experience with Champagne at Bettys of York
As a local Yorkshire lass who knows and loves Bettys, and who has had many a Fat Rascal from there, as well as “rainy day” breakfasts of cinnamon toast and tea, when I was recently invited to take tea at Bettys of York, I was over the moon. Not only would I be taking tea in the beautiful Art Deco Belmont Room, but I would be joined by Kelly from Bettys HQ and the afternoon tea was to be a Champagne tea……what an indulgence and treat. The Belmont Room is steeped in history, and is reminiscent of an elegant bygone era. Bettys founder was inspired to create this breathtaking Art Deco room in 1937 after his journey on the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary liner the previous year, and the room has a definite feel of an ocean liner, with its wood panels, sleek wooden pillars and atmospheric lighting.
It was lovely to meet Kelly, as we have been emailing each other for several months now, and she was waiting there for me when I arrived at 2:30 last Friday. Afternoon tea at the Belmont Room in York is by booking only and is open for tea every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 pm onwards. (Harrogate’s Imperial Room is open for tea every Saturday and Sunday) I was met by the gentle tinkling of a piano, the atmosphere was warm and elegant, and all of the tea-time customers were happily enjoying the Bettys experience. Our table was next to the piano and was clad in a crisp, starched linen table-cloth. Having being asked what champagne I would like (there was a choice of Hébrart Premier Cru Champagne or Moutard Prestige Rosé Champagne) I was given a menu to peruse, with a selection of speciality teas to accompany my afternoon tea. There was a wonderful selection of black, green and white teas as well as some herbal infusions to choose from.
I was tempted by the Lapsang Souchong, China Rose Petal as well as the China Yunnan, but it was the Ceylon Blue Sapphire that I chose in the end……This delicious tea has a large, well twisted, tippy leaf and a smooth, delicate flavour with a slightly honeyed character. We have added blue cornflower petals to represent the famous blue sapphires which are found close to the tea garden in South Western Sri Lanka. (Exclusive to Bettys)
Then came the triple cake stand of assorted sandwiches, cakes and the most delightful little scones, with jam and cream…..
……the Champagne Afternoon Tea Menu comprises:
An assortment of sandwiches:
Smoked Scottish Salmon and Cream Cheese, Roast Yorkshire Ham and Mustard, Roast Free-Range Chicken Breast with Tarragon Mayonnaise and Free-Range Egg Mayonnaise and Cress
Freshly baked Sultana Scones with Jam and Yorkshire Clotted Cream
A selection of Hand-Made Miniature Cakes
A Pot of Speciality Tea
A Glass of Champagne:
Hébrart Premier Cru Champagne or Moutard Prestige Rosé Champagne
The sandwich assortment was perfect, a selection of local ham, Scottish salmon and beautiful free-range chicken with herb scented mayonnaise, and the miniature scones were just melt in the mouth. The scones were served with local Yorkshire clotted cream and strawberry preserve….
……and the cakes were stunning; there was as a fabulous selection that included a rose and strawberry macaron, a mini Victoria sandwich and the most delectable raspberry shortcake.
The afternoon passed by in a cloud of champagne and chat, with the occasional bite here and there and cups of real tea; and although I wanted to taste every little cake that was on offer, after eating the raspberry shortcake, I had to give in and the rest of the cakes were packed in a box for me to take home……
…….and the lemon meringue fancy was devoured after a light supper!
I have had many an afternoon tea in my time and I pride myself on being a bit of an afternoon tea expert; I have had great ones, indifferent ones and a strange sickly sweet “boozy” one just before Christmas…….however, I can say that Bettys was the best I have ever had – a perfect assortment of sandwiches made with Bettys own bread (the bakers get up at 4pm to bake the bread every day), and made with locally sourced ingredients too. The scones were as light as a feather and the Yorkshire clotted cream was positivity dreamy…..the cake selection was delectable with a wonderful assortment of chocolate, citrus, nuts, floral and fruity flavours. And, the tea selection was amazing, with eighteen teas to choose from it made the whole tea drinking experience interesting – my Ceylon Blue Sapphire tea was delicate with a slight floral flavour, perfect as a chaser to my pink champagne!
A Champagne afternoon tea at Bettys is not just about the food, it’s about the experience too; so, if you want to take tea the British way, with quality loose tea, hand-baked cakes and scones, as well as freshly made sandwiches and champagne, then you MUST indulge in a Bettys Afternoon Tea. The surroundings were beautiful, the staff were attentive and friendly, and the whole experience was indulgent and rather special. With a HUGE thanks to Kelly and Bettys for my invitation, it was a fabulous afternoon, and one I would be happy to repeat again. Karen
~ NB: A selection of vegetarian sandwiches are available on request ~
£25.95 per person
£32.95 per person with Champagne
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12.30pm. (Bookings only)
Every Saturday and Sunday from 12.30pm. (Bookings only)
I have a Bettys Champagne Afternoon Tea for Two to give away as a prize, to enter just visit the page here:
When Bettys opened its doors for the first time in 1919 it was just as our founder, Frederick Belmont, had visualised – customers were greeted by a tempting array of delicious Yorkshire and Continental confections in the shop, and an elegant Café Tea Room served teas and meals in the traditional English style. It was an immediate success.
Nearly 100 years later and we welcome more than one million customers a year to Bettys. There are six Bettys Café Tea Rooms to explore: the spa town of Harrogate has two branches (one in the town centre and a second at the RHS Garden Harlow Carr) as does York (another Bettys is just around the corner in Stonegate), and you’ll also find Bettys in the market towns of Northallerton and Ilkley.
To find out more about Bettys, please visit The Bettys Story.
(Images in this post: Bettys and Karen S Burns-Booth)