When you think of afternoon tea, you often associate it as being a female dominated past time. Whilst that maybe slightly true, don’t let that put you off just yet! I was invited to try Betty’s signature Lady Betty Afternoon Tea. It is available at either the Imperial Room in Harrogate or the Belmont Room in York, which we chose.
The York Bettys has a certain amount of nostalgia for me, bringing back child hood memories of family visits to York and the customary stop at the famous tea rooms. I always used to admire looking at the large selection of cakes, it used to make the wait that bit more bearable! My ultimate favourite back then was cinnamon toast, which I found went really well with a strawberry milkshake. Both are still available on the menu today, and are just as good as I remember. As I found out on a recent trip to Bettys, Northallerton, which is one of their six tea rooms.
The Belmont room is the elegant private dining suite on the first floor of Bettys, York, St Helen’s Square. Our reservation was made for 3pm, on arrival we were shown to our table and introduced to our waiter for the afternoon. We started the afternoon off with a glass of bubbly (who could say no)? I chose Rose champagne and Samantha chose the slightly different Rhubarb champagne. Whilst in the background, the pianist played some classic tunes creating a very relaxing atmosphere, which gave us time to peruse the tea menu.Both champagnes were nice, although for me the Rhubarb had a slightly sweeter taste than the Rose.
Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the selection of teas and was able to suggest one to match your tastes. The Lady Betty menu includes many rare and speciality teas from around the world. Sam opted for the chai tea and I opted for the the ever popular Bettys afternoon tea blend.
The afternoon tea menu included an appetiser; a delicious prawn cocktail; prawns in marie rose sauce with avocado puree, crisp little gem lettuce & lighting dusting of paprika. It was presented well and tasted delicious. I had to help Sam out with hers, as she’s not the biggest fan of seafood, much to my delight!
The teas were brought out in their grand looking stainless steel tea pots. Bettys afternoon tea blend (only available in Lady afternoon tea) was very nice, it brings together the best of India’s Assam and Darjeeling gardens. For me the floral notes really come through in this tea blend. The China Yunnan tea had sweet but subtle taste. Yunnan is highly regarded as the original home of tea.
We also had a starter of smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill roulade served on a wholemeal croute. The delicate smoked salmon worked really well with the cream cheese. I’ve never been the biggest fan of salmon, but this was delicious. There was also pork and apple terrine with rosemary and thyme which was equally as good.
Next came the sandwiches and cakes, the part I’d been looking forward to the most! What an impressive selection there was too, served on a traditional silver cake stand. The sandwich selection included; roast Yorkshire ham and tomato pate with mixed leaves on sun blushed tomato bread, coronation chicken made with free range chicken in spiced yoghurt dressing served on pumpkin seed bread and egg mayonnaise made with free range eggs and cress on wholemeal bread.
Each item was described in detail by the waiter, I liked this as it showed their staff were passionate about the menu. All the sandwiches were delicious, but for me personally, the ham and tomato was my stand out favourite! Additional sandwiches were also available on request, how could I turn down a couple more ham and coronation chicken? I also tried the Golden Tipped Assam tea, from the banks of Brahmaputra river in Assam in North East India. This was my preferred tea out of the two I tried.
Finally, my favourite part, the cakes! In the selection there was a choice of 2 scones; traditional and lemon. Both were well baked and soft and delicious. There was also a selection of miniature cakes which included Chocolate and praline slice, Raspberry tart, Profiterole and Apple caramel macaroon. I have to say although I enjoyed the miniature cakes, I enjoyed the scones with clotted cream and jam the most!
Overall, it was a lovely afternoon, the food and drink was very good and the service was excellent! Guys, if you’re slightly hesitant of going for afternoon tea, don’t be, you’ll have a great time, trust me. Lady Betty afternoon tea is available at their York and Harrogate Cafe and Tea rooms, check out their site here for more information and booking details. I’d love to hear any comments you have!
*Food & drink was complimentary for review purposes