Afternoon tea at Betty’s

Dear friends,

I hope you’ve had a wonderful Easter. I am sorry if I haven’t written anything for a while, but I have been enjoying the holidays and the first rays of sunshine that have finally hit this rainy and cloudy island.  

Today I went with my parents to Harrogate, a lovely town in North Yorkshire, 30 minutes from Leeds by train.

Harrogate is charming and posh: it’s become famous for its thermal baths and mineral springs. I highly recommend paying a visit, even just for a day trip. If the weather is hot and sunny like it was today, you’ll have a blast. Take a stroll through the dainty streets, have a look at the various shops and just enjoy the view of the lovely stone houses.

If you happen to be in Harrogate, make sure you stop at Betty’s tearoom, in Parliament Street.

Betty’s in Harrogate

With six tearooms across Yorkshire, Betty’s is synonymous with quality, elegance and tradition. The first café opened in Harrogate in 1919 and it’s celebrating this year the centenary of its opening, with a series of events.

Founded by a Swiss tradesman, Betty’s is renowned for its afternoon tea, which could be defined the emblem of Britishness.  For those of you who are not familiar with this concept, as I wasn’t until last year when I had my first afternoon tea in Lincoln, at Margaret’s Tea room , here’s a brief explanation.

Afternoon tea at Margaret’s Tea Room, Lincoln

The afternoon tea saw its origins in the late 19th century, as a light meal to fill the gap between luncheon and dinner. Indeed, Anna, the Duchess of Bradford got hungry in between the main two meals of the day and wanted a snack to ease the wait. With time, the afternoon tea gained popularity and still is a fashionable and delicious occasion to indulge in a scrumptious treat.

Generally, it consists of a stand with 3 plates: one with savoury tasty sandwiches (cucumber ones are a must), scones with clotted cream and jam and a selection of cakes and pastries.

If you want to live this truly English experience in Yorkshire, there’s no better place to go than Betty’s (make sure you reserve a table in advance!).

In Harrogate, the Afternoon tea is served in the Imperial suite, a bright, spacious and elegant room on the first floor. A pianist playing live makes the atmosphere even more unique. The service is impeccable, with very kind and helpful waiters and waitresses that will take care of all of your needs and requests. They will welcome you and explain the peculiarities of each treat. 

Close your eyes for a second and forget that you are in the 21st century: the old fashioned attire of the waiters, the sweet notes of the piano and the beautiful porcelain of the cups will bring you back to a Downton Abbey’s atmosphere.

At the bottom: smoked salmon croissant, bell pepper and salad sandwich and chicken sandwich; in the middle: sultana and lemon scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream; on top: passion fruit and lemon macaron, salted caramel pillow and apple&vanilla custard tart

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