Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Betty's Tearooms,Harrogate,Yorkshire Pt.11

Here we are in Betty's tearooms. Our first visit to Betty's tearooms was in the City of York, also in Yorkshire. Both these establishments(and the smaller one in the RHS Gardens) are so popular that one always has to queue for some time to be seated. The food is good (if expensive) and the service excellent and the surroundings very elegant. One goes for the experience of dining in times past I guess. Today we queued for 30 minutes for lunch (almost an hour when in York) and 25 minutes for afternoon tea. Both times we opted to eat in the basement which meant about 10 minutes less queuing time. The basement is not so elegant as the ground floor and of course there are no windows. Lots of pictures in marquetry on the walls make up for this though.

While there I was asking our waiter if there was anything I could have on the history of Betty's and he immediately went to the office and photocopied a page from the menu book. Here is what it says:

"Where the Dales meet the Alps......"
Betty's is a family business. The first two generations were Swiss-born. My generation is thoroughly Yorkshire. This is why Betty's is both a continental cafe and a very English tea room. It has just evolved that way.

My great-uncle Frederick, our founder, died the year I was born, so I never knew him, but many of his 'pearls of wisdom' have been passed down the generations.

"Everything must be fresh and dainty".........
Our dishes are prepared to order, the traditional way;no short-cuts,no microwaves. It may take a little longer to serve you, but it will be freshly made and simply and daintily presented.

"If we want something just right, we have to do it ourselves".........
The bread, the cakes, the pastries, the chocolates; we've made them all at our Craft Bakery. We have even imported and blended the teas and roasted the coffees ourselves. Just to make sure you get the very best.

One subject my great-uncle kept curiously quiet about was the identity of Betty herself. Rumours and half-baked theories abound, but it really is a mystery.
You can read all about it in my new book- 'Hearts,Tarts and Rascals - The Story of Bettys'.
Jonathan Wild, Current Family member.















The Basement



Our afternoon tea
Merangue with fresh strawberries and cream for me
A Bettys' scone and butter for Alan

17 comments:

Sara said...

Hearts, Tarts and Rascals! Sounds intriguing...

Your tea looks very appetizing, and the room is quite nice, even if it is the basement. Those marquetry pictures are amazing in and of themselves, at least that's what I think.

I also wanted to say, I've got several Paul Wilbur CD's too!

willow said...

Oooo....yummy, yummy, yummy!

Needled Mom said...

Yum. The basement is lovely as well for tea. What a beautiful place it is and how interesting to read the history of it. Thanks.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

That looks like a wonderful dining experience. Did you notice a great difference between Betty's and say something less expensive or well known? Your own home?

It certainly is a beautiful basement...wonder what the ground floor is like for dining.

Barb said...

Hi Barbara,

What a charming place. That is my kind of basement!

Great pictures.

hugs,
Barb

bennie and patsy said...

Being the American I am I had to look up the word queue, and it said(Chiefly Brit.)Love it, I am getting so smart from blogging.LOL
Patsy

Debbies-English-Treasures said...

I`m asking to all the Bloggers to support our dear FRIEND Mandy!
Please do come over, and DO LEAVE A COMMENT!

Kisses
Debbie Moss

Thanks so much for your SUPPORT!

Willow said...

That's another place to put on my 'must visit' list for my next trip!

I am so very far behind on writing blogs, reading blogs, posting photos, doing email! I think of you often and fondly!

Betty said...

Barbara,
Thanks for visiting and commenting....

Marion brought me several gifts when they came from 'Betty's'...I am assuming it is the same.....

Are you having as much rain as Wales?

We continue to be in a drought situation.....

Happy Thursday....Betty

Annie said...

Lovely and delicious looking. I particularly like the warm glow of the lights in the basement.

Melanie said...

Looks like a lovely place for afternoon tea. Now what was that about tarts and rascals? Ooooo! I wonder what the gos is?

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Barbara, The basement looks fabulous too. What an amazing place! I would want to go there often. Yummy looking food and I'll bet the atmosphere was great.

Susie said...

It must be a wonderful place if the wait is that long. The basement looks cozy and inviting and the food sounds absolutely delish.
Interesting history as well!
hugs))

Linda said...

Nothing better than an English cream tea. Looks like a fabulous place.

Elizabeth said...

Looks a most delicious place.
Tea shops are for me!

Mmm said...

Wonderful description of how the teahouse evolved. I could really do with a scrumptious scone righ tnow.

Barbara said...

Mmmh! Looks very inviting and your tea so tasty! This kind of tearooms are quite popular here!