Afternoon Tea at Bettys

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The start of December is a bittersweet time for me away from home. On the one hand, I’m very excited about Christmas. I can’t wait to buy a tree and get the house decked out for Christmas. On the other hand, the homesickness I thought I’d dealt with comes rushing back. As soon as pictures from home of the trees, lights and Christmas jumpers start cropping up on facebook and instagram, I miss home.

Forgive me while I wallow.

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While I was home a few weeks ago, Mum and I treated ourselves to a day out in York, and an Afternoon Tea at Bettys.

In Yorkshire, Bettys cafes are an institution. A way to step back in time a little. Founded in 1919 but Swiss orphan Frederick Belmont, it’s still a family run business, rightly proud of its heritage. Young Frederick travelled through Europe, learning how to be a baker and a confectioner, laying down roots in Yorkshire, where the hills and clear air reminded him of Switzerland. The café in York is inspired by the Queen Mary Cruise Liner, inside has an air of understated luxury, with the upstairs full of long windows and ornate art deco mirrors, and the downstairs richly carpeted and lined with wood panelling. The waitresses still wear the full skirted uniform, complete with long sleeved, frill necked blouse.

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If you’ve been sampling lots of modern, fancy afternoon teas lately, you might find the Betty’s menu a little traditional, but sometimes traditional is no bad thing. The afternoon tea is perfectly in keeping with the surroundings, and the cakes and scones are, as to be expected, delicious.
Our teas were brought out on two silver plated, three tiered cake stands.
We started with the sandwiches. Proper teatime finger sandwiches, egg, moist roast chicken, Yorkshire ham and salmon on white and brown bread. This is somewhere you can bring your Granny without worrying her with bizarre new flavours.

The waitress suggested that we might like to order a bowl of chips to go with our sandwiches.

Oh Yorkshire, I love you!

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Moving onto the scones, piled high with clotted cream and jam.

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Finally the cakes.
A chocolate cake, so rich and dense inside it’s almost like eating a truffle.

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A wonderfully light yet deliciously sticky pistachio macaroon.

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And this gorgeous little tart.

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Better wash that all down with a little more tea!

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If you want a Bettys fix find out more about the locations here. They also have a great online shop, so you can order Betty’s treats from whereever you are in the world. I love the idea of this Gentleman’s Christmas box, the perfect gift for a sweet toothed granddad.

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For little stocking fillers, these little sponge puddings are just so cute -  as is this little chap. I’m not sure I could bring myself to eat his little lebkuchen donkey face though.

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At the other end of the price spectrum, If I had a spare £500 lying around I’d defiantly be ordering one of these in for Christmas!

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