Afternoon Tea at Betty’s always conjures up a picture of dainty sandwiches, fresh home baked scones, lashings of fresh cream and jam, and exquisite cakes arranged neatly on a delicate cake stand. Not forgetting the steaming pot of fresh tea served in a vintage style teapot. All this is served by attentive staff in elegant surroundings, which makes you wonder if you have been transported back in time to the 1920’s.
For me, afternoon tea at Betty’s is a special event in itself and one to be savoured. It is the time to relax and push away the stresses of modern day life. You can temporarily forget about the worries of the day and sit back and enjoy the full Betty’s experience.
MY INVITATION TO SPEND THE AFTERNOON AT BETTY’S
And so, when I received a kind invitation to a special event for bloggers held at Betty’s in Harrogate, I was absolutely delighted. Of course, living locally, I am a frequent visitor to Betty’s already. However, the idea of sharing an afternoon tea with other bloggers made me very happy. I am a great believer in spending quality time with friends and family, and afternoon tea at Betty’s seems like a perfect way to do this.
Our invitation included a tea tasting session with one of Betty’s tea buyers, followed by a Lady Betty’s Afternoon Tea. We were also invited to create our own photographic opportunities, using various props and ideas provided by the PR staff at Betty’s. The event took place in the beautiful setting of the Imperial Suite in their flagship tea room in Harrogate.
We were greeted by a cool glass of champagne or a glass of sparkling elderflower water, for those of us that preferred a non alcoholic drink. It was lovely to mingle with the other bloggers, to see old friends and make new ones.
TEA TASTING SESSION
After introductions with the lovely PR staff from Betty’s, we began our afternoon with a tea tasting session with Will, who is one of the tea buyers at Betty’s. I was amazed to discover that the tea buyers at Betty’s are in training for approximately five years ! Wow ! Betty’s really DO take their tea seriously, and go to great lengths to ensure that they only serve the finest tea to their customers.
Although I am an avid tea drinker, I have to admit I am not very knowledgable about tea. Will talked to us about the methods of growing, collecting and creating the tea. I was astonished at the high level of care and diligence that goes into obtaining the best quality tea for Betty’s customers.
And so, after our informative talk, Will invited us to join in a tea tasting session. There were eight teas for us to sample, ranging from the rich, black tea Assam through to the gentle, refreshing Lemongrass & Ginger Tisane. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed tasting a wide variety of teas. I especially loved the light, refreshing teas which would be perfect on a hot summer’s day. The China Rose Petal tea was a special favourite. It was delicately flavoured with rose petals and was the most beautiful pastel pink colour.
Following the fabulous tea tasting session, we all sat down for our Lady Betty’s Afternoon Tea. Of course, as you would expect, the presentation of the afternoon tea was just perfect. Displayed on a traditional, silver, three tiered cake stand, it was almost TOO nice to eat.
Our starters comprised of a Pea, Cucumber & Tomato Cocktail which was absolutely delicious. We were also served a Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese & Dill Roulade with a Miniature Pork & Apple Pie. This, too was just scrumptious.
Our sandwiches, scones and miniature cakes stood proudly on the cake stand, waiting for all the hungry bloggers to tuck in. We enjoyed a wide range of sandwiches, including egg mayonnaise, chicken & tarragon and ham and tomato pate. The scones were a rose and a lemon flavour and were served with the customary jam and cream. We had the usual discussion of whether we should put jam or cream on our scone first. After divided opinions, we decided that the most important thing was just to enjoy the scones whichever way you wanted.
The miniature cakes were stunning works of art. It seemed such a shame to destroy the prettiness by eating them, but hey, someone has to do it ! The cakes included a chocolate & passion fruit cube, a gooseberry macaroon, pistachio & chocolate dacquoise slice, fresh berry meringue, lemon religieuse and my favourite of the day, a miniature battenberg.
For my choice of tea to accompany my sandwiches and cakes I chose the strong, full bodied Assam tea which was both refreshing and extremely tasty.
During our afternoon tea it was nice to relax and chat to the other bloggers. This unhurried, relaxing atmosphere is something that is quite distinct to Betty’s. It is as though time stands still in this iconic tea room. I just love the calm, restful surroundings that resonates throughout Betty’s, with no one rushing to get anywhere. Even the staff are all serene and relaxed as they move around serving customers.
PHOTOGRAPHIC SESSION USING PRODUCTS & PROPS
Suitably refreshed with a full and contented stomach, we all headed for the props and photographic table. Props were supplied by Betty’s and expert guidance was supplied by Rob, the creative genius behind many of the stunning displays that you see at Betty’s. And so we eagerly created our own displays using Betty’s products. This was great fun as we all tapped into our own creativity inspired by the professionals at Betty’s. We all created some great shots of Betty’s products and I was very happy that I had learnt such a lot about visual display in such a short time.
Sadly our fun and informative afternoon came to a close and we all headed home clutching our goody bags, which Betty’s kindly gave us on departure. I had learned such a lot during the afternoon and was now more informed about tea. So, in future, I will certainly be more open minded now about my choice of tea. I learned new ways to create stunning photos using just a few choice props. And of course I met some amazing people and I enjoyed chatting to them over a sandwich and a cream scone.
In conclusion, Betty’s is a perfect place for any occasion, whether it be a family birthday or a quiet romantic meal for two. Afternoon tea is such a tradition in the UK steeped in history and I know it will always be part of our heritage. Life is busier than ever with more people leading stressful lives. So, isn’t it nice to know that sometimes we can take a couple of hours just to relax and enjoy good company and good food.
Betty’s for me, is the ideal place to do just this. Taking afternoon tea relaxing with friends or family is just the perfect way to unwind. Don’t think of Betty’s as ‘just a tea room’. Think of Betty’s as an experience to be fully embraced. I guarantee that your first visit won’t be your last.
Betty’s have tea rooms in six wonderful locations in Yorkshire. There is one in central Harrogate, Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate, Ilkley, York ( 2 venues ) and Northallerton. The menus can be found on their website which also has details of the online shop.
Have you visited Betty’s ? If so, which Betty’s have you visited ? Did you have afternoon tea ?
I hope you have enjoyed my post on my afternoon at Betty’s. Please let me know your thoughts below.
Thank you to Ruth, Lynne, Rob and Will of Betty’s for your kind hospitality.
Thank you to Holly and Kat of We Blog North for organising the event.
And finally, thank you to my lovely blogger friends for your company during the afternoon.
Until next time dear friends
** I was honoured to be a guest of Betty’s for the afternoon tea experience but all thoughts, words and views are my own **
For more information on Betty’s please visit their website https://www.bettys.co.uk/