Bettys has just introduced the new Lady Betty Afternoon Tea and earlier this week I visited their elegant Belmont Room in York to partake of this. For anyone unfamilar with this small chain of delightful tea rooms in Yorkshire you may like to read my original blog post Bettys is Brilliant.
The Lady Betty Afternoon Tea started with an appetiser, as I had the vegetarian option, mine's was a very refreshing dish of avocado, tomato and onion. The regular menu can be viewed here.
Alongside the Champagne Afternoon Tea I had a Wild Elderflower Bubbly, which was really nice to be offered an non alcoholic option which was a little bit special.
The afternoon tea was beatifully presented on a silver three tier cake stand. On the top was a selection of minature cakes, in the middle the scones and on the bottom the sandwiches.
Accompanying the cake stand was a seperate plate consisting of a vegetable roulade and a spring onion savoury. What notably stood out for me as I enjoyed this meal was that the care and skill employed in creating their pastries had been extended to their savoury dishes as well. All the food was visually very appealing and beautifully presented.
There were a delicious selection of vegetarian sandwiches consisted of caramelised onion and goats cheese on sunblushed tomato bread, egg mayonnaise and cress on sourdough loaf and cucumber and creme fraiche on mixed grain, my personal favourite as it was looked amazing. All the sandwiches were extremely tasty and I enjoyed both the variety of the differnt breads and their topping combinations.
The scones were served warm, one was sultana and the other Yorkshire lavender, and accompanied with clotted cream and strawberry jam with chunks of fruit. They were both delicious but I will say more about them in my next Scone blog.
The minature cakes consisted of grand cru chocolate and raspberry square, orange religieuse, strawberry macaroon, chocolate and praline slice, fresh berry meringue and Battenberg. On Bettys website there are some fascinating video clips which shows the artistic skills that goes into creating these delicate pastries.
The food was served on bespoke china and love Bettys name on the saucer.
The food, albeit important, was only part of what mades the Lady Betty Afternoon Tea such a special experience. I enjoyed this special afternoon tea in their very elegantly decorated Belmont Room in St Helen's Square, York complete with musical accompaniment from the cafe pianist.
The room is named after Fredrick Belmont, Bettys founder, a Swiss confectioner. On 27th May 1936 Fredrick and his wife Claire departed Southampton on the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary, an iconic ocean liner. They travelled as first class passengers on a trip of a lifetime to New York. In the following year, 1937, Fredrick opened Bettys York which was inspired by his travels on the Queen Mary. Wanting to re-create the ship's stylish look he employed its interior designers and fitters to convert a former furniture store into his new tea rooms.
The Belmont Room has a stunning art deco interior, finally decorated with walnut panelling, marquetry and decorative glass panels.
The Belmont Room's timeless appeal is complemented with the fresh flowers, bespoke china and gleaming silver cutlery on its pristine white table cloths.
The Flying Geese is the largest of a series of finely detailed marquetary panels.
The original detailing of the brass grilles in the doorways and the variety of natural woods. However how does that compare to the original Queen Mary design?
The Queen Mary, now resides in Long Beach, near Los Angeles, and it just so happens a few years ago we stayed overnight on the ship and had a magnificent Sunday Brunch in its former First Class Restaurant. The ship is predominantly art deco in style and extensively used natural woods, artwork and 1930s detailing.
MacDonald Gill's decorative map of the North Atlantic Ocean in the former First Class Restaurant, no doubt caught the attention of Fredrick and Claire when they sailed on the Queen Mary just as it did during our visit.
However I've kept my favourite to last I just loved the design of the doors, the stylised double B, remins me of a certain famous Swedish pop group.
The service throughout my visit was excellent. The staff are always welcoming and helpful. I'd like to say a personal thank you to Alex who served me during my visit for her friendliness and knowledge.
I really enjoyed my Lady Betty Afternoon Tea and while a visit to Bettys is always special, The Belmont Room is absolutely stunning and perfect if you are looking for an afternoon tea with timeless elegance.
The Lady Betty Afternoon Tea cost £32.95pp and a bottle of Elderflower Bubbly cost £3.10.
If you enjoyed this blog post you might like to read about my other blogs about Bettys.
The author of this blog is a qualified City of London and City of Westminster Tour Guide who leads guided walks combining world famous landmarks with hidden treasures often missed by the crowds.