Betty’s Tea Room: The Beginnings
Just over 100 years ago, Betty’s Cafe & Tea Rooms was opened by Frederick Belmont on Cambridge Crescent, just over the road from its current location on Parliament Street.
There are currently 6 tea rooms. The two harrogate ones are quite close in proximity, and I ended up going to the wrong one at first (the RHS one), which I’ve just realised!
The Government Guidelines in the UK have instructed restaurants to be under their strict regulations. Did Betty’s abide by them? I’m pleased to say that I was quite impressed with what the team did! This wasn’t my first time eating out, but Betty’s did it better than the other restaurant, which I won’t mention because of certain reasons.
The first thing I noticed was the queuing outside. After telling the security guard that I’d pre-booked a meal, he instructed me to go straight in and upstairs. There were two employees in the lobby, both about 5/6 metres from each other wearing masks, one beside a hand sanitising station. I didn’t notice much about the downstairs seating area as I headed straight upstairs.
The Imperial Room
After being greeted by an employee and giving my name, I was brought to my table. Here’s a few things I noticed:
- Hand Sanitising Station by the door.
- Tables were sparsely placed quite a distance away from each other.
- Maximum of 4 people per table.
- There was a Dyson Fan located by the kitchen area
- Windows were open to circulate cold air
- The piano that would usually be played was closed. I was reminded by my mum that they aren’t allowed to play music because the ‘everyone’s volume goes up and people spit more’. That’s the way she put it anyway!
- The majority of staff were wearing masks.
One thing I did notice was that we didn’t get asked for our track and trace details, which I believed was a legal requirement. When we were waiting to go to the shop, however, a family came in and they were instantly asked before they were seated.
In terms of the food, I’d give it a decent thumbs up! For the bottom tier we received a selection of sandwiches. From what I recall these were, Coronation Chicken, Ham & Wholegrain Mustard, Bleiker’s Tea-Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, and Cucumber, Dill & Cream Cheese.
The middle tier consisted of sultana scones with strawberry jam and cream – I’m usually picky when it comes to scones but these were delicious.
On the top tier we were greeted by a very nice but messy lemon curd tart with a macaroon-style shell on top. This would’ve been nicer if I didn’t get it everywhere. If there’s any staff reading this; maybe give us a little paper sheet to pick it up next time? The same goes for the chocolate mousse. Yes, that’s pretty much exactly what that brown thing is you see in the pictures. One, yes it was bloody lovely, but it didn’t half make a mess. It’s a bit difficult to act all like you’re in a fancy restaurant if you’re struggling to eat.
The last thing on the desert tier was this pecan nut tart thing (formally known as a Engadine slice) that I was really looking forward to, but it had marzipan in, and I can’t stand the stuff! I forgot I didn’t like it, otherwise I would’ve mentioned it to a waitress.
If you’ve been to Betty’s before, you’ll know they’ve got an on-site cake shop. My mum being my mum, couldn’t leave without having a gander. We had to wear our face masks and we also had to wait for some people to come out, because it was only 2 families at a time. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the usual array of cakes available. I’m not too sure why, they had some slices and cookies available on one side. The only actual cakes that were available were ready-packed cakes on the shelves. This meant my mum wasn’t able to get her usual fat rascal. But I’m sure she will be able to get one, one day!
Aside from the Covid, I thought the room itself was quite bland. I’ve never actually been in this room before, but I thought there might’ve been a little bit more on the decoration side of things. However, for all I know they could’ve had this and had to remove it due to Corona. It’s just some feedback if not!
I’ve been downstairs before and remember being really impressed by the attention to detail in the room, from the flooring to the flowers and the walls as well.
Post meal though, I had a really nice time and I’d highly recommend it to anyone! Have you been to Betty’s during Covid? Let me know what you thought in the comments!