I walked through the centre of York last week on a brief visit, and could tell that tourist season had well and truly kicked in. How? The long queue of people outside of Bettys. When the line on a Tuesday lunchtime is as long as it would usually be on a Saturday, you know that tourist season in York has arrived. For anyone who doesn’t know, Bettys is a tea room which first opened in Harrogate in 1919. There are now six café tea rooms in Yorkshire and the Bettys brand is famous worldwide.
I’ve been lucky enough to go a few times during my time in York and would definitely recommend it, if only for the experience. You are treated well by the staff, the surroundings are sumptuous and the food is very tasty. You do have to be prepared to queue and the length of the queue will vary depending on time of day and time of year. You can only book tables from Friday-Sunday so book ahead if you are planning on going over the weekend; otherwise you will just have to take your chances.
The menu is quite pricey (particularly on a student budget) but it is still worth doing. I went for afternoon tea (although I’m probably the only person who has apple juice instead of tea with their afternoon tea!) with my parents and boyfriend on my 21st birthday. It was particularly nice going for a special occasion as it is something that I will always remember and certainly helped to mark the day.
If the queue or prices put you off, then I would recommend buying something from the shop, or at least going to see the window displays. My favourite is the giant Easter egg which appears in the springtime!