Bettys Tea Rooms, the North’s finest, opened their first café in Harrogate in 1919. It seems from their website that we nearly got Bettys in the South...but Frederick Belmont (a man who knew how to wear a moustache!) apparently found the North more to his taste and stayed there to make Fat Rascals for an appreciative audience. The cafés are still really popular if the number of images on Flickr is anything to go by.
The Bettys I know best is Bettys Café Tea Room in York. My mother used to tell me how Bettys in York was the place to be taken by servicemen after the Second World War. Surely it is still the place to be taken? Proper linen tablecloths, solid china, trolleys of cakes, waitresses in crisp uniforms. Yes, there is often a queue. But that is for a good reason.
When I received the splendid ginger polar bear – pictured here in his Margaret Howell-esque red spotted scarf – as a gift, he came in a rather elegant ribbon-tied box in a proper brown paper carrier bag with string handles. After being momentarily posed for a photograph he was scoffed up with a cup of English Breakfast tea. Very nice he was too.
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