Harrogate Tea Shop

Apr 27th, 2007, 07:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 37
Harrogate Tea Shop

Hello all, I am interested in having a true English Tea experience while at the in-laws in Yorkshire. I was wondering if there was a really great tea shop or place to have tea in Harrogate or around the area (we are staying in Knaresborough).

The in-laws don't know and keep saying we will just have tea at home, which kind of defeats the purpose. Any suggestions are appreciated.
skl0224 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2007, 07:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,529
Bettys' i believe is a legendary Harrogate tea emporium - i stopped by their York tea shop last year and it looked ornate as did the tea and cakes.

I may have got the name wrong but there is one Uber famous tea shoppe in Harrogate when i stayed there recently.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 27th, 2007, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Yes it's Betty's and it's quite the landmark. There's a retail shop and a restaurant/tea room - rather formal and full of helmet hair, but the food is quite good. The Rarebit is quite nice if you like that sort of thing. http://www.bettysandtaylors.co.uk/ They have another branch in Harrogate as well as the York stores and a couple of other locations in Yorkshire. It's the same company that owns Taylors of Harrogate teas.
Gardyloo is offline  
Apr 27th, 2007, 10:20 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,527
Hi, I live in Harrogate and it is indeed Betty's you are mentioning.
There are 2 Betty's in Harrogate - one in the town centre and one as part of the Harlow Carr Royal Horticultural Gardens on the outskirts of the town (car needed to get there). You can't book and the one in town frequent has long queues depending on when you are trying to go.
The Harlow Carr one has some advantages in that you are unlikely to have to wait for a table, it has an elevated position overlooking the gardens, and the gardens themselves are beautiful! There is a charge to visit them but well worth it if it was a nice day - here's the link -
It tells you about Betty's under the 'facilities' link.
The branch in town is in a very attractive building and if you are lucky enough to get a window seat on the ground floor then it is perfect - but there is also a basement section (still nice) where you get no views. You have to take pot luck where the next table becomes available.
Service is good, there is often a pianist, and you can choose from a huge range of tea, coffee, cakes or a full meal. The shop at the front of the town branch sells tea, coffee, chocolate, bread and cakes and even some of the china you have had your food served on!
To give you another suggestion - I work in Leeds which isn't that far from Knaresborough and is fab for shopping if that is something you are interested in. Leeds has a city centre Hotel called Quebecs and it is well known for doing a traditional afternoon tea. Never tried it but have heard it is very good - see here for details - (looks fab)
Hope this helps.
Morgana is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 07:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 187
And the great thing about Betty's is that if you ever want to treat your in-laws to something special once you leave, Betty's-By-Post sends their delicious homemade goodies (like Fat Rascals) to mainland UK addresses.

They have a superb little individual birthday cake (fruit cake with marzipan frosting/royal icing and a candle!) that comes in a lovely gold tin. £9.95. I've sent loads of them to family, friends, etc.

You can order online here:
TeaLoverDenise is offline  
May 24th, 2007, 03:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,664
Perhaps the OP's in-laws were bemused by the question, as I'm sure anyone living in Yorkshire (not to mention further afield) will have heard of the famous Betty's Tearoom. However "Tea" in most parts of northern Britain these days just means the evening meal. The sort of "afternoon tea" offered by places like Betty's or the big London hotels is an anachronism that only survives due to the persistent mythology surrounding the English afternoon tea experience.

Hardly any British people take a traditional afternoon tea these days, aside from some elderly folk. The majority of the clientele is foreign tourists, particularly N Americans who can't shake off the idea for some reason that this is a quintessential British thing to do. Nothing wrong with it at all, I'm sure it would be a pleasant afternoon experience, but there's no escaping its mainly just a show for tourists.
Gordon_R is offline  

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