Posted in Kafevend Blog
Anyone heading off to Yorkshire for their holidays might want to consider trying an afternoon tea at one of the celebrated Bettys Tea Rooms. These are establishments unique to Yorkshire, enabling the company to maintain a uniform high standard. There are two each in Harrogate and York, one in Ilkley and another in Northallerton. Nevertheless, these quintessential English tea rooms borrow some of their flair from Switzerland.
The first Bettys Tea Room was established in Harrogate in 1919 by a Swiss immigrant, one Frederick Belmont. Orphaned early on in life, he spent his teenage years gaining valuable skills and insight as an apprentice to bakers and confectioners across Europe. It appears that the residents of spa town, Harrogate were eager to try confectionery with a Swiss influence alongside their tea and Belmont's business was a success straight from the off. In the 1920s he also opened a craft bakery, which is still going strong. Everything at Bettys is handmade, using locally sourced ingredients, keeping industrial scale breads, cakes and confectionery at bay.
Other Bettys tea rooms were set up and then in 1962 the company had the opportunity to buy another well established family run business, Taylors of Harrogate, tea and coffee merchants. This purchase provided a full range of high quality teas and coffees, still available in the tea rooms today. While it's clear that this winning combination delivers a guaranteed quality of service and products, one mystery does remain; although several theories have been put forward, no one is sure why Frederick Belmont named his tea room Bettys.