Food and drink
Quintessentially an English institution, though the founders were Swiss and their food heritage continues through today. The cafe is best known for its cakes, cream scones and dainty sandwiches on tiered silver cake stands delicately served at afternoon tea and accompanied by the gentle tinkle of the cafe pianist. But this far from paints the whole picture. A heartier fusion of Switzerland meets Yorkshire menu is also available from breakfast, through the day and into the evening featuring an array of Rösti based dishes alongside more traditional British favourites such as fish and chips, gammon steaks and local sausages. Unlike most other tea shops it’s also possible to get wine and beer with your food.
Admittedly I’ve only been here the once to take tea in the afternoon but have to admit that everything about the experience lived up to the hype. There’s a choice of options. I plumped for the ‘Traditional,’ a mid-priced, rewarding and filling experience that included a pot of tea, Yorkshire roast ham sandwich, scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream plus chocolate and fruit cake.
Amongst rooms always buzzing to the sound of conversation and the dainty chink of china on china; the period Art Deco interiors brought to you by the designers and crafts people responsible for fitting and decorating the RMS Queen Mary are naturally gorgeous.
Kindly ladies in traditional Edwardian black and white dress offer gracious service and are never fazed by the crowds.
This flagship cafe is found on the corner of Davygate and St. Helen’s Square in the heart of the city. A small sister branch can also be found halfway up Stonegate.
Individual afternoon tea packages range from £8.25 to an eye watering £59.95 for two people though this does come with a half a bottle of Moët. For more substantial Swiss/Yorkshire fare, expect to pay between £10.00 and £12.00 for a main course.
Tables to book
Try to get one of the window tables overlooking St. Helen’s Square on the ground floor so you can watch the assortment of street performers outside in comfort.
Little Bettys is nearby on Stonegate. Go to http://www.bettys.co.uk for their details too.
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