Arriving on a weekend in York with Bettys as a destination, can be a little troublesome. As soon as midday hits, you’ll find a queue snaking out of the door with hopeful guests wanting to try afternoon tea and cakes that Bettys is renowned for.
Visiting the city and having only had a short visit once before, I invited a few friends for a spot of afternoon tea and lunch.
Walking through the door, you’ll find plenty of delicious cakes and other treats greeting you. If the queue is too large, there’s always the option to buy a cake and if the weather permits, enjoy the treats by Museum Gardens and take in the culture of the historic city.
Regardless, we were dining on a rainy day and dined-in instead, waiting around 40 minutes for a table of 5.
First item on the list was tea. Being a huge advocate of tea, I was incredibly excited to find a range of different tea leaves, as well as interesting flavours to choose from.
I opted for Yu Luo white tea (left) and my sister opted for Lingia Estate Darjeeling (right). Both were wonderfully aromatic with a subtle sweetness. The white tea was a tad more bitter than the Darjeeling.
There was only two items on the menu I fancied, one being the chicken schnitzel which I decided against at the last-minute.
I did manage to have a cheeky taste as my friend ordered the dish. The golden crispy batter was incredibly flavoursome and was a simple, well-balanced dish.
Most of us were intrigued by the flammkuchen and the waitress had a little bit of a panic when the dishes struggled to fit on the table. The flammkuchen was large and at first glance, a little overbearing.
We got stuck-in and managed to munch through the entirety of the dish and we were a little disappointed. The bread was a little too firm for the toppings, making the majority of the toppings fall off on consumption. The bacon gave a smokey flavour in comparison to the cheese, tomato and peppery rocket, however in terms of flavour, the dish overall was, dare I say, boring.
After the unexciting main course, we decided to move onto desserts, since this is why people come to Bettys in the first place. The waitress wheeled the cake trolley to the table and appealing as some of the desserts looked, we decided to order freshly made treats instead.
My sister ordered the lemon tart, which had a beautifully golden crispy pastry and smooth, sharp lemon curd in the centre. Served alongside, fresh berries and a jus, it was delightful.
I on the other hand, was intrigued by the chocolate and raspberry bomb which arrived in a dome-shaped, smooth chocolate mousse finished off with dark chocolate wedged on the top.
The bombe itself was incredibly chocolatey and had the sharpness of raspberry in the centre and was heavenly to consume. However the crème anglaise the dish was served with, made the dish look sloppy and should have arrived better presented and as a place that prides itself on its desserts, I would have expected better. The crème anglaise was also fairly redundant and didn’t mix well with the bombe in either presentation, taste or texture.
Bettys was a wonderful experience dining with friends and incredibly relaxing with the service being very friendly and helpful but the dishes we were served, were a little hit and miss. If you’re coming here for lunch or dinner, it’s for the atmosphere and British (or German) experience above anything else.
- Bettys, York