Betty’s Tea Rooms, York

The thing to eat whilst in England is, in my opinion, clotted cream. You can’t get it in South Africa unless you make it yourself and it is the perfect accompaniment to scones. And where else to get clotted cream and scones whilst in Yorkshire but Betty’s in York? Make sure you sit in the main room, looking out onto the square. And order some version of tea, either the full afternoon or the Yorkshire cream. That way you’ll get scones and clotted cream. You can, obviously, order many more things, including lunch and dessert. When the princess (who is a notoriously difficult eater) came to visit me one December, we took the train from Edinburgh to York for the day. We went to Betty’s for lunch and she ordered and liked (an amazing feat on this particular holiday) the steak pie they served. Ever since then I’ve felt that Betty’s can do no wrong.

This time my mom, aunt and I went for cream tea. My aunt had yet to discover the delights of clotted cream and I am pleased now to say that she is converted. I had the full afternoon tea (pictured below), my mom had the chocolate torte (also pictured) and my aunt had the Yorkshire cream tea which comes with two scones. We debated how best to apply the clotted cream and jam. Jam first? Clotted cream first? We drank tea. And we people watched. We also avoided a downpour.

I love York, it’s old cobbled streets and tiny shops. The minster looming over all. But most of all I love Betty’s. It’s a perfect way to spend any afternoon.