Betty's York was one of my first ever afternoon tea experiences and to this day remains my favourite place to visit in the city. Because of this, I tend to be a little cautious of trying new venues in York, for fear of missing out on my all time fave. However, when my friend Caroline invited me to join her on a spa and afternoon tea day at the Grand Hotel in York, I couldn't resist.
Now Caroline is a regular guest at this hotel and visits pretty much every year with her boyfriend, and has come back every time with nothing but praise, so when she invited me along, I knew I had to try it out for myself!
For around £39 each we took part in a spa product blending session, followed by afternoon tea in the hotel's restaurant. I won't focus too much on the spa part, because you're all here for the tea, but what I will say is that it's a really fun experience and great for groups.
It only takes around 25 minutes, but works well as a little warm up for tea time and gives you something nice to take home after the cakes have been eaten. Incase you're wondering, the spa products you can choose to make are either a hand cream, body scrub or salt soak - I chose a lemongrass hand cream and have been using it none stop ever since.
As you'd expect from a 5 star hotel, the full silver service is brought out in force at the Grand Hotel Afternoon Tea, with the prettiest tea pots and service I've ever seen. The tea itself comes as two separate pieces, with a plate of sandwiches first (incl. Smoked Salmon, Beef, Egg Mayo and cucumber) followed by a cake stand filled with warm scones and delicious sweet treats. This part featured Walnut loaf, a sweet meringue cornet, ginger cupcake and a decadent chocolate tiffin-esque cake - Dreamy!
Overall I was very pleased with my afternoon tea experience at the Grand Hotel. My only piece of feedback would be that the overall appearance of the tea could've been improved by an injection of colour - maybe some pink macaroons or fruit topped pastries - to add another dimension to the look. As it stands the colour palette is a little beige and uninteresting to the eye - even if it is absolutely delicious. A bit of colour would take this tea up a level, and make it a real show stopper.
That said, everything we were presented with was a real treat and I'd be more than happy to recommend the Grand Hotel to friends in the future. They also do a great loyalty card scheme which offers diners every sixth tea free, which is an excellent perk and something which more venues should consider!
Check out the spa and afternoon tea packages available at the Grand Hotel York, here.