Join us as we have afternoon tea at Bettys at RHS Garden Harlow in Harrogate before exploring the gardens and woodland...
Bettys Café Tea Room
Bettys Café Tea Rooms in Yorkshire are World famous for their afternoon teas! And despite sounding like the tea rooms are named after a founder called Betty, they were actually started by a Swiss guy called Frederick Belmont. After quite a traumatic childhood and then coming to Yorkshire (by accident after boarding the wrong train!), he learnt the art of bakery and confectionary and founded the first Bettys in 1919 in Harrogate.
The original site no longer exists, but there are now 6 Bettys Café Tea Rooms across Yorkshire, with 2 in Harrogate, 2 in York, 1 in Ilkley and 1 in Northallerton.
We visit the Bettys tea room at RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate. It's lunchtime, and Sneha wants to try the famous afternoon tea. But having been out partying last night, Paul is more in the mood for brunch, and so goes for a Swiss Breakfast Rösti!
We're shown to our table and we get lucky with a window seat, and we have a really good view out into the gardens of RHS Harlow Carr. And also we're just in time... a dark rain cloud appears from nowhere and as we sit and drink our tea and coffee it pours down with rain!
When the food comes the Swiss Breakfast Rösti looks amazing... bacon, egg, mushroom and tomato on top of a potato and Swiss cheese hash. But Sneha is a little less impressed with her afternoon tea... the presentation is really good being served on the traditional cake stand, but given how hungry we are (and the price of it!), the 3 small sandwiches, cakes and scone don't exactly live up to the hype!
The Swiss Breakfast Rösti tastes as good as it looks, and unusually it's Sneha who is enviously eyeing up Paul's food! But as always we're sharing so we can try a bit of everything, and despite the small amount of food, the afternoon tea is tasty too... particularly the scone, clotted cream and jam!
TrovenTrippers Tip... Afternoon tea at Bettys
If you want the full experience of having afternoon tea at Bettys then go for it! It may not provide value for money but the sandwiches, cakes and scone are all very nice. We would just suggest sharing another dish off the menu to go along with it if you're feeling hungry!
Bookings and shopping orders can be made online... Bettys Website
RHS Garden Harlow Carr
Once we've finished our lunch and we have a look around the Bettys shop, the rain clouds have disappeared so we head out into the gardens of RHS Garden Harlow Carr.
Set in 58 acre grounds, Harlow Carr is the most northerly of all of the Royal Horticultural Society's gardens in the UK (there are other partner gardens further north).
With managed woodlands, manicured streamside flower beds, wildflower meadows and bird watching and bee keeping areas there are lots of areas to explore!
We start our visit at the Teaching Garden, where there is a small pond and rock garden aimed at educating want to be gardeners along with the adjoining Learning Centre. The pond is covered in water lilies and flowers, and being pollinated by small bees as Paul tries to get a good photo without falling into the water! (he has previous, check out our day out in Nidderdale... 😂)
Next to the Teaching Garden is The Queen Mother's Lake and Lakeside Gardens, which offer some of the best photo spots in the whole garden! And as we pass by the Lake, there is a family of ducks swimming away which we just see but don't quite capture with our cameras!
We leave the ducks behind as we head to the bee-keeping area ready for the demonstration, but we're a little early so take the opportunity to explore the streamside area, finding some wooden carvings which Paul can't help but pose with (maybe he's still drunk rather than hungover!), and a cute little hut in the woods.
After taking a little too long we realise we're now late for the bee-keeping show, so rush back to see what's happening. One of the keepers is telling the crowd information about the bees, but to go and see them we need to wear the bee-keeping hats and clothes, so we skip that not wanting to be attacked and go and explore the woodland instead.
Despite only being a few hundred metres along the path it feels like a world away... huge trees tower over us, we find Greek looking Doric columns which take us back to our recent trip to Greece (check out our blogs about our visit to Athens and Greece!), and in a quiet corner of the woods we find a bird-watching shelter (although we actually see more squirrels than birds!)
The rain starts again and we manage a well-timed stop at the gallery and shop, but the rain doesn't seem to be stopping this time so after sheltering under a tree for a while, we head to the garden centre on our way to the exit (and even the rain can't stop Sneha from shopping!)
TrovenTrippers Tip... How much does it cost to visit RHS Harlow Carr?
You can pay to visit RHS Harlow Carr as a one-off for £15.30 per adult (£7.70 for children). But RHS also offer yearly memberships for £53.25. If you're a member you can visit any RHS for free, and take a guest with you too. So if 2 adults are visiting... paying on the day would be £30.60, so for an extra £22.65 you can get the yearly membership giving entry for 2 people. It was good Sneha was already a member, so Paul didn't have to pay!
For more info... RHS Harlow Carr Wesbite