Harrogate is an old spa town, a beautiful town that is filled with glorious hotels, B&Bs and tearooms. There are many great places to drink and dine in this town and afternoon tea in Harrogate is some of the best in the country. If you happen by Harrogate yourself then make sure you enjoy some high tea in one or more of the following venues. Once you’re done you can book into a relaxing spa before going to see a show on the evening—Harrogate has it all!
What follows is just a small selection of high tea options in Harrogate. There are more hotels, B&Bs and tearooms that serve afternoon tea in this great town, but these are the pick of the bunch, the ones whose tea and food that we enjoyed most, found to be the most cost effective and had the very best service.
Afternoon Tea at Bettys Cafe Tea Room 5/5
The pride of Harrogate and the place that everyone wants to visit. On the plus side, it really is everything that it’s cracked up to be. On the downside, you may have to queue for a few hours to get in during peak times, which seems to be 365 days a year for Betty’s Tea Room.
There are two parts to Bettys. The first is the tearoom itself, where you can enjoy some great tea, coffee and cakes and where you will be served by waitresses in period costume. The second part, which is attached and accessed through another door, is where you can buy a range of Bettys freshly made cakes, scones and other treats. There are smaller queues to this part of the building, but you can still expect to wait if you show up on a busy day.
Betty’s is a Yorkshire institution, and not without reason. It is a little expensive, but it’s worth it. Everything has been painstakingly put together, from the immaculate cakes to the server’s uniforms, which don’t have a wrinkle out of place.
It is a little unfortunate that it’s so busy. One of the joys of afternoon tea in cozy English tearooms is that it’s usually peaceful and quiet, which isn’t the case here. But you can’t blame Bettys for being popular and they definitely deserve a full 5 stars!
Afternoon Tea at Filmore and Union 5/5
Filmore and Union is an upmarket, classy venue that is situated in the middle of this market town and exemplifies everything that is great about it. You can enjoy a tiered platter that is stacked high with sandwiches, scones and cakes and served with a pot of tea. There are no dainty servings here, but the food is still fitting of a fine dining location and you’ll find yourself wondering what the fuss with Bettys is all about.
Filmore and Union are also happy to cater for the needs of customers on special diets. This is becoming increasingly common with tearooms up and down the country, but there are still those that will give you nothing but blank stares and a shrug if you ask them what their vegan or gluten free options are. With Filmore and Union you can choose from their 100% gluten free menu—a rather unique option that you will struggle to find anywhere else.
Just make sure you phone up well in advance to book your table and let them know of your dietary needs. This will give them plenty of time to make special arrangements for you and to make sure that you don’t end up with any gluten in your food.
Afternoon Tea at Fodder 4/5
A contemporary building with modern ideas, great food and fantastic teas. Fodder supports local farmers and producers by stocking and serving their wonderful produce for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.
The menu includes an assortment of freshly made sandwiches, scones, cakes and more. There are hot food lunches if you want something a little more substantial and there is a wide selection of teas and coffees to choose from as well. It’s more out of the way than Bettys and it’s not as well known, but you will leave feeling just as satiated and content, which makes afternoon tea at Fodder well worth it during a stay in this market town.
Afternoon Tea Rudding Park 4/5
Harrogate is filled to the brim with glorious guest houses and hotels and they are some of the most reasonably priced 4-star and 5-star venues in the entire country. One of the better ones is Rudding Park. It’s not quite as affordable as some of its competing B&Bs and guesthouses, but if you want contemporary class with a mix of historic style, then you can’t beat it.
At Rudding Park you can enjoy afternoon tea in the conservatory as you soak up the limited North East sunshine and take in the glorious gardens. The tea comes with a selection of cakes, sandwiches and more and you can choose from several brews of tea and/or coffee. So if you spend the night at the hotel or just happen to be nearby during the early afternoon, make sure you book yourself a seat.
Afternoon Tea at Hotel Du Vin 3.5/5
Some servers of high tea favor their own blends. Some focus on independent creators, while others tend to pick the premium brands that everyone tends to know and love. It can be a little more impersonal, but you can’t complain when the blend is right and the taste is extraordinary and that’s the case here with a wide selection of teas made by Twinings.
One of the best tea brands in the country, the history of Twinings is almost as rich and diverse as that of Harrogate and its many established businesses. Of course, this town is also famous for producing a well-known budget blend that has become one of the countries most popular, but you won’t find that on the menu here.
This is another special venue for enjoying afternoon tea in Harrogate. There will barely be enough time in your holiday to fit them all in!