A trip to Yorkshire isn't complete without a visit to Betty's tea rooms. Fact. It's always my first recommendation to anyone going anywhere near York, Harrogate or Ilkley; breakfast, brunch, lunch or afternoon tea - it doesn't matter what you go for, you won't be disappointed. I've been dozens and dozens of times since I was a child, for special occasions or just for a spot of delicious indulgence, because why not? A couple of months ago I was delighted to receive an invitation to their first ever London tea party, along with a box of Grand Cru chocolates in the post and a desire to dress up in one of my vintage tea dresses for the occasion.
A group of over 20 fashion, foodie and lifestyle bloggers gathered in a beautifully decorated events space in Islington filled fresh flowers, Betty's hampers, pretty mismatched crockery, trays of Champagne flutes at the door and the smartly dressed Betty's team circulating the room with top ups. We were walked through the history of the brand (and why the Swiss founder Frederick Belmont ended up where he did - you can read more on the history here) and shown a quick icing demonstration before decorating our own box of little fondant fancies.
Despite it being years since trying my hand with a piping bag, I came first in the competition and won a big box of goodies to take home which I'm still working through. Next up, each group designed their own tea party and with my new blogger buddies Emma and Charlotte we turned a blank table into a pretty spread with our chosen crockery from Emma Bridgewater, Royal Crown Derby and Mulberry Hall, cutlery, table settings and arranged flowers.
And then... Let feasting commence! Macarons, fat rascals, shortbread biscuits, Champagne truffles, chocolate cake, florentines and Yorkshire tea loaf, with china teacups of rich blend tea and coffee... It was one of my favourite days of 2015: an afternoon of eating, drinking and being merry chatting with a bunch of lovely girls before going home to drop off my prize then heading down to the Royal Albert Hall for the Last Night of the Proms. Can I do it all again, please?