The Anonymous Widower

Gluten-Free Afternoon Tea In Bettys

Bettys of Harrogate is one of the best-known traditional tea rooms in Yorkshire, if not the whole of the North of England.

As today was the first weekday of LNER’s new Harrogate service, with six trains per day in both directions, I emailed an old friend and we agreed to meet up for an early afternoon tea, which is actually served from eleven in the morning.

These pictures show my tea, which was gluten-free.

It was certainly some of the best gluten-free sandwiches, cakes and scones, I’ve ever had.

Sadly,, my friend only had time for a coffee, as she was running late, due to a horse problem. But she did show me around Harrogate.

I have been before with C, but I didn’t remember anything except that we had a coffee in Bettys.

The Outward Journey To Harrogate

I took the 09:33 from Kings Cross and we arrived in Harrogate station a minute early at 12:16.

  • The journey took two hours and 43 minutes.
  • The train reversed direction at Leeds
  • The only problem appeared to be that the seat allocation system on the train wasn’t working. Could this be becuae, the service appeared to be timetabled for two five-car trains working as a pair and a nine-car turned up?
  • As it was only the second day of the service, I would expect some teething troubles.

These pictures show the Azuma train at Harrogate station.

On the train, I met a lady who was going to see her son and his family near Thirsk. She was saying that Harrogate has better bus connections than Thirsk, so it is a more convenient station.

Train Length And Horsforth Station

As you can see from the pictures a nine-car train is a tight fit in Harrogate station.

Two trains call at Horsforth station, where a Google Map appesrs to show a platform only long enough for a five-car train.

The Return Journey From Harrogate

My return train was a five-car Azuma train.

  • It left Harrogate at 15:36
  • It arrived at Kings Cross at 18:32, which was a couple of minutes late.
  • The journey time was two hours and 56 minutes.

I was also in Furst, so I got a delicious snack meal.

These Deli-Boxes certainly work as a snack for me.

As Adnams now do the 0.5% version of their Ghost Ship in cans, I would love to see trains carrying these beers or something similar.

Splitting And Joining At Leeds

My train didn’t split at Leeds on the way up, but according to one of the staff at Leeds, this is part of the final plan.

Consider.

  • Nine-car trains are a tight fit at Harrogate.
  • Nine-car trains don’t fit into Horsforth.
  • Nine-car trains are needed for capacity reasons to and from Leeds.

So two five-car trains, running as a pair to Leeds, would be ideal. One train would serve Harrogate and the other perhaps Bradford or Huddersfield.

As I was tired and in a hurry, when we arrived in Kings Cross, I forgot to check if we were five- or ten-cars.

Ticket Costs

I have just looked up prices for the 14th of January 2020 for going North on the 0933 and South on the 17:36.

  • Outbound in Standard costs £15.50
  • Return in Standard costs £12.20
  • First Class is £35 both ways.

All prices are with a Railcard.

Conclusion

The new Harrogate service is more than just a second destination in the Leeds Area.

  • As the lady told me, Harrogate has good connections to a large part of Yorkshire.
  • A difficult change, that can be slow is avoided at Leeds station.
  • Another lady told me, that her husband used to commute to London from Harrogate three days a week and often missed the connection at Leeds.
  • If you needed to go for say a business meeting in Harrogate or take your mother for lunch at Bettys on her birthday, the train service is ideal.
  • The Azumas add style to a route that will also appreciate it.

I am certain that LNER have a winner.

Bettys

I would certainly recommend, their gluten-free afternoon tea.

I wonder how many will come up from London to have lunch or a meeting in Bettys and the other cafes and restaurants in Harrogate?

Note that Bettys and several other cafes and restaurants are an easy walk from Harrogate station.

My friend and I said that we’ll meet up again in the Spring. It will be interesting to see how the service is behaving.

December 17, 2019 - Posted by | Food, Transport | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I have been to Betty’s in York many years ago – before coeliac. We had spent the day conducting a social psychology experiment pretending to be tourists asking for directions at the railway station. A couple of bystanders thought we were behaving suspiciously and followed us to Betty’s. But worse things had happened at OU Summer Schools than being followed to Betty’s. Our experiment was quite tame really. The afternoon tea was excellent.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | December 17, 2019 | Reply


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