CUSTOMERS at York’s most famous tea rooms were taken back in time to celebrate the café’s 90th birthday.

Waitresses dressed in period costumes at Bettys Café Tea Rooms, in St Helen’s Square, to recreate the day in 1919 when Swiss confectioner Frederick Belmont opened the first Bettys tea room, in Harrogate.

Visitors were served an anniversary afternoon tea, featuring a selection of patisseries, fancies and cakes from times gone by.

Takings were expected to be a lot higher than the £30 taken by Mr Belmont on his opening day.

“My Uncle Frederick would be very proud of his business today,” said his nephew Victor Wild, who ran Bettys until 1990, following his uncle’s death in 1952. “He would have been particularly pleased by the way in which Bettys has become a local institution and is supported by so many people, customers and staff.

“And, of course, that it is still going strong as a family business after 90 years.”

Nine decades on, Bettys employs more than 1,000 people and has six branches, a cookery school, a craft baker, and the Taylors of Harrogate tea and coffee business.

Customers who share the same birthday – July 17 – are being invited to enjoy a complementary pot of tea and a Fat Rascal cake. They just need to take along their driving licence or birth certificate.