Bettys York, St Helens Square, early evening lighting
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Lighting Bettys Café Tea Rooms

We’ve been privileged to work with Bettys Café Tea Rooms for several years.  Founded in 1919, Bettys are famous for their exceptionally high standards of service and beautiful teas and cakes: people come from all over the world and queue for hours for a table.

Bettys undertake a rolling programme of renovations across the six Café Tea Rooms, and we’ve been part of these project teams since 2015.  Bettys are fabulous to work with: incredibly demanding standards, meticulous attention to detail, and excellent planning and co-ordination within complex teams.  All very much part of our DNA too.

Bettys York, interior looking out towards St Helens Sqaure

Evolution not revolution

As a much loved institution with a very strong brand identity, the overarching brief from Bettys is for evolution not revolution.  They would like their customers to notice that a space is a step change better, but not be able to work out why.   Upgrading the lighting in stages in each branch is a key part of that.

Detail of Afternoon Tea cakes at Bettys

The quality of the light is paramount in ensuring the best customer experience

The lighting design varies by project but all are very much about enhancing the fabric of the iconic old buildings and enhancing the customer experience.  The basement of the Bettys York Café Tea Rooms for example was previously comparatively rather dingy despite extensive use of halogen downlights.  Even after queuing outside, customers preferred to wait a little longer for a seat elsewhere.  After the lighting upgrade the basement is now an equally desirable space: it’s glamorous, sophisticated, rich…and the customers can’t quite pinpoint why it feels so different.

The lighting is also designed to perfectly set the mood for whatever time of day it is.  A Lutron HomeWorks lighting control system enables the staff to seamlessly select different scenes (eg; lunchtime, early evening, cleaning etc), and the lighting is pre-programmed to gradually change to a different scene at a certain points in the day.

The quality and attention to detail down to testing out different light engines with strawberry cream tarts to see which made them look best makes a massive difference.

Ian Jackson, Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate

Thank you to everyone involved on behalf of Bettys, the Tea Room looks wonderful, I’m really pleased with the result. I appreciate it was a very tight programme and a complex project, but our usual high standards and attention to detail have been maintained. It all looks beautiful.  Once again, on time, on brand and on budget!

Each branch of Bettys is unique and each requires its own approach

The evolutionary approach to upgrading each branch means that we have been able to work on discreet spaces in each branch with lighting designs currently in Harrogate, York and Stonegate.  Each is very different and the lighting reflects their unique character.

Bettys, York from outside. Warm lighting in the early evening

Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms

Six character filled locations in Yorkshire each steeped in its own history.

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Notes on photography

The photography we’re using on this page is quite different to our normal style and it needs a bit of explanation.  Bettys puts the excellence of the customer experience above anything else.  One feature of our projects with Bettys is that they take the form of months of meticulous planning culminating in a few frantic days of execution.  The Cafe Tea Rooms are closed for the shortest possible time period and when they re-open there is little time to photograph them.

So the photographs here are a mixture of Royalty Free, Rights Managed and Creative Commons license photos either of the spaces we have lit or, where the internal photos simply don’t exist, photos of the iconic branches from the outside.

Photography Credits

The interior shot of Bettys, York in St Helens Square is copyright Christine Matthews  licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The exterior shot of Bettys, Stonegate is copyright Malcolmxl5 licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

The exterior shot of Bettys, Harrogate is copyright Weefemwe licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license