Rock stars rave over ‘nectar of paradise’ in Harrogate
Last updated Oct 19, 2023
Screengrab from a YouTube video of musicians Toyah Willcox and Robert Fripp in which they wax lyrical about Harrogate and Bettys.
Musicians Toyah Willcox and Robert Fripp.

Bettys has long been popular with visitors to Harrogate, but the business gained two more high-profile fans this month when Toyah Willcox and Robert Fripp dropped in. 

The couple were in town to play a gig at the Royal Hall and later took to social media to pay effusive tribute to the tearooms. 

In their latest YouTube post, Robert, who is widely regarded as one of the world’s best guitarists, called Bettys “a quality establishment which resonates”, and said: 

“I’d been to Bettys in York before, which was superb, but this was something of a pilgrimage.” 

Toyah added: 

“You may think we’re complete idiots for being so in love with this experience, but it was the heart and soul of humanity. We could talk to everyone, everyone really cared, it was kind, it was utterly amazing.” 

They described a cake they’d saved from their visit as “the nectar of paradise” and “a relic from the shrine of St Betty”. 

Toyah, 65, is best known for her string of hit singles in the early 1980s, including It’s a Mystery, I Want to be Free, and Thunder in the Mountains, but has also had a long acting career on both stage and screen. 

Robert Fripp, 77, was the founder of progressive rock band King Crimson and has also collaborated with the likes of David Bowie, Blondie and Talking Heads.

The couple have been married since 1986 and came to national attention during the Covid lockdown, when they started their YouTube channel, Toyah and Robert’s Sunday Lunch. 

In their latest post, their praise was not just confined to Bettys – they loved the whole town. 

Toyah said:

“Robert’s never been to Harrogate and he absolutely loved it, and I loved it too. It’s such a special place, and if ever you’re visiting the UK or just having a holiday in the UK, and you’ve not been to Harrogate, go – it’s beautiful!” 

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