When you think of glamorous locations in York, a set of toilets probably doesn’t spring to mind.
But plans are in to ‘bring new life and glamour back to the toilets’ in Bettys Café Tea Rooms on St Helen’s Square.
The loos on the second floor of the venue, part of the Belmont Suite, are set to be given some TLC so as to “create a special experience for Bettys customers”, planning documents say.
They say: “Currently, the building does not have any separated room for baby change, accessible to all. The current baby change use is allocated within the ladies toilet.
“Firstly, the proposal aims to divide the existing gents customers toilets to create two separated rooms within the existing space, with two independent doors from the access corridor. This allows the baby change to be used independently.
“Secondly, the proposed refurbishment creates an opportunity to enhance the design for the toilets.
“The proposed female toilets will have an additional cubicle within the same footprint as the existing toilets.
“A new baby change room will be provided with a WC pan, hand wash basin and a baby change fitting.”
The new look toilets will be designed with polish stone flooring, decorative wallpaper and marble tops to the vanity units.
The Belmont Suite at Bettys in York has a special history, as the plans relate.
“The Belmont Room was originally the main café restaurant of the York branch.
“Its most striking features include the etched glass panels depicting exotic trees and mountains, the intricate brass grilles on the glass doors and sumptuous walnut panelling on the walls.
“At one end of the room is a marquetry panel depicting geese flying across a lake, which was a replica of a piece that hung in one of the staterooms aboard the Queen Mary.
“After 1959, the room was named in memory of the café’s founder and, during the 1960s and 1970s was the Belmont Self-Service Restaurant.
“This initiative was introduced in response to the changing needs of customers and the restaurant chiefly catered to people who worked in offices and businesses nearby during their lunch breaks. It had its own entrance from the street to the right of the main entrance to the shop.”
In 1997 the Belmont Room “was restored to its former Art Deco glory and reopened to customers as a venue for private events and parties”.
“A new bookable Afternoon Tea was launched in 2012 in the Belmont Room as well as the Imperial Room in Harrogate, so that a wider range of visitors could enjoy their scones, cakes and sandwiches in these elegant surroundings,” the documents state.