Last year I went to tea with my dear Mama. It was at John Lewis, and it wasn’t the finest tea that I’ve ever experienced.
I wrote a post about it, and a couple of weeks ago a kind blog visitor commented on the post and suggested a new tea destination for me to try. So today, with my visiting sister in tow, I decided it was time for a wee visit.
They offer a number of different afternoon tea options, ranging from the ‘Cream Tea’ (scone with jam and cream, and a cup of tea) up to the ‘Champagne Tea’ (sandwiches, scones, pastries, tea, and champagne, natch). We opted for the ‘Confectioner’s Tea’, which consists of a couple of scones (one fruit, one plain) each, with butter, jam and clotted cream, and a plate of four pastries (macaroon, sponge, lemon meringue, and some sort of chocolate concoction).
We also got to choose from a ‘selection of teas’ (Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Assam and a number of herbal teas), I chose Earl Grey, and Rach picked the Darjeeling, and they arrived very quickly, with a nice pot of hot, hot water.
On reflection I think it can be said that this was a genuinely decent tea experience:
- The scones were lovely, and arrived warm to the table.
- The pastries were delicious, especially the raspberry macaroon.
- The staff were charming and helpful, and the service was quick, and they took care of the shopping bag that I was silly enough to leave behind.
- And the price was perfectly reasonable – £14 for the two of us.
My only criticism (and it is a small one) would have to be the tea itself. It was fine, but I think it could be better:
- It was tea from a bag, and I’m not a huge fan of that, but I’ll put up with it since I know that most people don’t care (even though they really should).
- The tea pots were really, really drippy, and I find that rather annoying.
- And I’d also have preferred a slightly wider range of tea choices, three black teas isn’t a lot (and herbals don’t count).
- However, kudos to the waiter for asking if we wanted milk when he took our order , because we didn’t and it saved us a bit of space on the table.
So, all in all. Cafe 21 gets a ‘recommended’ review.
And, as always, I’d love to hear more recommendations if you of anywhere that’s worth a visit.
In summary: a good afternoon.