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On Afternoon Tea at Cafe 21.

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.

Cafe 21 is located in Fenwick’s, the very lovely flagship store of the department chain.

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.

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In summary: a good afternoon.

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This entry was published on March 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm. It’s filed under Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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