Tea for you and me

Join me on my epic quest to find the best tea ever


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Unit 14, Liverpool Street Station, London, EC2M 7QH

Tea and a cappuccino in Ponti's

Ponti’s is a chain of ‘counter service’ restaurants that you normally see in train stations, shopping centres etc and I hadn’t been to one for ages but L and I wanted somewhere to wait as we were early. We bought a tea and a cappuccino and got two stamps on our loyalty card (which we were given without asking for it – impressive). As we were meeting a number of other people we came up with the cunning plan (so we thought) of getting everyone to use the same card and seeing if we could get a free drink by the end of the visit. It wasn’t to be, as when DM turned up and bought tea he was told he couldn’t get a stamp as it wasn’t coffee. This puzzled us as we’d already used it for tea once, but never mind, the coffee loyalty card is a mystical entity – sometimes you can use it for tea and coffee, sometimes you can’t; sometimes you can get anything for free when you’ve filled it, sometimes you’re not allowed hot chocolate or anything more exciting than a filter coffee or regular tea; sometimes you need five stamps, sometimes nine and sometimes seven.

Back to the point – the tea. The tea was okay. It had the diabolical tiny plastic pots of milk but it did come in a pot and it was hot. It had a Twinings Everyday teabag but I couldn’t taste that, it just tasted metallic, but it wasn’t awful. And only £1.30 which gave it many points in a cafe in a big train station.

Proud assertion of the filming of Mission Impossible inside Ponti's cafe.

I headed to the toilet after my pot of tea and had to go through the function room to get to it. There on the wall to my left a shiny brass plaque caught my eye: ‘The film MISSON IMPOSSIBLE starring Tom Cruise was filmed here on 29th July 1995’. This reads initially as if the whole film was filmed here and I’m pretty sure, though I admit to not seeing the film since it first came out, that it involved more locations than a train station cafe. I’m also not sure the bit with Tom Cruise in was the bit in this cafe, but perhaps I’m wrong. Anyone seen Mission Impossible recently and can remember this? Let me know. It did give me a buzz of star quality though and goes on my mental list of other celebrity tea encounters such as seeing David Walliams at Ladurée and drinking tea in Cafe Delicious while Kirsty and Phil were filming ‘Location, Location, Location’ a few shops down. Okay, so it goes on the bottom of my mental list, but it’s still on there.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No, but Twinings Everyday teabag.
Milk jug? No, tiny plastic pots.
Price? £1.30 for the tea, £2.10 for the cappuccino.
Cake? Not when we went, but then it was in the morning. Danish pastries and muffins etc.
Go again? Yes, nice and cheap and spacious for a train station.



Author: tealeaves

I like tea and if possible, I'd like it to be loose leaf rooibos in a pot served with milk in a little jug. I'll try and find the places that do this and I'll tell you what they're like. Let me know if you can think of any cafes I haven't covered, I'll get to them if I can.

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