Tea for you and me

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


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Hungerford Arcade, 26 High Street, Hungerford, Berkshire, RG17 0NF   01488 683701   (View on map)

A view of the rafters in Rafters cafe in Hungerford Arcade

D and I were in Hungerford and looking for somewhere to have tea that I hadn’t been before, she suggested the cafe at the top of Hungerford Arcade. The cafe is called Rafters because you can see all the rafters as you are sitting in the apex of the shop. Hungerford Arcade is much bigger inside than it appears on the outside and every spare inch of space is given over to selling antiques, even the displays in the cafe are for sale.

Rafters was busy when we went in, always a good sign, and it took me a while to choose my lunch as the sandwiches, salads and pies on offer all looked good. I went for the soup in the end. D went up to inspect the cakes more closely before making her decision and said the scones looked so good she was going to have a cream tea, but with coffee instead of tea.

The staff called this a ‘cream coffee’ and though that makes logical sense, it still seems like a strange term to me. But then R did used to think that a ‘cream tea’ was tea with cream on the top, like some Frankenstein version of hot chocolate and when we ordered him an actual cream tea was disappointed that he’d already experienced it. He wasn’t disappointed for long though, as a cream tea is still a good thing.

Soup, tea and D's 'cream coffee' at Rafters

Anyway, my generous portion of soup arrived with a warmed half brown baguette and it was very tasty. D’s cream coffee arrived with a warm homemade scone, clotted cream, strawberry jam, butter and a sliced strawberry. And a filter coffee. My Earl Grey tea was a Twinings tea bag affair and there was a proper milk jug. D saved me some scone as she said the strawberry jam was very good and I had to try it – she was right, it was good. Tasting of strawberry instead of jam, an amazingly strawberry strawberry jam.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No, but Twinings teabag.
Milk jug? Yup, one for D and I to share that was actually big enough for both of us to take milk. Hurrah!
Price? £2.20 for the Earl Grey, £4.75 for the soup, £5.25 for the cream tea (or coffee).
Cake? Yes.
Go again? Yes.

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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