Harvey Nichols, The Mailbox, 31/32 Wharfside Street, Birmingham, B1 1RE. (View on map)
I wanted some good tea and we were heading to The Mailbox for lunch anyway, so trying the Espresso Cafe inside Harvey Nichols seemed like the best way of combining the two. It was much smaller than expected and quite busy but we managed to get a table for four and then added more chairs as more people arrived.
There was a range of tea on the menu – the usual suspects plus a Lemon Verbeena – and between us we sampled Earl Grey, Darjeeling and English Breakfast. It was teabag tea, but they were Harvey Nichols teabags so I feel that makes them more exciting. The cups had black and white photos of glamorous people on – the majority of cups had some scantily clad ladies in bikinis with surf boards.
The teapots were metal but they were placed in a precise manner with each lid slightly off. I have been asked to note that the teapots did not drip, but that the milk jugs did. HR also complained that the handles of the cups were so small you burned your fingers.The cutlery was also very neatly presented and was a nice quality – Arthur Price (yes, I’m afraid I am the kind of person that checks the cutlery when I go out to drink tea).
Leaf tea? No, but a Harvey Nicholls teabag.
Milk jug? Yes, a tiny milk jug each.
Price? £2.60 – a bit steep for Birmingham but I was in Harvey Nicholls, so what do you expect.
Cake? I seem to remember some cake somewhere, but I couldn’t tell you what it was. There was a full menu and you could have a meal if you wanted one.
Go again? Yes, I’ve had trouble finding good tea in Birmingham and so this is now my default tea place if I go there again.