Tea for you and me

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

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The Rowbarge

Station Road, Woolhampton, Berkshire, RG7 5SH

Brioche bread and butter pudding with custard, a pot of Earl Grey tea and a hot chocolate at The Rowbarge

Somewhere in West Berkshire is a pub I occasionally used to drive past. I seem to remember it was by a level crossing and that it looked lovely. I described this to J and she said she thought she knew the one I meant so we arranged to meet up at The Rowbarge. It turned out not to be the one I was thinking of, but it was very lovely. It’s on the banks of the Kennet and Avon canal and has a gorgeous outside seating area, bit cold for us at the time but I imagine in the summer it’s heaven.

The food was gastro pub style and tasty, with a range of prices so we managed to have main courses around £8, though the prices headed up to £15. Naturally I ordered tea after our main meal and we also shared a brioche bread and butter pudding with custard that was a good hearty pudding. The tea came in a pot with a Twinings tea bag and was a good cup of tea, though there was only Breakfast or Earl Grey to choose from (I’m sorry but fruit teas are not teas, they’re infusions, unless they are actually tea with fruit but they weren’t in this case). J’s hot chocolate was also approved of.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? Twinings tea bag.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £1.75 for a pot of tea, £2 for hot chocolate, £4.25 for bread and butter pudding.
Cake? No, just puddings and main meals, starters etc.
Go again? Yes, they were advertising a two course Sunday lunch for £14.95 and that seems like a good plan to me.


The teashop by the canal

The Stone Building, The Wharf, Newbury, Berkshire.   01635 522609

An array of teapots in The teashop by the canal

An array of teapots in The teashop by the canal

The Stone Building is next to the Kennet and Avon canal and is owned by the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust. There used to be a cafe and shop selling canal related things in there but then it closed down. Just recently it reopened as ‘The teashop by the canal’. It was recommended to me as somewhere I needed to visit in order to put it on here, so I dutifully went to check it out.

Inside the teashop is filled with mismatched tables and chairs and pretty objects everywhere. It’s a family run business and there are handwritten messages on the walls from one member of the family to another. One I particularly liked was the message above the door reminding someone not to forget things. There’s also chairs and tables outside next to the canal so you can watch the ducks and narrowboats as you enjoy your tea. A sideboard held the cake selection and there was a cake stand with a variety of cupcakes on the windowsill. The dresser with the large selection of proper cups and saucers made me cross my fingers that this would be a good place for tea. The menu telling me that all their tea was loose leaf and from Taylors of Harrogate proved me right.

Perfect tea at The teashop by the canal

Perfect tea at The teashop by the canal

I chose chocolate cake and China Rose tea and V picked a different one. When our tea was served it came in a little pot each with a separate tea strainer each. The tea was delicate and light and smelled wonderfully of roses and summer afternoons. The cake was good and the location is good too. I love going to Delicious… and the chocolate brownies there are still the best I’ve ever tasted, but the loose leaf tea here knocks it off the number one spot on my top five places to enjoy tea.

Teapot? Yes and pretty china tea cup and saucer.
Leaf tea? Yes, Taylors of Harrogate.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £1.95 a pot.
Cake? Yes and cupcakes. And main meals and sandwiches and ice cream and coffee.
Go again? Without a doubt.