Tea for you and me

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

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Sally Lunn’s

Sally Lunn’s House, 4 North Parade Passage, Bath, BA1 1NX.

Tea and tomato soup with a Sally Lunn bun at Sally Lunn's

Tea and tomato soup with a Sally Lunn bun at Sally Lunn's

Before we go any further, I would just like to say that this is the 100th review on this site. 100! We should all be very proud. I think it’s fitting that Sally Lunn’s is the 100th review as it is hundreds of years old. That’s a tenuous connection but it’s all I can think of. Let me know if you have a better one.

I would say that Sally Lunn’s is relatively famous for a tea room. It’s been around for hundreds of years and is famous for the type of bun that they serve, that Sally Lunn invented. It’s a cross between a bap and a brioche and tastes good. I have tasted the Sally Lunn bun before, when D very kindly bought me one last time we were in Bath. We didn’t have time to go in properly though.

This time my meeting finished with enough time for me to go and have lunch somewhere before I caught the train. I headed back to Sally Lunn’s to see if I could get a table. There was a queue which surprised me, but then I remembered it was half term, so not that surprising. The house is old and timbered and creaky with three floors, all with a room to eat in. I was on the top floor and it was full.

I was trying to be good and not eat cake for my lunch, which is what I usually do when I’m reviewing somewhere at lunchtime. It’s not as cheap as a cafe, so I picked a cheaper soup instead: tomato and basil. It was very good soup and the bun was good too. I could have done with more bun, but to be fair it does clearly state on the menu how much you would get with it so I should have just ordered extra. It’s a proper tea room, how do I know this? It had house blend tea and I was brought a pot of hot water without even asking.

Teapot? Yes, and the all important pot of hot water.
Leaf tea? Yes.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £1.68 for the tea, £4.58 for the soup.
Cake? Sally Lunn buns with cinnamon butter or chocolate butter or spreads etc, and cakes, and main meals.
Go again? Yes, I’d like to try a bun with something sweet on it.

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Café Älvan & Kungen

Västra gatan 62, 44231 Kungälv, Sweden.

Tea and a hot cinnamon bun at Kafe

Tea and a hot cinnamon bun at Cafe Alvan & Kungen

I had never been to Sweden before and I knew I wanted to find places to blog about while I was there but I admit I was nervous. Going to Germany made me more aware of how differently the rest of Europe can treat tea compared to how we treat it. Anyway, I’m not ashamed to admit I packed some Clipper Fair Trade teabags in my luggage.

Heading out into Kungälv, the local town, I wanted to go to the local knitting shop and find some tea. I found the knitting shop and having spent far too much of my spending money in there I decided to go to the cafe next door as it had outside tables and was the busiest on the main street. The street this cafe was on had the highest proportion of cafes I’ve ever seen anywhere before. For every three shops, there was a cafe. They all congregated on the same side of the street so when walking down and looking to your left it was just a long line of cafes. Most coffee orientated but still, an impressive array that fitted in with the generalisations I’d heard about Swedes and their love of coffee.

The cafe owner spoke English and I asked what tea they had, he recommended one and I decided to try it. I asked to have one of the buns on display and he explained it was cinnamon and that it would taste better warm so he heated it up for me. I sat outside and he brought them out. All the cups in the cafe were big and beautiful. I tried to find some like it to buy and bring home but failed. The tea was black with fruit and flowers and came without milk but it was made with freshly boiled water and was loose leaf so I was happy.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? Yes, in one of those egg things.
Milk jug? No milk with this tea.
Price? 44 krona for tea and a bun.
Cake? Yes and lots of it.
Go again? Yes, but only if I happen to be in the area again.