Tea for you and me

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

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Vegivores Natural Kitchen


View from our table at Vegivores Natural Kitchen

I’d already been to Vegivores Natural Kitchen for an evening meal the week before (delicious nachos, pad thai and chocolate brownie) and wanted to come back in the daytime to try the tea as I’d spotted rooibos on the menu. S was happy to oblige as he wanted to try the brunch.

I fancied toast rather than cake so that’s what I ordered, along with rooibos tea, of course. S had smashed avocado on toast and rooibos tea. The tea came in a glass pot and was loose leaf. I had soya milk with mine (Vegivores is a vegan eatery so no cows milk here) and it was a very good cup of tea. My sourdough toast came in two huge slabs with delightfully tart raspberry jam. S had an equally big portion of avocado on toast which he said was very good.


Loose leaf rooibos tea with sourdough toast and avocado on toast at Vegivores Natural Kitchen.

I really liked Vegivores, all the things I look for in a good place to drink tea are here: plants, lots of natural light, a toilet, comfortable seating, friendly staff, good choice of food, and loose leaf tea in a pot.

  • Teapot? Yes, a generously sized glass one. A minor niggle was that there was no saucer, so we had to balance our teaspoons on our teapots.
  • Leaf tea? Yes.
  • Milk jug? Yes.
  • Price? £2.95 for a pot of tea, £2.50 for toast and jam, £6.95 for smashed avocado on toast.
  • Cake? Yes, four different cakes, flapjack, croissants. Plus brunch at the weekend and if you go in the evening then lots of main meal choices too.
  • Go again? Already planning my next visit.

Vegivores Natural Kitchen: 41 St Martin’s Precinct, Church Street, Caversham, Reading, RG4 8BA.

Visited on: Saturday 16th November 2019

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Gardens of Caversham


Light and bright Gardens of Caversham

It’s an odd name for a cafe with no outdoor space, but maybe the people who run it have the surname Gardens? It also doesn’t have any obvious signage so I’d gone past it a few times when it first opened before realising it was there. On the day I visited it had an A-board outside making it easier to spot.

It’s a bright, light space with tables in an L shape along the window and one wall, with a large counter that included a glass section holding lots of lovely looking things to eat. There were also uncovered brownies on the top of the counter. There were no prices on anything and no signs saying what the food was, but the staff were very friendly and willing to tell me what was what.

I asked which brownie I should go for and was recommended the salted caramel brownie. You pick up the food from the counter once you’ve paid. I had taken the brownie back to my table and was getting on with some writing when the friendly server came and switched it for one that he said was fresher, which I appreciated.

My salted caramel brownie had proper chunks of caramel in the bottom and was rich and indulgent (like all good brownies should be).  I had a mug of decaf tea as they didn’t have any redbush tea. It’s a shame the tea only comes in mugs (especially at £2.50 for teabag tea in a mug, which is a little expensive for Reading), but with sacks of coffee beans everywhere there is a focus on coffee rather than tea. I have been told (by people that drink coffee) that the coffee here is good.


Salted caramel brownie, little milk bottle of soya milk and a mug of decaf tea at Gardens of Caversham

I would recommend Gardens of Caversham to anyone that likes coffee and wants somewhere quiet to contemplate things.

  • Teapot? No, just a plain mug with a little saucer to put the teabag on.
  • Leaf tea? No.
  • Milk jug? Yes, a little milk bottle.
  • Price? £2.50 for a mug of tea, £3.69 for the brownie.
  • Cake? Yes, three different brownies and other cake things. Also quiches and sausage rolls.
  • Go again? Maybe if I was going with someone who liked coffee or wanted somewhere quiet to sit and work. If it started serving redbush tea in a pot then I would definitely be back.

Gardens of Caversham: 15 Bridge Street, Caversham, Reading, RG4 8AF

Visited on: Wednesday 2nd October 2019

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Tipsy bean

18 Prospect Street, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire, RG4 8JB.

wp-1476990122244.jpgTipsy bean (great name) is a cafe/bar in Caversham, where the old Wordplay bookshop and toy shop used to be. It’s a long space with the bar along one side towards the back. The windows onto the street give light to the tables at the front, while the area near the bar is quite dark, but it feels nice and cosy rather than oppressive. The seating matches the change in light – with upholstered grey/cream chairs near the window and a long red leather bench opposite the bar. With dried flower bunches hanging above the bar, red Gerberas on the tables and jam jar style lamps, Tipsy bean has a welcoming feel.

The menu said that they had lots of tea and they certainly seem to – they had rooibos at least and quite a few other varieties (all in boxes on a high shelf at the back of the bar). I wanted to sample their cake, but unfortunately they’d run out.

My tea came in a mug, with a milk jug and a little plate with a sugar. It was a good mug of tea and I enjoyed my visit.

  • Teapot? No.
  • Leaf tea? No, but Waitrose rooibos teabags, which I’m quite partial to (Tick Tock and Clipper are my other favourites, just so you know).
  • Milk jug? Yes.
  • Price? £2.
  • Cake? No (sob). But platters (smoked salmon, veggie, meat) and sandwiches and breakfast and nuts and nibbles.
  • Go again? Yes, both because I liked it and because I’d like to try the cake and the veggie platter.

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Siblings Home

16 Hemdean Road, Caversham, Reading, RG4 7SX.

Visited on: Sunday 20th September 2015

Tea and knitting at Siblings Home

Our tea, knitting, spinning and cakes at Siblings Home.

Siblings Home middle room

The middle room at Siblings Home.

Siblings Home opened in February 2015 and despite often walking around this area, I didn’t know it existed until someone at Outcasts mentioned it to me. Once I heard about it, and once everyone else there who hadn’t been had heard about it too, we decided we needed to visit. And so the monthly ‘Knit brunch’ session (every third Sunday) was moved to Siblings Home, so that we could all experience it.

Brownie and tea at Siblings home

Brownie, caramel tart and pot of rooibos for two at Siblings Home.

I thoroughly enjoyed being at Siblings Home. They sell homewares and it makes for a homely feel. There was loose leaf rooibos (hurrah!) and you could have it in a pot for one, or two or even three, with it being cheaper to share a pot. Some cafes are sneaky and offer you a big pot (that’s sometimes not even especially big) with no discount.

Back room at Siblings Home

Some more things for sale in the little room at the back at Siblings Home.

I had a pot of rooibos tea and held off the cakes until later on, as I had eaten breakfast relatively recently. When I did head for the cake, I went for the chocolate brownie. Apparently I’ve lost my ability to make a varied choice when it comes to cakes. I do apologise if this is making the blog posts less interesting.

It might help to know that the brownie was very good, with chunks of chocolate and raisins in it. The raisins added an extra dimension to the brownie and left me wondering why I’d never come across the combination before. Forget chocolate covered raisins, this was chocolate brownie covered raisins.

We all had such a good time eating and drinking our way through the menu (between us we managed to sample every cake they had and all reported excellent results) that two of us stayed longer than our knitting session and had lunch there too.

We moved to a different table for lunch, because it had turned sunny and we wanted one near a window. There are three rooms in Siblings Home and each has a different feel to it. When you go, make sure you have a look round all the space before you pick a table. When you go the time after that, pick a different table and enjoy the difference.

Siblings Home

View of where we sat for lunch at Siblings Home.

Door view at Siblings Home

View out of the door at Siblings Home (I got a bit snap happy at Siblings Home, can you tell?).

Lunch at Siblings Home

Piadinas for lunch at Siblings Home.

Lunch was a toasted Piadina (flatbread) with Spanish chorizo, Jarlsberg and mushrooms inside. It was very tasty, though not very big. As a light lunch after a chocolate brownie, it did very well.

  • Teapot? Yes.
  • Leaf tea? Yes.
  • Milk jug? Yes, though technically it was a little glass bottle for the milk. Having glass bottles for the milk is definitely the current trend in cafes. There are a few I’ve been to recently that do this.
  • Price? £2.30 for pot of tea for one, £3.50 for pot of tea for two, £5.20 for pot of tea for four. I haven’t made a note of how much the brownie was but I think it was £2 something.
  • Cake? Yes, four different types of cake. Between us I think we had one of everything: chocolate brownie, cheesecake, caramel tart and pistachio topped chocolate brownie. I’ve been back recently and the cake was different, so I think they change the cake offered.
  • Go again? I already have and I plan to go again soon.

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The Tea Kiosk

Caversham Court, Church Road, Caversham, Reading.  Please note the tea kiosk is only open Thursday-Sunday (and Bank Holidays), April – October.

The view of the first section of Caversham Court, with the 'footprint' of the old house.

The Tea Kiosk is a tea kiosk in Caversham Court. Caversham Court is a bit of Caversham owned by the council – the gardens were redeveloped with lottery funding in 2008 and opened to the public in 2009. The kiosk is in the gardens and run by different charities with the profits going to those charities. A nice example of community partnership working and tea. There is also a Friends group and more info about the gardens can be found on their website.

Mug of tea and custard Danish (my favourite kind of Danish pastry) at The Tea Kiosk in Caversham Court Gardens.

I’ve gone a bit photo happy here as the gardens are beautiful. They lead down to the river and are well worth a visit. There are toilets in the gardens and this, along with the tea kiosk, makes it a great place to visit.

There were a selection of drinks available the day I went, including tea, coffee, hot chocolate and squash. Also a selection of homemade cakes and some Danish pastries. Yum. Very cheap too – everything was £1. As the kiosk is run by different charities on different days, I’m not sure if these prices stay the same every day, but I’m sure there won’t be too much difference.

View of the Thames from my table.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Milk added by the lovely kiosk ladies.
Price? £1 for tea, £1 for any bit of cake.
Cake? Yes – and all homemade.
Go again? Yes, but it’s only open Thurs-Sun (and Bank Holidays), April-October so I probably won’t be heading down here until 2011 now.

View of the kiosk (far left) from another bit of the garden.

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Warings Bakery

32d Church Street, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire, RG4 8AU     0118 946 4749

Perfect mince pie and tea at Warings Bakery

Warings is a small chain of family bakeries based in Reading. They are also one of the few that still actually make the things they sell on the premises. A lot of other chains bake the products on the premises but they don’t make it there. It comes in from somewhere else and they just stick it in the oven. Warings does things properly and it smells good when you walk past, what more could you want?

I realised that it was almost halfway through December and I hadn’t yet had a mince pie. Warings seemed the place to get one so I went in. They had a choice of normal shortcrust pastry mince pies or Viennese style mince pies. I chose a Viennese style as it has crumbly pastry and they heated it up for me. It was my perfect first mince pie.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £2.50 for tea and mince pie, I think.
Cake? Yes and soup, jacket potatoes etc.
Go again? Yes.

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The Griffin

10-12 Church Road, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire, RG4 7AD.

Tea-total tea at the Griffin

Tea-total tea at the Griffin

We had been wandering along the river Thames and thought a trip to the pub would be very good. So we headed over the bridge and went to The Griffin. The Griffin is an old fashioned looking pub with beams and nooks, comfy seats and hops pinned to the ceiling. It’s also got an outside seating area but the weather was so good we couldn’t get a seat. Inside I decided what I really fancied was a pot of tea. I’m fine with ordering tea in pubs and bars, most places that serve food will serve you tea and the worst that can happen is that they say no.

Years ago, before every pub was open in the morning and had a coffee machine next to the spirits, a friend and I were at a gig in a pub in Kingston. We really wanted some tea, so we thought we’d take a chance and ask at the bar. They didn’t serve it, but we must have looked disappointed as the barman went upstairs to his flat, made us some tea in two of his mugs, and charged us 50p each. Standing at the back of the crowd watching the gig with a mug of tea is one of my fondest gig memories. Ah.

Anyway, R took some persuading that asking for tea at the bar wasn’t going to be frowned upon, but he did and I was very pleased with the result. The best bit, in my opinion, was that the teapot had a picture of a tea pot on the side and ‘ttotal’ underneath. Excellent.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? Not sure, but less than £2.
Cake? No, but pudding and food etc.
Go again? Yes.

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Alto Lounge

32-32a Church Street, Caversham, Reading, RG4 8AU

Another blurry picture of tea, this time at the Alto Lounge.

Another blurry picture of tea, this time at the Alto Lounge.

Caversham seems to be sprouting places to drink tea at an alarming rate. I say go for it, and hope the crunch doesn’t bite. Alto Lounge is part of a chain of ‘Loungers’ and was a friendly place to be on a Sunday lunchtime. It had board games and newspapers and lots of helpful staff who cooked us some lovely food. We’ll be going again.

Teapot? Yes, generously sized metal one.
Leaf tea? Teabag.
Milk jug? A mini one just for me.
Price? £1.50
Cake? A big glass cabinet of home made looking brownies and muffins and biscuits.
Go again? Yes.

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42 Church Street, Caversham, Reading, RG4 8AU


Tea at Thelis! Apologies for the terrible blurriness.

Going to Caversham and not going to Delicious… to get my tea fix felt like adultery. I considered not going at all. But it’s a place that sells tea and the quest takes priority.

There was a cafe deli here before, but it closed down a year or so ago. It’s good to see a new business here and nice that it’s another cafe. The tea was okay, nothing to rival Delicious… and nothing to make me go back.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? Twinings Everday teabags.
Milk jug? No, it came with milk in it.
Price? £1.40, I think.
Cake? Some.
Go again? No.



10, Prospect St, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire RG4 8JG    0118 947 741

Tea and a chocolate brownie at Delicious...

Tea and a chocolate brownie at Delicious...

I’ve briefly mentioned this cafe on here before, but I like it so much I think it deserves re-posting. The owner of this cafe makes all the cakes herself, and the soups and sandwiches and everything fresh and it all lives up to it’s name. The chairs and sofas are comfy, there’s an outside area with daffodils and parasols, and newspapers to browse through as well. And if that wasn’t enough, they have a loyalty card too!

This is the best place to get tea in the Reading area and sells the most amazing chocolate brownies. I have never tasted chocolate brownies so good. I even started to make my own to recreate that homemade taste, but I can’t do it. Once, I came in and the brownies had just gone in the oven. I spun out my pot of tea for an hour until they were ready to eat. Now I get told of the brownie situation without having to ask. If you ever come this way, go to this cafe and ask for the brownies.

Teapot? Yes, white china and big enough for 3 and a half cups. Matching cup and saucer.
Leaf tea? No, but fairtrade teabag.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? A lovely £1.50 for a whole pot and a bargin £1.45 for a brownie.
Cake? Yes, tasty and homemade. Scones, salads, sandwiches and afternoon tea available as well. The best chocolate brownies I’ve ever tasted. Oh, ice cream too!
Go again? At least once a week.