Tea for you and me

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

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Wally’s Kaffehaus

Wally’s Delicatessen, 38-46 Royal Arcade, Cardiff, Wales, CF10 1AE.

Visited on: Sunday 26th March 2017


Tea and teapots at Wally’s Kaffehaus (I was trying to illustrate the different sizes of pots, but apparently I’ve failed miserably as the perspective makes them seem roughly the same size).

R and I were visiting Cardiff and wanted somewhere to go for a nice cafe lunch. We came across Wally’s Kaffehaus in one of the arcades and decided to give it a try. Well, to be fair, we came across Wally’s Delicatessen and I saw the sign in the window for the Kaffehaus upstairs and we looked at the menu and decided to try it.

It only occurs to me now that once again I picked somewhere with coffee in the name, but luckily Wally’s Kaffehaus bucked the trend and also served good tea.

I had a most marvellous rooibos tea and R had Japanese Sencha. He even ordered a large pot (that the waiter said was big enough for two) because he really wanted a lot of peppermint tea. The tea was loose leaf and rather nice. I hadn’t read the menu properly and asked for milk with mine, only to find that it was delicately spiced and fruity and didn’t need milk. Most refreshing.

The food was really good. Wally’s Kaffehaus is a Viennese Kaffehaus and has lots of Austrian food. R had a sausage mixed platter (three different sausages with mustard, curry ketchup and rye bread) and I had a Styria open sandwich with the most ham in one sandwich I have ever had. It also came with cheese, pickles and mustard on rye bread and a side of delicious potato salad (all the more impressive as I don’t particularly like potato salad).

A most satisfying lunch and tea experience, with the added bonus of looking out onto the arcade of shops below. Worth a visit if you’re ever in Cardiff.

  • Teapot? Yes.
  • Leaf tea? Loose leaf tea and a teapot shaped saucer thing to put your infuser basket on once the tea was the desired strength.
  • Milk jug? Yes (not that I needed it).
  • Price? £2.10 for my small pot of tea, £3.50 for the big one, £5.95 for the sausage platter and £6.75 for the sandwich.
  • Cake? Yes and sandwiches and hot food and nice looking biscuits. I really wanted some cake, but that sandwich was quite filling.
  • Go again? Yes, I had serious food jealousy the whole time we were there and now I want to go back try everything else on the menu (including the cake).



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Units 4 & 5, Winter Garden, Surrey Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 1LH.

Visited on: Saturday 12th November 2016



The view from our table, looking up into the plants and the arched glass roof.

The Winter Garden in Sheffield is an indoor garden, housed inside a huge arched glasshouse. It’s a nice place to be and, obviously, an even better place to be if there’s tea. Zooby’s is a cafe inside the Winter Garden, with some chairs and tables next to some of the planting.

After the disappointment of Manchester cafes not wanting to sell me rooibos (hibiscus being the ‘in’ thing), it was a welcome surprise to see that Zooby’s not only sold rooibos, it was listed on the menu as a separate category (instead of being lumped in with ‘selection of herbal teas’). I ordered a large cup for the very reasonable price of £1.70.


My large rooibos tea at Zooby’s.

  • Teapot? No.
  • Leaf tea? No, but a very nice Clipper teabag.
  • Milk jug? No, but they added milk for you so none of those tiny plastic pots. Though the cups were takeaway cups (understandable in a garden cafe) and I unfortunately I didn’t have my re-usable cup with me.
  • Price? £1.70 for a large cup of rooibos tea, £1.60 for a large filter coffee and the bargain price of £1 for a small tea or small filter coffee.
  • Cake? Yes and flapjacks, crips and sandwiches.
  • Go again? Yes, it’s a lovely setting. Next time I’ll try and bring my re-usable cup.

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Another cafe to add to the wish list

Hugh Jackman is one of the people behind the Laughing Man coffee and tea company. They have a cafe in New York and it’s the cafe that’s going on my wishlist.

That’s the second cafe in New York to go on the wish list, maybe this means it’s time to go to the Big Apple? I think the cafe has been open for a year or so now – has anyone been?


Strange but true

Three of us went out for a curry the other week, it was lovely food and good fun but then we finished our main courses and L fancied some coffee (she drinks tea too, don’t worry).

The waiter presented us with a teapot and we protested that L had ordered coffee, but the waiter assured us that he knew that – this indeed was the coffee.

A specially set up 'action' shot that unfortunately does nothing to illustrate how weird having coffee come out of a teapot was.

Maybe the waiter had heard KD and I discussing the mess-with-your-mind tea latte at North Tea Power and decided to mess with our minds some more? I found it most confusing to see the teapot but smell coffee. More importantly, if you ordered tea and the teapot had previously had coffee in it, what would it taste like? Is this why some tea tastes so unusual?


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Workhouse Coffee Company

10-12 King Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 2HF.

Ciabatta, sandwich, tea and free cake at The Workhouse Coffee Company

I’ve known that the Workhouse Coffee Company has existed for a long time, but I’ve never made it there, it’s not in the centre of town and sometimes I’m just lazy. As if they knew this, they’ve now opened a second shop in the centre of town so when we went in yesterday I made my way there to see what I could see.

I think they are still getting themselves up and running, as not all the fittings looked finished, but there was a friendly feel to the inside and the staff were lovely. I had my usual fear that any café that blatantly advertises itself as selling coffee will give no consideration to the tea, but I was happily wrong. The tea came in a pot that sat on top of it’s cup, which is always something that makes me smile.

R had an egg sandwich and I had a ciabatta with tomato, chorizo and cheese. It was a very good sandwich – like a pizza, yum. And we got a free sample of cake each as they were trialling their recipes. They are very good, let me tell you! A good cup of tea and one of the few places in central Reading with nice tea pots.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £2 for a pot of tea, £11.70 for the tea, sandwich and my ciabatta.
Cake? Yes, only a couple of choices but both very good.
Go again? Yes.

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Bordeaux Quay

V-Shed Canons Way, Bristol, BS1 5UH.

Tea at Bordeaux Quay

Tea at Bordeaux Quay

Bordeaux Quay was a pub we picked at random because it looked nice. We were after tea and cake and it was a bit late on a Sunday to go to a cafe. The outside of the pub said it had a restaurant, brasserie, bar, deli, bakery and a cookery school so we figured it would have cake.

They had run out of all the interesting cake so we just had tea. They also had a good range of non-hot non-alcoholic drinks too, which is often hard to find in a pub. Sounds silly but once you’ve gone through all the combinations of lemonade and cola you sometimes get bored. They had a range of presse drinks and even non-alcoholic Erdinger.

They also gave us free bread as it had been a slow day and they hadn’t sold it. I had it with bread and honey for my dinner when we got home and it was dreamy.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? Teabag.
Milk jug? Yes but one between three and it wasn’t enough.
Price? £1.85.
Cake? Nothing left but biscuits or dry brownies.
Go again? No.

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Mada Deli

The Old Bank, 11-13 Bridge Road, Hampton Court, Surrey, KT8 9EU.

Tea at Mada Deli (with a tomato plant in the background)

Tea at Mada Deli (with a tomato plant in the background)

This road is a typical posh pretend village road, with lots of little shops but nowhere actually to do a food shop. This deli tries but it’s so expensive (£3.95 for a packet of 8 biscuits) that I don’t know how anyone could afford to shop there. Mind you, if people can afford to live here then I guess they can afford to shop here. Anywhere, to get back to my point, this deli looked like the most likely place to do interesting tea.

There were nice big solid tables and tomato plants growing up the walls. The tea they had on offer wasn’t that interesting, there was a selection of boxes but some of them were duplicates (e.g. two different brands of Earl Grey) but I picked one anyway (Earl Grey). It came in a nice pot and tasted good.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? Teabag.
Milk jug? Yes, teeny one.
Price? £1.50.
Cake? Yes, good looking cake but I was being economical so didn’t get any.
Go again? Yes.

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Ginger Two

28 St Thomas Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9HJ

Cream tea at Ginger Two

Cream tea at Ginger Two

An excellent name for a shop, it appeals to me no end but I have no idea why. It was advertised on a bicycle propped up in the street next to it and I steered us there without hesitation. Ginger Two is a cafe with a stylish home furnishing shop attached. The cafe was light and airy and had lots of cake on display, but on closer inspection it was made by another company which made me a bit sad. We had cream tea (shown here in this bizarrely soft focus photo, not sure how I did that, apologies) and it was a good end to a lovely day.

The only slightly jarring thing was that they had a lovely big teapot and little milk jugs and even a saucer thing for the teabag, but they had a teabag! I like teapigs teabags but I appreciate them when somewhere hasn’t got teapots so a teapig is the next best thing. Why do places have posh teabags and teapots? They obviously care enough to have good tea, but not enough to let it be loose leaf. Weird.

Teapot? Yes, nice big china one.
Leaf tea? No, but posh teabag. See rant above.
Milk jug? Yes, two mini ones.
Price? £1.75 each I think.
Cake? Yes and scones and ice cream and coffee.
Go again? No, want to explore some of the other places in Winchester first.

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St Peter’s Coffee Shop

St Peter’s Church, High Street, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1HQ

01672 511453

The outside view of St Peter's Church

The outside view of St Peter's Church

Firstly, thanks must go to Sean Wilson who commented on my review of The Polly Tearooms to recommend this cafe at the end of Marlborough High Street.

This church is now used as a cafe and craft shop, and the setting is incredible. Sitting in a church drinking tea and looking up at the stained glass windows and soaring arches was a calming and peaceful experience. They also sell sandwiches and basic meals including fry-ups and things with chips. Eating cheesy chips in church had a nice alliteration to it.

The craft shop inside sells high quality reasonably priced local work and is worth a look. It also sells tea, from The Wiltshire Tea Company. I bought a packet of ‘Earl Grey Lady Blue’ which is a flavour I hadn’t seen before. I haven’t tried it yet but it smells good.

Tea at St Peter's Church Coffee Shop

Tea at St Peter's Church Coffee Shop

There were also tours of the tower on the day we went, but it was such a windy day we decided to do that another day.

All in all a good place to go for tea.

Teapot? Yes and a pot of hot water.
Leaf tea? Teabag.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £2.40 for a pot of tea for two (£1.40 for a pot of tea for one).
Cake? Yes.
Go again? Yes.

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AMT Coffee, Reading Station

My cup of AMT Coffee tea

My cup of AMT Coffee tea

Station Approach, Reading, RG1 1LZ

Saturday 15th November was a good day for tea. There was lots of it, in many different places, and it was all very nice drinkable tea.

The first cup of tea (not the literally the first, just the first I paid for) was at 6.50am at Reading station. AMT Coffee have a number of little booth thingys around Reading Station and I headed to the one in the main concourse as it was the only one open that early in the morning. There are other places to buy tea in the station, but believe me when I tell you that AMT Coffee sell the best tea. It’s teabags, but they are Fairtrade Clipper teabags which also happen to be my teabag of choice.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? No, but it is fresh milk.
Price? £1.30.
Cake? Muffins, danish pastries and pretzels.
Go again? Any time I need tea in a train station.