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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Cafe Zest, High Wycombe

Cafe Zest is the name of a chain of cafes situated inside House of Fraser stores. Reading House of Fraser used to have one but then they decided to turn it into a Yo! Sushi bar instead. Not that I dislike sushi, I just liked the Cafe Zest tea and cake more. And the novelty value of food on conveyor belts still hasn’t worn off yet. But this is all beside the point.

So, anyway, we’re in High Wycombe in the brand shiny new Eden shopping centre (they’re raising expectations quite high there, naming a shopping centre after paradise) looking for somewhere that might offer a proper cup of tea. House of Fraser seemed the most likely option and we headed inside accordingly. Cafe Zest is on the top floor, with the most amazing view of the hills surrounding High Wycombe, even on a grey rainy day like this one.

The cakes on display looked good, and I didn’t even mind they were advertising Christmas food this early as the Christmas food was grilled panatone and mince pies. We chose a piece of chocolate covered orange cake to share and I ordered a pot of tea. The pot was metal but with a spout that is actually designed for pouring and the milk came in a jug. Not only that, but next to the teaspoons was a beautiful mound of freshly cut lemon segments. I don’t even like lemon in my tea and even I wanted one.

The cake was lovely but very rich and left an alarmingly luminous glow on the plate after we’d eaten it. It looked like we’d coloured in our crockery with highlighters, really very peculiar. I have to say, it did taste good, whatever they put in it.

Teapot? Metal, but able to be poured without spills.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Yes, small but perfectly formed.
Price? £1.50 ish.
Cake? Yes, lots of it.
Go again? Yes, just for the view.

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Mapledurham House and Mill

Outside the tea room at Mapledurham House and Mill

Outside the tea room at Mapledurham House and Mill

It hasn’t been the best couple of weeks for tea drinking, I’ve just spent too much time at work to be able to indulge. There has been one ray of tea-coloured sunshine though, on the only sunny day in September that I didn’t have to be at work I managed to get to Mapledurham House and Mill. This is described as a ‘historic Thameside house and watermill’ and it was the perfect setting for some outdoors tea drinking. It’s also famous for being the setting of the film ‘The eagle has landed’ and starring in ‘The Fisher King’ episode of Midsummer Murders. Donald Sutherland and John Nettles have been here, what more reason do you need to go visit?

We went for a look round the mill first, I love mills, especially when they let you walk around inside and climb stairs like this one does. Mapledurham is the last working mill on the river Thames and you can arrive by boat if you so desire. We also had a look round the house and then headed back to the tea area. If the weather isn’t so bad you can sit indoors in one of two rooms, one of which has a portrait of the Queen Mum on the wall (this was much appreciated by BF).

The tea was not the best I’ve ever had, but the setting more than made up for it. It was warm and sunny and peaceful, I felt relaxed.

Teapot? Yes, two big metal teapots. This was proper tea.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Yes, with an offer of a refill if we needed it.
Price? Can’t remember but around £11 for 5 teas and 3 pieces of cake.
Cake? Yes, home made. And scones and cream. I went for a tub of Ginger and Honey Beechdean Ice Cream and it was delicious.
Go again? Definitely.