Tea for you and me

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


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Palmers Cafe

Reading Museum, The Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, RG1 1QH.   (View on map)

Fun tea related museum objects in Palmers Cafe - note the stuff on the wall as well as the amazingly brilliant Tea Tricycle.

There used to be a cafe inside Reading Musuem called ‘The Biscuit Tin’ that I always meant to post about but never got round to. I realised I’d missed my chance when they put up a sign saying it was closing and a new one would be opening, but I have managed to go and visit the new one, so perhaps all is forgiven. In keeping with the biscuit theme (Reading was the home of the famous Huntley & Palmers biscuit company) the new cafe is called ‘Palmers Cafe‘.

The new Palmers Cafe has the same food ordering and serving area, but a new seating area has been created in what used to be the area for temporary exhibitions. It’s really welcoming and friendly and makes you feel like the café is more a part of the museum than the old café. I liked it a lot.

I asked for two teas, the man serving asked if we wanted ‘tea for two’ instead. We said yes, but then a tiny teapot was put on the tray. When I questioned that this was meant to be tea for two, he explained he meant one pot between two as you can get over a cup each out of the pot. I was a bit confused and was also thinking that one cup each wasn’t enough, but agreed anyway. It turned out that he was being immensely helpful, as we hadn’t realised that the museum and therefore the café was due to shut in 15 minutes so just over a cup each was all that was really needed or we had time for.

The pot of tea for one for two at Palmers Cafe.

We spent a happy 15 minutes drinking the tea, chatting about whether or not ‘Palmers Cafe’ needed an apostrophe and looking at the Tea Tricycle.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £1.50 for a pot of tea.
Cake? Cake, traybakes, ice cream and – on the day we went – posset. I’m not sure what posset is, but I love that they sell it. If you want hot food you can get it between 12 noon and 2pm. They have sandwiches and snacks 10am – 3pm.
Go again? Definitely. The tea is very reasonably priced and the atmosphere in the seating area was very peaceful. They also had a mix of seating which I like in a cafe – sofas, armchairs or chairs. And where else are you going to see a Tea Tricycle?

 


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National Museum Cardiff

Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NP   (View on map)

View from my table of the stairs leading to the ceramics gallery.

Museums and art galleries tend to have reasonable tea, so I headed to the National Museum Cardiff to have a look around and to seek out a pot of tea. I didn’t have long to spend in Cardiff so I decided just to look at one gallery and spent my time looking at the ceramics gallery. It was peaceful and interesting, with lots of information about how the ceramics trade had flourished in Wales and how it was influenced. I’d recommend going to have a look at it.

The cafe was directly below the ceramics gallery. I’m not sure if this was a deliberate ploy so it would tie in with the tea pots on display upstairs, but I liked it all the same. As it was in Wales there were more blackboards advertising the beverages and food available than usual – as it all had to be in Welsh and English. Lots of signage in Welsh cafes.

I had a pot of tea and two Welsh cakes. I think it might have been the first time I’ve eaten Welsh cakes whilst in Wales and they were lovely. For those that have never tried a Welsh cake, I can only explain it as being a cross between a scone and a drop scone, with currants (or are they raisins?). The staff were very friendly and helpful, even though the cafe was almost full to capacity and it was a light airy place to have a cup of tea. The musuem shop also had some nice stuff in it, including some tea related items.

Tea and Welsh cakes at the National Museum Cardiff.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No, a Rosie Fairtrade teabag, which was okay.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £1.30 for tea, 65p per Welsh cake, or £2.40 for two Welsh cakes and a pot of tea (saving a grand total of 20p).
Cake? Yes, the usual suspects as well as cookies and sandwiches.
Go again? Yes, I’d like to have a proper look round the museum too.


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Röhsska Museet cafe

Vasagatan 37-39, Göteborg, Sweden

Tea at the cafe in the Rohsska Museet

Tea at the cafe in the Rohsska Museet

My favourite museum in the whole world (bearing in mind that I haven’t visited many outside of England) is the V&A museum in London. It’s a museum of design and has a wide range of collections from hats to wrought iron. When I read in my tourist information booklet that there was a design museum in Göteborg I had to go visit.

The Röhsska Museet had some things in English and one of the first things the English stuff said was that it was modelled on the V&A. I felt at home right away. It’s a great museum and if you’re ever in Göteborg you should go.

The tea was hot and in a glass again, with a tea egg thing. The cafe was long and large with wallpaper hung from the ceiling and pop art with two faces on that I don’t know but that were on books and magazines while I was in Sweden. A prize for anyone that can tell me!

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? Yes, in one of those egg things.
Milk jug? No milk with this tea.
Price? 22 krona.
Cake? Not that much but some.
Go again? Yes.


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Cafe hamngatan

Göteborgs Stadtmuseum, Norra Hamngatan 12, 411 14 Göteborg, Sweden

Tea and a view of the river and a tram at Cafe hamngatan

Tea and a view of the river and a tram at Cafe hamngatan

I was heading to the art museum when I walked past the city museum and saw a guy drinking a coffee on the outside tables in the bright sunshine. It looked inviting. I went into the museum and went round it as it looked interesting, but only briefly. One of the best things about being an adult is looking round a gallery or museum and only looking at what you want to look at, without having to fill out any worksheets!

I paid for my tea and then helped myself to a mug and saucer and hot water. I think the mug and saucer were intended for coffee as next to the hot water were glasses, but I was feeling rebellious. Among the many pots of loose leaf tea I found one called ‘Dream lovers tea’ and popped that into my tea spoon egg thing. It was black tea with flowers and very refreshing.

The cafe was light and airy but I went outside to the tables on the pavement as the sunshine was so bright. It was a Sunday morning when I went here and very quiet in the cafe and on the road outside.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? Yes, in one of those egg things.
Milk jug? No milk with this tea.
Price? 22 krona.
Cake? Yes and pastries and things.
Go again? Yes.


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Bel and The Dragon

Blakes Lock, Gas Works Road, Reading, RG1 3DH

Tea at Bel and The Dragon, with the Riverside Museum in the background

Tea at Bel and The Dragon, with the Riverside Museum in the background

As the weather was so gorgeous we headed to the Riverside Museum to see what we could see. Next door to the museum is a lovely (if out of my price range) pub and restaurant called Bel and The Dragon.

The Riverside Museum is very small but worth a look if you fancy going for a walk by the river. It has a highly decorated gypsy caravan and an ornate teapot among other things, and is in a beautiful location.

I’d recommend combining the museum and pub to make the most of your visit.

Teapot? Yes, one between two.
Leaf tea? No, unidentified teabags.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £4 for two people which seemed a bit steep as we only got two small cups each.
Cake? No, but could order desert off the menu if you really wanted.
Go again? Yes, if I’m down that way.