Lakeland Windermere, Alexandra Buildings, LA23 1BQ
Tea, scone and soup in Lakeland Windermere
I am a recovering Lakeland mail order addict. When things weren’t going well I would flick through the catalogue, then order online and be happy. The big cardboard box would arrive with all my treats and usually the free gift for spending over a certain amount. In my mail order catalogues there would normally be something at the back about their flagship store in Windermere that stocked everything and had a cafe. When we were in Windermere and I realised how near the fabled flagship store was I got very excited.
I had to stop the mail order habit as it was costing too much and the stuff I bought was taking up too much room. I moved house and never told them where I moved to so the catalogues wouldn’t follow me. I severed my ties with Lakeland. We went to the Lakeland store and it was big and shiny and marvellous. Fountains outside, free internet inside, TVs advertising Lakeland and the Lake District not only in the toilets but also in the toilet cubicles, I was impressed. I decided that the only way to avoid spending all my money was to not look round the shop at all. I walked through it all and up the stairs to the First Floor Cafe. I held firm. I was strong.
The cafe was waitress service which is a nice unusual touch in a store cafe and had a full menu. I had tea and a scone and R had tea and soup. It was a nice setting and the food and tea was okay. If you’ve never been to a Lakeland shop then go here and experience it at it’s best, with the added bonus of tea.
Leaf tea? No, but jug of hot water came without asking.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £9.25 for scone, tea for two and soup. Bog standard tea was £1.45 and special (Earl Grey) was £1.55.
Cake? Yes, some. My scone came with tiddly pot of jam.
Go again? No, it was too hard to walk through the shop and not look.
5 King Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 1DZ. 01628 622286
Cream tea at Cafe five, note the toasted scones
Cafe five is a small cafe and was the first independent cafe I came across when walking back down the main street. They had tea and fried stuff but had run out of danish pastries. The waiter noticed my crestfallen expression and offered me a cream tea instead. I accepted happily.
The cream tea was well presented and tasted very good. The scones came toasted and my first thought was that they were stale and they had been toasted to hide this, but they tasted fine. I actually quite enjoyed the hot scone with the cream and jam. The staff were friendly and I was also offered hot water to refresh my tea after I had drunk the pot.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £5 ish I think.
Cake? No, but cream tea.
Go again? Yes, but perhaps not if I fancy something sweet to eat.
The Stone Building, The Wharf, Newbury, Berkshire. 01635 522609
An array of teapots in The teashop by the canal
The Stone Building is next to the Kennet and Avon canal and is owned by the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust. There used to be a cafe and shop selling canal related things in there but then it closed down. Just recently it reopened as ‘The teashop by the canal’. It was recommended to me as somewhere I needed to visit in order to put it on here, so I dutifully went to check it out.
Inside the teashop is filled with mismatched tables and chairs and pretty objects everywhere. It’s a family run business and there are handwritten messages on the walls from one member of the family to another. One I particularly liked was the message above the door reminding someone not to forget things. There’s also chairs and tables outside next to the canal so you can watch the ducks and narrowboats as you enjoy your tea. A sideboard held the cake selection and there was a cake stand with a variety of cupcakes on the windowsill. The dresser with the large selection of proper cups and saucers made me cross my fingers that this would be a good place for tea. The menu telling me that all their tea was loose leaf and from Taylors of Harrogate proved me right.
Perfect tea at The teashop by the canal
I chose chocolate cake and China Rose tea and V picked a different one. When our tea was served it came in a little pot each with a separate tea strainer each. The tea was delicate and light and smelled wonderfully of roses and summer afternoons. The cake was good and the location is good too. I love going to Delicious… and the chocolate brownies there are still the best I’ve ever tasted, but the loose leaf tea here knocks it off the number one spot on my top five places to enjoy tea.
Teapot? Yes and pretty china tea cup and saucer.
Leaf tea? Yes, Taylors of Harrogate.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £1.95 a pot.
Cake? Yes and cupcakes. And main meals and sandwiches and ice cream and coffee.
Go again? Without a doubt.