Tea for you and me

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

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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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Lynne’s Pantry

39 Surrey Street, Sheffield, S1 2LG   0114 272 7743

Tea and the famous ham roll at Lynne's Pantry. Oh, and R's crab baguette, which he also thought was very good.

In the not so distant past R and I used to live in Sheffield. And even so, we had never visited Lynne’s Pantry before. I’ve spent a while trying to cobble together a valid reason for this and failed miserably, there’s no good reason for missing out on this cafe, it’s just how the cookie crumbled.

Anyway, Lynne’s Pantry is bright and clean and feels like it should be by the seaside. There are teapots with flowers in and cute buckets with two different types of sugar. Bright white bench seating adds to the summery feel. I wanted a light and early lunch before we went to our friend’s wedding, so I thought a ham roll would be a good idea. It was already very busy and only half eleven, so if you’re making a special trip then be prepared to wait if necessary.

I wasn’t expecting much: a ham roll is just a ham roll. But this ham roll, oh my, this ham roll sang with the greatness of being a ham roll. Just enough salad and big thick slices of proper ham with a sprig of cress on top and creamy butter on granary bread.

The tea was also good: a big fat pot of tea for two with nice cups and saucers and a generous milk jug. We were trying not to eat too much so we didn’t try any of the cake, but if the cake there is anything like the ham rolls then you are in for a treat.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £2.95 for a pot for two people, £3.50ish for the heavenly ham roll and the same for the crab baguette.
Cake? Cake and scones and tarts and all sorts of lovely amazing genius things.
Go again? Definitely.

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Leopold Hotel

Afternoon tea at the Leopold Hotel

Afternoon tea at the Leopold Hotel

2 Leopold Street, Leopold Square, Sheffield, S1 2GZ

We didn’t just have tea at the Leopold Hotel, we had afternoon tea, which is an altogether different thing. Afternoon tea should include tea, sandwiches, scones and cake. It should be eaten in the afternoon and should fill you up so that you don’t even want to think about food until much later in the evening, if at all.

At the Leopold Hotel afternoon tea is served in the bar and I have to say I was at first unimpressed with this plan. The tables were bare and I couldn’t quite align bare tables with a traditional afternoon tea. I am pleased to say that as soon as we ordered afternoon tea tablecloths were produced. We all ordered Darjeeling tea and it was loose leaf and lovely. The teapots were big heavy metal ones that had been recently polished. Hot water and extra milk appeared as soon as we asked for it. The one slight problem with the afternoon tea was that it didn’t include cake, and we didn’t feel it could be properly billed as a traditional afternoon tea. The atmosphere in the hotel meant the visit felt relaxed and enjoyable.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? Yes and a choice of varieties.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £15.50 for 2 people.
Cake? Not included.
Go again? Yes.

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Cafe Moco

Tea and toast in Cafe Moco

Tea and toast in Cafe Moco

202, West St, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 4EU

Cafe Moco once had the dubious honour of being the cafe I frequented most; and I miss it. So the first stop when we made it into Sheffield was to go and have a nostalgic cup of tea in Cafe Moco. I didn’t want a full lunch so indulged my inner Paddington Bear and had a ’round’ of toast and marmalade. We discussed how much toast would constitute a ’round’ and decided it should be enough toast to fill a small toast rack. If anyone has another take on the definition of a ’round of toast’, please let me know.

The tea was hot and good and the toast was granary and good, with marmalade fit for a bear.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? No, Twinings teabag.
Milk jug? Yes, one tiny jug each.
Price? £1.20 for tea, £1.50 for toast.
Cake? Traybakes and danish pastries.
Go again? Any time I’m in Sheffield.