Tea for you and me

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


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Restaurang Drott

Kungsplan, 44030 Marstrand, Sweden

Hot water, tea bag selection and honey

Hot water, tea bag selection and honey

After our very sickly but excellent Princess Cake at Bergs Konditori we went for a walk round the island. It was beautiful but a bit nippy and began to rain. Walking round the corner of a house we saw a hotel that looked like it might have tea and a cake or something.

There was no cake but there was a Smörgåsboard (buffet style meal) with six different types of herring, so we had that and I had some tea. Herring was good. Tea was disappointing as another mug of hot water plus tea bags, but good in that the water was hot, they offered a refill and a pot of honey too.

View from our table

View from our table

Amazing view too. Peaceful and perfect end to a brilliant island day.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? No, but hot water.
Milk jug? No, but pot of honey.
Price? 220 krona for 1 tea, 1 latte and two meals.
Cake? Pickled herring, anyone?
Go again? Yes, but for the herring, not the tea.


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Bergs Konditori

Hamngatan 9, 44030 Marstrand, Västra Götland, Sweden.

A view of the cake from inside the cafe

A view of the cake from inside the cafe

Marstrand is an island, one of the many islands that edge Sweden. It’s very near to the mainland but we still caught a ferry to get there. It’s beautiful. The coastline is very different from the UK as there is no craggy rocks, everything is smooth and round and looks like it should be soft.

Our hostess had talked about ‘Princess Cake’ which is a traditional Swedish cake. It has layers of cake, custard and cream with bright green marzipan on top. Not sure why it’s called Princess Cake but my Mum and I had to try some before we left Sweden. We were headed to Marstrand and our hostess told us that we could find Princess Cake at Bergs Konditori, which is why we sought it out. It was indeed there, though it had an unexpected layer of jam, which apparently a new trend and means it should be called something else which I’ve forgotten, not Princess Cake.

A view of the sea from outside the cafe

A view of the sea from outside the cafe

The cafe had outside seating but it was all full when we went in, so my first photo above is of the inside. I’ve put it on here so you can see the green-ness of the interior which I think reflects the cake well. After we ordered one of the tables became free so we moved outside. One of the trends in Sweden which I loved was that they loved sitting outside. The cold was not a problem, almost all of the cafes had piles of blankets by the door so you could wrap yourself up. My Mum and I sat on the bench looking at the view with fleece blankets over our knees.

The cake was superb, a bit like trifle in an odd way, but very light and creamy. We would call it a gateaux here. I ate mine and then felt sick, but it was so worth it. The tea was the worst I had while in Sweden. The tea was loose leaf and in an egg thing, but the water was in a coffee pot on a hob and wasn’t boiling. Was stewed and flat and ugh. Not good.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? Yes but horrid warm water.
Milk jug? No.
Price? 107 krona for 2 pieces of Princess cake, one tea and one coffee.
Cake? Yes, and buns and biscuits and anything else you can think of.
Go again? To the island but maybe not to this cafe.


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Åhléns City

Ahlens City, Nordstan Shopping Centre, Göteborg

Tea and pie and vanilla sauce at Ahlens City

Tea and pie and vanilla sauce at Åhléns City

I’d just arrived in Göteborg (Gothenburg) and was very tired from the day before, I needed some tea. The bus station led into a shopping centre and this is where I looked for tea. I tried the first place that looked like it might have a good selection: Åhléns City. This is a big department store that has many floors and a supermarket in the basement. The cafe looked like a bar more than a cafe and had a narrow selection of tea and cake, I think probably because it was almost lunchtime. I sat on the balcony as it was lighter and took a photo looking over the shopping centre but you can’t really see the scale of it.

I chose a pie tart thing with berries and they offered it hot with vanilla sauce which I accepted. Vanilla sauce is a strange thing, when I asked the people we were staying with they said it was custard, but it’s not custard. Not as we understand it anyway. It tasted like whipped melted ice cream and I loved it. It went perfectly with the tart flavour of the berries.

The tea was normal European tea, in a glass in a tea egg thing. I missed milk and strong black tea.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? Yes, in one of those egg things.
Milk jug? No milk with this tea.
Price? Tea and pie came to 45 krona.
Cake? Some.
Go again? No.


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Café Älvan & Kungen

Västra gatan 62, 44231 Kungälv, Sweden.

Tea and a hot cinnamon bun at Kafe

Tea and a hot cinnamon bun at Cafe Alvan & Kungen

I had never been to Sweden before and I knew I wanted to find places to blog about while I was there but I admit I was nervous. Going to Germany made me more aware of how differently the rest of Europe can treat tea compared to how we treat it. Anyway, I’m not ashamed to admit I packed some Clipper Fair Trade teabags in my luggage.

Heading out into Kungälv, the local town, I wanted to go to the local knitting shop and find some tea. I found the knitting shop and having spent far too much of my spending money in there I decided to go to the cafe next door as it had outside tables and was the busiest on the main street. The street this cafe was on had the highest proportion of cafes I’ve ever seen anywhere before. For every three shops, there was a cafe. They all congregated on the same side of the street so when walking down and looking to your left it was just a long line of cafes. Most coffee orientated but still, an impressive array that fitted in with the generalisations I’d heard about Swedes and their love of coffee.

The cafe owner spoke English and I asked what tea they had, he recommended one and I decided to try it. I asked to have one of the buns on display and he explained it was cinnamon and that it would taste better warm so he heated it up for me. I sat outside and he brought them out. All the cups in the cafe were big and beautiful. I tried to find some like it to buy and bring home but failed. The tea was black with fruit and flowers and came without milk but it was made with freshly boiled water and was loose leaf so I was happy.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? Yes, in one of those egg things.
Milk jug? No milk with this tea.
Price? 44 krona for tea and a bun.
Cake? Yes and lots of it.
Go again? Yes, but only if I happen to be in the area again.