In real life, I do discuss food exactly like how I write in my food review articles. As always my food reviews are scored only on what I've tried and the service expected of that type of establishment.
Published April 9th 2015
Update April 11th 2015
Please note this cafe is closed and no longer trading
When you enter the spot, it's just like a many other cafés. Tables, chairs etc......nothing you haven't seen before. Situated in a townhouse, it doesn't take long to spot the Mary Poppins-esque silhouette. It leads to a whole other world where you literally go up the rabbit hole.
The silhouette leads you up a staircase. Follow it past a small landing where you will see another sign that is the same. Keep following until you reach a corridor. The right leads you to a kitchen/pantry looking room where you will find a gatekeeper to the room to the left. If you have the key (ie. booking reference code, o print your receipt) you may pass.
The left corridor opens into a room filled with lace tablecloths and some olden days furniture. This is the high tea room, where you are welcome to the tea party. Bring your own mad hatter. There's a host with a bell to make important announcements concerning when each course is served. You will once again see the silhouette on the menu.
The only choice you have is the tea. Each person gets their own teapot with a knitted tea warmer. I suggest you and each of your companions choose a different tea. This enables you to try different teas and a lifesaver if you choose one that you don't like. I picked the Turkish apple which I found too sweet. I enjoyed the Monk Pear which is sweet but also has a strong bitter tea leave flavour.
It's time to play tea party detective as you try to figure out what that item is on the menu. The bottom tier is served first. An assortment of sandwiches which were salmon, ham, cheese, dill sauces and mustards on the day. 16 triangles standing up on their crusts with 4 distinct combinations. This has since inspired me to plate up my sandwiches in this manner.
The middle course comprises a selection of baked pies, quiches and sausage rolls. Meat lovers rejoice. it was some hot food that as much appreciated on a cold day. The last and top layer is a selection of sweet cakes. Chocolatey or mousse covered, take your pick. The plate was all delightful desserts. It was a shock to discover so many rich cakes when we had already been served the other two courses.
The three tiers do not look that filling. This is the single most deceptive thing about a high tea experience. The plates of food are a lot to finish and requires boxing in order to finish it at home. Time goes very quickly and the illusion is only broken when everyone is too full to have anymore of it. Even a group of four will find it hard to finish the 3 tiers of one high tea stand.