Archive for the ‘Tea room / patisserie’ Category

The bean and bag cafe, Bakewell, Derbyshire

October 24, 2010

Visited: Sunday 24th October 2010

Interior: Bakewell is the kind of place that’s full of twee tea rooms, of which this is a classic example, although the menu was proper breakfasty, as you might expect in a market town full of people wearing gore-tex and carrying leki poles. It actually wasn’t really all that cute, without having the pleasures of a stripped-down caff. Like most of its ilk, tables were crammed together and staff somewhat pre-occupied. But it was a pleasant enough place to spend half an hour.

Food: I had a cheese and tomato toasty that was perfectly edible without giving any sign that the ‘local food’ revolution had reached Bakewell. Bright orange ‘farmhouse cheese’ (I wonder which body certifies the term ‘farmhouse’, non-descript tomato and standard supermarket bread was at least given the traditional accompaniment of a teaspoonsful of coleslaw, a lettuce leaf and some ready salted crisps. Decaff coffee on the other hand was rather good.


Cafe Nunu, Putney Bridge Station, Fulham

December 7, 2009

Visited: Sunday 6th December 2009

Interior: Nunu does not look particularly promising from the outside, but inside is a lovely tiled tearoom, full of period features, light and air.  The famous River Cafe (no, not that one) being closed at 3.30 on a Sunday afternoon, we were particularly pleased with the welcome, which remained sunny and welcoming even once we realised we were the last people in the caff.  The elegant toilet was also notable for the ‘Khazi’ sign *inside* the inner door.

Food: Cheese and tomato toasty was a proper breville, rather than ‘2 slices of toast with some cheese and cold tomato stuck in’. Tea was a little milky for my taste, but repeated bashing of the teabag released a good brew in the end.  The range of sandwich fillings seemed to go beyond the norm.

All in all, worth finishing a thameside walk at Putney Bridge just to go this caff.

Saltaire Village Bakery, Saltaire, West Yorkshire

April 25, 2009

Visited: Monday 13th April 2009

Interior: Upstairs the Village Bakery is exactly what you’d expect: trays of pasties, buns and loaves of bread, plus a couple of cramped tables. Downstairs it is a pleasant, naturally-lit tea room of the sort one finds in attractive places like Saltaire:  twee by caff standards but far fewer patchwork elephants and floral tea cosies than one would find in Berkshire.

Food: Breakfasts all round, including a full English plus black pudding for me. The meat all seemed very high quality, there was plenty of toast and butter and the beans did not taste of the cash and carry variety. My one gripe is that, in the heart of Yorkshire, tea was in a measly undersized mug with no top-ups. I wouldn’t have minded getting more – although being a tea room as well as a caff, it wasn’t cheap – but there was no-one around to order it from. Overall it was the kind of breakfast that feels like you need a lie-down afterwards to recover. Which is a good thing.

Patisserie Ann Marie, Ramsden Road, Balham

July 6, 2007

Visited: Monday 25th June 2007

Despite it’s name Ann Marie is as much caff as patisserie, supplying the full range of breakfasts.

Interior: Obvious efforts have been made with Paris-related posters and framed pictures on the wall. However, and this is no criticism, the tables, chairs and counter are cafe-standards. The charm of the place is provided more by details such as the display of tartlets, the terrace onto the street and polite welcome (most unparisian).

Food: I had a veggie breakfast that was a little disappointing. The eggs were fine and the mushrooms delicious, but the hash brown inedible. It’s a shame, as both hash browns and veggie sausage looked to be made from scratch rather than taken from the freezer, but they had been cooked in old oil which gave them a distinctly sour taste. I also thought that it would have been a nice gesture not to charge me for an additional cup of tea. However, it was a nice quiet spot and a most welcome breakfast.