Cafe Zest is the name of a chain of cafes situated inside House of Fraser stores. Reading House of Fraser used to have one but then they decided to turn it into a Yo! Sushi bar instead. Not that I dislike sushi, I just liked the Cafe Zest tea and cake more. And the novelty value of food on conveyor belts still hasn’t worn off yet. But this is all beside the point.
So, anyway, we’re in High Wycombe in the brand shiny new Eden shopping centre (they’re raising expectations quite high there, naming a shopping centre after paradise) looking for somewhere that might offer a proper cup of tea. House of Fraser seemed the most likely option and we headed inside accordingly. Cafe Zest is on the top floor, with the most amazing view of the hills surrounding High Wycombe, even on a grey rainy day like this one.
The cakes on display looked good, and I didn’t even mind they were advertising Christmas food this early as the Christmas food was grilled panatone and mince pies. We chose a piece of chocolate covered orange cake to share and I ordered a pot of tea. The pot was metal but with a spout that is actually designed for pouring and the milk came in a jug. Not only that, but next to the teaspoons was a beautiful mound of freshly cut lemon segments. I don’t even like lemon in my tea and even I wanted one.
The cake was lovely but very rich and left an alarmingly luminous glow on the plate after we’d eaten it. It looked like we’d coloured in our crockery with highlighters, really very peculiar. I have to say, it did taste good, whatever they put in it.
Teapot? Metal, but able to be poured without spills.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Yes, small but perfectly formed.
Price? £1.50 ish.
Cake? Yes, lots of it.
Go again? Yes, just for the view.