19 Kingly Street, Soho, London, W1B 5PY.
Visited on: Saturday 13th June 2015
This was a happy accident of a tea room find. I’d been in Liberty’s, intending to go there for tea, when I suddenly decided I didn’t feel like tea there after all and wanted to find somewhere new. I wandered towards Carnaby Street and found a handy map displayed on the wall showing all the different eateries in the area. The Urban Tea Rooms seemed an auspicious name, so off I went.
The Urban Tea Rooms seems to be a cafe and bar. I wish the UK had more places like this; it makes sense to me that you could start off with tea in the afternoon and let the day stretch into an evening celebration. As long as they would still sell me tea in the evening, of course.
I have to confess that I no longer buy caffeinated tea. I know, I’m letting the side down, but that’s how it is. I still have the same exacting standards – but they now apply to rooibos (AKA redbush) and decaf tea.
The salted caramel brownie was too tempting to resist and I paired it with a pot of organic rooibos. I know that chocolate has caffeine in it and I tried to give up chocolate as well, but I couldn’t do it. A side effect of giving up caffeinated drinks is my new obsession with chocolate related things, especially chocolate brownies. This was one of the best ones I’ve had, very rich, very sweet and a good gooey consistency.
Another customer (who was getting a takeaway coffee) recommended sitting on the sofa by the door and I took her advice. It was a squashy, comfortable place to sit and people watch, but with a teeny tiny table so you had somewhere to put your hot drinks and snacks. You might feel a bit hemmed in there if it gets busy, but at the time there weren’t many people in so it was lovely.
- Teapot? Yes.
- Leaf tea? Yes, but in a tea bag – as in, they scoop in the loose leaf and put it in a tea bag. I can’t decide if this defeats the point of having loose leaf tea or not. I suppose you get better quality tea. And it tasted nice, so perhaps we’re okay after all.
- Milk jug? Yes.
- Price? £2.80 for a pot of organic Redbush tea (one of the most expensive teas on the menu). £2.80 for the salted caramel brownie. £8.90 for an Earl Grey gin and tonic, if you’re that way inclined.
- Cake? Yes. The divine salted caramel brownie, plus the normal Victoria Sponge and a carrot and walnut cake (I know, it should be coffee and walnut, but it was the second carrot and walnut cake I’d seen for sale in the last few weeks, so perhaps it was a new trend), scones, muffins, pastries. Also sandwiches and what might have been a stew.
- Go again? Definitely.