Tea for you and me

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


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The Look Out Cafe Bar

World of Boats, Heol Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF10 4GA.

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View of Cardiff Bay from our table at The Look Out Cafe Bar.

I have to admit we weren’t planning on going here, we just got a bit confused about the bus route round the bay and ended up getting off next to World of Boats. World of Boats is in a lovely position next to the bay (as befits an exhibition about boats) and the cafe has beautiful views across the water.

The Look Out Cafe Bar had dotty tablecloths, floral arrangements, a little dog pottering around and tea that came in a teapot. It was nice. R and I enjoyed a nice chat and some tea drinking and decided that although we hadn’t planned to, we would have a look round World of Boats.

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My pot of decaf tea and R’s glass of peppermint tea at The Look Out Cafe Bar.

Things were all going swimmingly, until the little dog (small and white with fetching brown patches) pottered over to the table next to us, cocked a leg, and peed on the floor. Once we told the staff it was all cleaned up very promptly, but we didn’t stay in the cafe for very long after that.

Instead, we paid our £5 each and went through into the exhibition space. World of Boats was not, as I had thought, a euphemism for a lot of boats. It was a small exhibition of boats from around the world (which is what R thought it would be). And very interesting and enjoyable it was too. There was even a section where you could try out semaphore.

  • Teapot? Yes, for the decaf tea.
  • Leaf tea? No, tea bag tea.
  • Milk jug? Yes.
  • Price? £2.25 for each tea and £5 each to go into World of Boats.
  • Cake? Yes and I think they had savoury food too.
  • Go again? Unfortunately not.

Visited on: Monday 27th March 2017

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Wally’s Kaffehaus

Wally’s Delicatessen, 38-46 Royal Arcade, Cardiff, Wales, CF10 1AE.

Visited on: Sunday 26th March 2017

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Tea and teapots at Wally’s Kaffehaus (I was trying to illustrate the different sizes of pots, but apparently I’ve failed miserably as the perspective makes them seem roughly the same size).

R and I were visiting Cardiff and wanted somewhere to go for a nice cafe lunch. We came across Wally’s Kaffehaus in one of the arcades and decided to give it a try. Well, to be fair, we came across Wally’s Delicatessen and I saw the sign in the window for the Kaffehaus upstairs and we looked at the menu and decided to try it.

It only occurs to me now that once again I picked somewhere with coffee in the name, but luckily Wally’s Kaffehaus bucked the trend and also served good tea.

I had a most marvellous rooibos tea and R had Japanese Sencha. He even ordered a large pot (that the waiter said was big enough for two) because he really wanted a lot of peppermint tea. The tea was loose leaf and rather nice. I hadn’t read the menu properly and asked for milk with mine, only to find that it was delicately spiced and fruity and didn’t need milk. Most refreshing.

The food was really good. Wally’s Kaffehaus is a Viennese Kaffehaus and has lots of Austrian food. R had a sausage mixed platter (three different sausages with mustard, curry ketchup and rye bread) and I had a Styria open sandwich with the most ham in one sandwich I have ever had. It also came with cheese, pickles and mustard on rye bread and a side of delicious potato salad (all the more impressive as I don’t particularly like potato salad).

A most satisfying lunch and tea experience, with the added bonus of looking out onto the arcade of shops below. Worth a visit if you’re ever in Cardiff.

  • Teapot? Yes.
  • Leaf tea? Loose leaf tea and a teapot shaped saucer thing to put your infuser basket on once the tea was the desired strength.
  • Milk jug? Yes (not that I needed it).
  • Price? £2.10 for my small pot of tea, £3.50 for the big one, £5.95 for the sausage platter and £6.75 for the sandwich.
  • Cake? Yes and sandwiches and hot food and nice looking biscuits. I really wanted some cake, but that sandwich was quite filling.
  • Go again? Yes, I had serious food jealousy the whole time we were there and now I want to go back try everything else on the menu (including the cake).

 

 


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Norsk

Norwegian Church Arts Centre, Harbour Drive, Cardiff Bay, CF10 4PA   (View on map)

The view of the bay, just along from the Norwegian Church.

The Norwegian Church turned out to be a church that was established in 1868 to provide for the sailors of the Norwegian merchant fleet, though it’s no longer a consecrated space. A plaque in the Roald Dahl Plass informed me that not only was Roald Dahl born in Cardiff, he was christened in the Norwegian Church. Another excellent reason to visit it.

Now it’s an arts centre with a cafe, which is why I was there. The building was striking and completely different to the other buildings surrounding it. The white slats contrasted against the blue of the sky and drew my eye to it way before I reached the building.

Inside is a small exhibition space on the first floor, a meeting/events room and a the cafe. It was cold and threatening rain when I went but the decking area to the side looked too enticing to ignore, so I made my way outside.

The Norwegian Church.

It was windy and cold, but again, very peaceful. I’m not sure if it was just because the weather wasn’t that great, or because I was in a different country, or because I wasn’t at work on a day I would normally be working, but I found my whole Cardiff tea drinking experience very peaceful and calm. The bay was especially beautiful and I stayed there into the evening, going to see a play that was on at the Wales Millennium Centre in the evening. I think I could quite happily live in Cardiff.

Tea on the outside terrace. Hot tea and cold air with a sea view, brilliant.

Anyway, reverie over. Now back to the tea. There was an option for a ‘Welsh brew’ tea, so that’s what I ordered. It was hot and strong, but I couldn’t honestly tell you that I noticed anything particularly different from a standard English Breakfast tea. It didn’t matter, the view was great.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £1.90 for the Welsh brew, I have a feeling a more standard tea may cost slightly less.
Cake? A selection of cake and biscuits, not forgetting the Welsh cakes. I think some hot food as well, but I’m afraid I wasn’t paying much attention – I just wanted to get outside and see the sea again.
Go again? Yes.


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Kemi’s Cafe

Craft in the Bay, The Flourish, Lloyd George Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 4QH  (View on map)

The view of the outside of the Craft in the Bay building.

This cafe was recommended to me as a good place to go for tea if I was visiting Cardiff and I wasn’t disappointed. Kemi’s Cafe is inside the Craft in the Bay building and had a lovely feel to it. I came down to the bay from Cardiff centre on the bendy bay bus and this was very near to the bus stop, which was handy. It also meant I showed astonishing self-discipline by going for a cup of tea first, for the sake of the blog, rather than running down towards the bay and getting all excited at seeing the sea.

Craft in the Bay has lots of beautiful art and craft items, all of which I wanted, none of which I could afford. It was an enjoyable look round though. Kemi’s Cafe had many different good-looking cake and pastry items, as well as salads and paninis. I resisted as I’d already had the Welsh cakes (plus this day was getting quite expensive – I’d been to one cafe already and had this one and at least one more to go to yet).

Tea, flowers and fountains at Kemi's Cafe.

The tea came in a teapot with a retro cup and saucer. I sat upstairs so I could gaze out the window at the fountains and the bay. Each table had a little vase of flowers and again the atmosphere was very calm.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £2 for a pot of tea.
Cake? A multitude of cake and some fetching salads and sarnies too.
Go again? Yes.


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National Museum Cardiff

Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NP   (View on map)

View from my table of the stairs leading to the ceramics gallery.

Museums and art galleries tend to have reasonable tea, so I headed to the National Museum Cardiff to have a look around and to seek out a pot of tea. I didn’t have long to spend in Cardiff so I decided just to look at one gallery and spent my time looking at the ceramics gallery. It was peaceful and interesting, with lots of information about how the ceramics trade had flourished in Wales and how it was influenced. I’d recommend going to have a look at it.

The cafe was directly below the ceramics gallery. I’m not sure if this was a deliberate ploy so it would tie in with the tea pots on display upstairs, but I liked it all the same. As it was in Wales there were more blackboards advertising the beverages and food available than usual – as it all had to be in Welsh and English. Lots of signage in Welsh cafes.

I had a pot of tea and two Welsh cakes. I think it might have been the first time I’ve eaten Welsh cakes whilst in Wales and they were lovely. For those that have never tried a Welsh cake, I can only explain it as being a cross between a scone and a drop scone, with currants (or are they raisins?). The staff were very friendly and helpful, even though the cafe was almost full to capacity and it was a light airy place to have a cup of tea. The musuem shop also had some nice stuff in it, including some tea related items.

Tea and Welsh cakes at the National Museum Cardiff.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No, a Rosie Fairtrade teabag, which was okay.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £1.30 for tea, 65p per Welsh cake, or £2.40 for two Welsh cakes and a pot of tea (saving a grand total of 20p).
Cake? Yes, the usual suspects as well as cookies and sandwiches.
Go again? Yes, I’d like to have a proper look round the museum too.


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Suggestions for Cardiff?

So, I’m off to Cardiff in a few weeks and I’m looking for any suggestions. So far I’ve been told to go down to the bay and go to the Norwegian Church and to a place called ‘Craft in the bay’. If I have enough time they also recommended going to one of the arcades as there’s lots of little cafes there.

The Norwegian Church is intriguing, is it really as simple as a church that is Norwegian? I’ve been told ‘Craft in the bay’ sells crafty things and tea, so that sounds good.

Anyone have anything more to add? I’m only going to have one afternoon free, so there’s a limited amount of tea drinking I can do unfortunately. I’d like to make sure it’s good tea!


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Cupcake rage?

Cupcakes are all the rage at the moment but what would you do if your favourite flavour had all been sold? A shop in Cardiff recently experienced an incident of ‘cake-rage’.

Any cupcake that can generate that much passion needs to be tasted. ‘Sugarswirlz’ is going on the list.

This is a cupcake from Sweet Tooth Cupcakery in Chorlton, Manchester and so has nothing to do with the 'cake-rage' story, other than the fact it is a photo of a cupcake. But hey, that's enough of a connection for me.