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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Newsurf Sands Cafe

Newgale, Pembrokeshire, Wales, SA62 6AS.   01437 729222   (View on map)

This photo shows you about half of Newgale beach. It's a big beach.

I have decided to start this post with a lovely photo of the seaside, just to make those of you not near the sea jealous. Though actually, all it seems to have done is make me sad I am no longer near the sea. Newgale is a great big beach that is good for surfing (so I hear, never been surfing) and comes with the added bonus of a cafe.

The cafe was warm and light with windows on three sides to give you the best view of the sky. There are big banks of stones at the edge of the beach so we couldn’t see the sea from where we were, but the sky had that quality that sky only gets near the sea so it still felt special.

Tea and hot chocolate at Newsurf Sands Cafe.

We had gone for tea and lunch, but when we spotted the cake counter decided that we should probably test the cake as well. To begin with, we just had lunch and hot drinks. I went for the brie and bacon toasted sandwich with a pot of Teapigs ‘everday brew’. B went for the chicken red pesto sandwich and hot chocolate. EA had the scrambled egg with toast.

The sandwiches were very good, thick and full of filling and with nice leaves on the side. I am partial to a brie and bacon sandwich and this has to be one of the best. The tea was a nice blend and there was lots in the pot so I was happy. B said that her sandwich was also very good and EA ate all of the scrambled egg with toast so we can assume that was good too.

Sandwiches with leaves and tortilla chips on the side and a portion of scrambled egg with toast on the side.

There were a few good looking cakes in the chiller cabinet but we eventually decided on a chocolate brownie for me and a vanilla sponge for B. When ordering, I was asked if I wanted the brownie warmed – I did. It was hot and chocolatey and just the right size. B’s vanilla cake was light and not too sweet and EA enjoyed it as well.

EA is not quite big enough to use a fork yet so ate the cake by hand and seemed to enjoy it all the more for doing so. I wonder how much we miss about the texture of a cake by eating it with a fork? Perhaps all of my reviews of cake from now on should include me trying to pick it up with my fingers and seeing what happens? Does food taste different if you have felt it first? Does food designed to be eaten with your fingers – chips, biscuits, chocolate, pasties – taste extra good in the first place? Or taste extra good because you’ve felt it? I imagine it’s probably because there’s more fat in it in order to make it solid enough to pick up, but I’d like to do a blind taste test with forks versus fingers to be sure.

Vanilla cake and warmed chocolate brownie. I especially liked the icing sugar dusting.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No, but it was Teapigs tea.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £2 for a big pot of tea, £2.60 for hot chocolate, £4.75 for sandwiches, £3.90 for scrambled egg on toast, £3 for cake, £2 for brownie.
Cake? Cake, sandwiches, toasted sandwiches, brownies, burgers, milkshakes, ice cream, breakfast, salads.
Go again? Yes – there was tea in a pot, melted cheese, good cake and the sea. What’s not to love?

 


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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!