Tag Archives: Tea

Kember & Jones, Byres Road, Glasgow

5 Jun


Score: 5/5

Best for: Food.  Mmmm their cakes and pastries are so good.

Price: Cappuccino, £2.15; Tea, £1.85; Cake, £3.00

Kember & Jones represent everything I like best in a café: great coffee, wonderful loose tea, delicious pastries, everything beautifully presented, lovely and bright and to top it all off efficient table service.  Honestly, what more could you ask for?  They also have a wall covered with books and tasty treats for you to buy and take home.  The atmosphere here is calm and relaxed, perfect for a Sunday chilling out.

There is a central  shared table, and a mezzanine floor with extra seating.  I can’t fault this place.

Kember & Jones: if you’re reading this, please expand and open up a new branch in Edinburgh.

Kember and Jones on Urbanspoon


Café Flo, Printemps, Paris

31 May

Score: 4/5

Best For: Staring up at the beautiful stained glass dome

If you’re in central Paris and have some time to kill, might I recommend the beautiful Café Flo.  It is on the top floor of the legendary department store Printemps and offers a wide range of teas and delicious coffee.  It’s best feature is the domed ceiling which is just breathtaking.  The tables even have mirrors on them so you get a beautiful view no matter where you are looking!

I had a dargeeling tea and some delicious macarons.  My only complaint is that the teabag came lose and not actually in the tea pot so I had to add it to the hot (not boiling) water provided in the tea pot.  I really can’t stand it when you go somewhere and the tea is pricey and they don’t even serve it properly.  It just doesn’t taste the same.

Bread & Roses, rue Fleurus, Paris

29 May


Score: 5/5

Best For: Food – thier bread and pastries are divine

Prices: Expensive (approx. 8.50 EUR for a strawberry tart 6 EUR tea)

This lovely little café is very close to the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg so once you’ve had your fill of chilling out reading your book in the sunshine, and are in need of a relaxing cup of tea and a delicious cake, this should be your number one destination.  It is not cheep, so if you are already finding that Paris is burning a hole in your pocket you might want to stay clear, but I think this place is worth it’s price tag.  The tea is leaf and served in a truly beautiful tea-pot, and the strawberry tart I had was out of this world.  I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything so tasty.

Also, despite the English name, this place is exceptionally French and ever so bourgeois.  It’s also not a hugely touristy destination and is full of locals leading to excellent people watching opportunities.  There are very well dressed little girls shopping for bread for their parents, ladies lunching and old regulars that chat animatedly with the waiters.  It really is a special place.

Spoon Café, Nicolson Street

24 Feb


Score: 4/5

Great for: Working in groups/A wonderful cup of tea, in pleasant surroundings

Price: Tea £1.90, Cappuccino £2.20, Cake £4.50+

I have often walked past Spoon Café many times but never really thought to go in.  I think I was always put off by the fact that, because it’s on the first floor, you can’t look in through the window to see what it’s like before taking the plunge and entering.  I’d feel rood walking in, and turning straight around if I thought it wasn’t my scene.  However, on the recommendation of a friend I decided to pay this café a visit.  I was not disappointed.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but I certainly didn’t think I’d find such a chilled out relaxing environment.  There are a mix of tables (small and large) and sofas and the large, bright room is separated by book shelves, folding screens, pot plants and standing lamps giving the room a very lived-in, chilled out atmosphere.  The vintage wallpaper, furniture and tea cups all add to its charm.

I had a homemade ginger and lemon tea which was delicious.  They don’t really have cakes and if you want something sweet you’ll have to order it from the eating menu, which makes it a little more expensive than your average tea-shop cake, but I’m sure they are very good.

The only thing that lets this place down slightly (and the reason it doesn’t get a 5/5) is the grumpy and slow service.  A smile is all I ask for.

If you, like I, have walked past this place time and again always choosing Black Medicine over Spoon, I say think again.  Try it.  You’ll love it.

And here I something else I found:

Spoon Cafe Bistro on Urbanspoon

Happy Valentine’s Day!

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  I hope you have had a lovely day.

I was lucky enough to be in Paris this weekend and had the most fabulous time.  If you happen to be travelling there yourself and like a nice trip to a gallery followed by tea and cake, can I please recommend the Musée d’Orsay’s amazing first floor restaurant.  They are quite simply the most sumptuous surroundings one could hope to have whilst sipping tea.  Avoid the downstairs café if at all possible.  They serve hot drinks in polystyrene cups (something that never adds to the drinking pleasure).

Ephemeris Tea Room, Marchmont Crescent

26 Jan


Score: 3/5

Specialises in: Flavored Tea

Price: Tea £2.45; Cappuccino £2.35; Cake £1.35

Epemeris Tea Room is a charming little establishment and well worth a visit if you’re in the area.  The selection of different teas on offer in mind-boggling, all displayed in jars covering two walls.  I found the offer of flavored tea (and coffee) particularly exciting and promptly (well, actually after a long and hard deliberation – you should see the menu!) ordered Ceylon tea with cinnamon and plum.  The cinnamon was delicious, but I’ll have to be honest, I didn’t really taste the plum.  The cakes were also tasty, though perhaps they could do with slightly more choice.

I think the only thing that really lets this place down is the feeling that you are sitting in someones living room, and not in a good way.  The kitchenette at the back is kitsch and sweet but definitely brings out the private living room vibe, and you do start to feel a little bit like you’re intruding and shouldn’t really be there.

Don’t let this put you off however, if you live in Marchmont it’s definitely worth a try.

The Edinburgh Larder, Blackfriars Street

27 Nov


Score: 5/5

Perfect for:  Catching up with a friend whilst eating and drinking well.

Prices: Cappuccino £2.05; Tea £2.00; Cake £2.50; Afternoon Tea £4.50;

I’m going to share with you one of my favorite places which seems to be a bit of an Edinburgh secret.  This little establishment just off the Royal Mile only seats 20, but for reasons I can’t fathom isn’t often full.  It is a delightful little place which is comfortable, relaxed and bright, these photographs really don’t do it justice.  Their tea is from Eteaket, their coffee from Artisan Roast and their deli sells the most delicious things either made in Edinburgh itself, or elsewhere in Scotland.  It’s hard to go wrong when you stock top ingredients, and not only are their teas and coffees good, but the cakes are also brilliant.  This time I went and had afternoon tea.  The scone was HUGE, but fresh and delicious and served with clotted cream and jam.  Perfect.  Service is also top notch.  There is really nothing to complain about here.

If you find yourself in the centre of town, do stop in here and give this place a try.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

The Edinburgh Larder on Urbanspoon

Eteaket, Frederick Street

11 Nov


Score: 3/5

Specialises in: Wonderful Tea

Price: Tea £2.10-2.85; cappuccino £2.35; Cake £1.85

In Eteaket you can, without doubt, have a fantastic cup of tea.  They treat tea very seriously with a great ceremony which enhances the whole tea drinking experience wonderfully.  There is also a boutique where you can purchase leaf tea, along with a whole lot of tea related paraphernalia.

What lets it down are all the things surrounding the tea particularly the cake and the service.  They do have table service, but three times I’ve been there, been sat down with a menu and waited so long for my order that I had to get up and find someone who would take it, even when it’s not busy.  This rather defeats the point and is very frustrating.  The cakes are nothing to write home about, I’ve tried various different types and haven’t been amazed by anything.  Their scones are large and dry, and the above croissant was OK but not great.

The décor is lovely, but somehow I find that the hard modernity of it jars with their equally lovely chintz tableware.  I understand why they went for a very modern look, they didn’t want it to feel like your grandmother’s living room, but somehow, for me it doesn’t work.  Either they should have gone one way or the other, chintz or modern, but not both.

On weekends, this café is absolutely ram packed, service is not good and you end up feeling flustered as opposed to relaxed.  I’d suggest purchasing their tea, then drinking it at home.  During the week however, if you get the chance to go during the day, it is actually very nice.  It is quiet, they have free wi-fi, their tables are a good size for solo working and you can sit with a wonderful pot of tea without feeling rushed.  Don’t order cake, you’ll only be disappointed.

Eteaket on Urbanspoon