Brunch at Bettys

Back in the summer, as part of a hen weekend in the wonderful city of York, 5 lovely ladies and I brunched at Bettys tea rooms and cafe. After spending the previous day at York races, we were very excited to go to one of Yorkshire’s finest and fill up on all the yummy wares we’d heard so much about.

hen party afternoon york races followed by bettys tea

Luckily the great British weather was on our side, and a heavy summer downpour had meant the streets were almost clear, and we only had a short wait for a table. I have it on good authority that the queues often stretch right round the building!

exterior view bettys cafe tea rooms york

Of course this gave us a great excuse to have a peek around the shop and take-away cakes, and my goodness what a selection!

From macarons in all colours and flavours…

brightly coloured macarons at bettys tearooms york pistachio lemon strawberry rose chocolate

… to fresh fruit cakes, tarts and slices…

bettys tea room york window display cakes tarts biscuits strawberry and raspberry summer fresh

… and not to mention these wonderfully cute chocolate bees, ladybirds, and mini pigs.bettys english tea room york cake displays summer bumblebees pigs and ladybirds

And gifts for the baker (or eater!) in your life:

bettys tea room york cake shop gift displays bettys tea room vintage flyer confectioners and caterers

It still being breakfast time, it only seemed right that we start with something a little more savoury though. The summer menu was absolutely full of delights, and so difficult to choose!

bettys cafe tea rooms york summer menu

I eventually settled for a Swiss Breakfast Rosti – and was certainly not disappointed. A giant cheese, cream and potato rosti, topped with bacon, eggs, and mushrooms – it was absolutely delicious.

bettys tea room swiss breakfast rosti brunch and cake review

One of the best things about Bettys for me was the silver service – in every way. From the silver tea pots and fine china, to the immaculately dressed and wonderfully polite hostesses. It was all wonderfully British and very proper!

silver service tea set at bettys tea room york brunch or afternoon

Breakfast washed down with some tea, well, it was now 11am, so… elevenses? We couldn’t come to Bettys and not have cake!

There was so much choice – everything from the shop and more besides. From a fantastic display to the famed cake trolley, we were literally spoilt for choice.

cake and flower display pastries chocolates tarts at bettys tea room cafe york cake trolley at bettys tea room cafe york

And a great selection I think we made:

chocolate bomb engadine torte raspberry white chocolate tart strawberry paris-brest cakes at bettys tea room cafe yrok

I opted for a strawberry Paris-Brest – a wheel-shaped choux pastry filled to the brim with strawberries and cream, and topped with chocolate shavings. Delicious!

strawberry paris-brest pastry cake at bettys tea room york review

Tummies completely full of breakfast and cake – we paid another quick trip to the shop for some souvenirs. What would the boys say if we returned home cake-less!

I went for one of Bettys classics – a Yorkshire Fat Rascal. This little devil is a plump, fruit filled scone, with a cheeky little face made out of almonds and cherries.

yorkshire fat rascal fruit scone at bettys york tea room

And of course I couldn’t resist his younger other – a delicious sounding chocolate and orange rascal.

bettys fat rascal scone packaging review takeaway cake chocolate orange rascal and fat rascal scones from bettys cafe tea room york yorkshire

Stopping for a few more pictures on the way – the queues had already started to build up outside. It’s apparently not unusual for people to queue all the way round the front of the tearoom, for an hour or even more!

bettys cafe tea rooms york outside stained glass window queue at bettys tea rooms in york

When we were there, in mid-July, the Tour de France decorations were still adorning the streets in force. How cute is the bunting made from little yellow, green, and patterned t-shirts?

tour de france jersey bunting in york outside bettys tea room yellow red green striped

And I couldn’t leave without some snaps of the wonderful window displays in Bettys – it truly is a great institution and one I hope to go back to soon!

summer picnic basket cake display gingham at bettys tea room york bakers and confectioners window cake bunting display at bettys tea room york

The Pudding Pantry, Nottingham

They say word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to get noticed – and who am I to contest. This lovely new little bakery/coffee shop was recommended by a friend, and now here I am doing the same for you!

Situated in Trinity Square, just a minutes’ walk each from the Victoria Centre and Cornerhouse, The Pudding Pantry opened up about 2 months ago, and is an oasis of calm amid all the shops, bustling restaurants and busy streets.

the pudding pantry nottingham review trinty square new tea room coffee shop

Inside the decor is bright and fresh – it reminds me of being at the seaside, with soft blues and greys, and lots of white painted wood.

the puddng pantry nottingham tea room coffee shop bakery review trinity square

There are also plenty of quirky touches – as any good tea room should have!
Vintage tea pots on display under the unique lighting:

tea room decor teapot cups chic lighting

Hand-bound wooden fronted menus:

wooden hand bound menu the pudding pantry nottingham tea room coffee shop

And a hand-written specials board of the days sweet treats:

hand written blackboard menu personal touch tea room nottingham the pudding pantry

And what an array of sweet treats there were – on display in the windows; in and around the main glass-fronted counter, we were absolutely spoilt for choice! From pastries to muffins to sliced cakes to scones… they really do have the whole lot.

viennese whirls food porn glass counter tea room coffee shop fresh pastries raspberry and custard twist banoffee danish the pudding pantry nottingham blackberry and mint cake whole purple and green swirl icing summer tea room nottingham array of cakes and stands cupcakes muffins at the pudding pantry nottingham

My cake camarade opted for a scone with jam and cream – but was asked did she mind that it would be about 10 minutes as they were freshly baked to order? What a treat!

freshly baked scone homemade jam clotted cream nottingham coffee house afternoon tea pudding pantry

And the warm summer weather tempted me into something fresh and fruity – the amazing looking, sounding, and definitely tasting blackberry and mint cake. It was divine!

blackberry and mint cake purple icing swirl vintage tea plate

So consider my word well and truly spread – definitely a tea room to try next time you are in the area!

The Walk Cafe Nottingham – Reopened and Reviewed

A few weeks back I learnt that one of my favourite tea rooms in Nottingham had been taken over and reopened – of course I had to go and see for myself!

Located on Bridlesmith Walk, the cafe is right in the centre of town, but tucked away in an unassumingly serene little arcade, providing welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Heading up Bridlesmith Walk, from Bridlesmith Gate:

bridlesmith walk nottingham shopping arcade leading to the walk cafe reviews

And arriving at The Walk Cafe!

the walk cafe nottingham outside on bridlesmith gate hidden gem

On walking through the door a host of delicious delights greeted us, the choice was not an easy one.

the walk cafe nottingham lemon and carrot cakes all homemade in glass cake stands

We got talking to one of the owners, Laura, who told us that the kitchens were too tiny to bake everything onsite, instead she roped in on of her neighbours, who makes makes all the cakes from scratch each week. As well as classics like lemon, chocolate, coffee, etc., she likes to try something different every week, such as this seasonal apple and elderflower cake.

chocolate apple and elderflower homemade cakes at the walk cafe tea room nottingham review

And those with special requirements needn’t miss out! These gluten free cakes looked equally as delicious.

gluten free chocolate and lemon drizzle cakes at the walk cafe nottingham

Aside from the cakes, The Walk also offers a range of other sweet and savoury items, and we pored (and drooled) over the wonders in the big glass fridge. Macarons! Cupcakes! A chocolate SHOE! What more could a girl want?

bright macarons at the walk cafe nottingham

cupcakes and white chocolate shoe the walk cafe nottingham reopened 2013

Finally for us to dote on, a beautiful range of cake stands and loose leaf teas.

afternoon tea cake stands and loose leaf teas and the walk cafe tea room nottingham

The tea menu is no less extensive, there are some wonderful blends and flowering teas to choose from.

extensive loose leaf tea menu at the walk cafe nottingham

Eventually making our way to sit down, we were pleasantly surprised to find the decor has been brightened up a little, with fantastic hand=painted floral artwork on the walls:

the walk cafe nottingham hand painted wall artwork

reopened the walk cafe nottingham review hand painted flowers antique furniture

Whilst still maintaining the quirky with beautifully mis-matched furniture, a mix of old and new.

vintage furniture at the walk cafe nottingham tea room decor tables and chairs

the walk cafe nottingham 2013 chandelier above purple themed dining table and chairs

I opted for some coffee and walnut cake (later followed up with a toasted tea cake, what a greedy pig!), both of which were well-portioned and very tasty.

carrot and walnut cake slice tea room afternoon tea the walk nottingham

Everything was served in vintage china – cups, teapots, and plates.

vintage fine china teapots and teacups at the walk nottingham

As you can tell we had a lovely time – I for one am very glad this great venue has finally re-opened and restored to its former glory, and beyond! Laura and her staff were friendly and attentive, despite a busy Saturday rush. They’ve only been back open for a couple of months but I’m hopeful many more to come, and am already looking forward to going back.

Mango Star Cupcakes

mango star cupcakes recipe foil baking cases summertime light fresh cakes

So it looks like summer might finally be here! I won’t say more in case of jinxing the beautiful sunshine away, but safe to say I have had a pasty limb or four out in the rays at every possible opportunity 🙂

Earlier this evening, inspired by the fresh summer weather, I picked up some mango in the supermarket. Being Rob’s favourite, I thought it would be gone in a flash. But, he was out, I happened upon a mango yoghurt in the fridge, and a little baking plan formed in my head…

mango cupcakes recipe ingredients fresh juicy fruit tesco activia yoghurt

I couldn’t find a recipe that exactly matched up what I wanted to make, so with some inspiration from chocablog, I concocted these little beauties:

Mango Cupcakes (makes 8 – 10)

100g fresh mango
125g mango yoghurt (or another fruity flavour if you can’t find mango)
75g butter
75g caster or granulated sugar
1 large egg
125g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Fruity Vanilla Buttercream

50g butter
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla bean extract
120g icing sugar

Mango Coulis Icing

100g fresh mango
1 tablespoon water
30g icing sugar

In the absence of any yellow or orange cupcake cases (seriously, and my baking cupboard is like a rainbow! I must go shopping more…), I sprung upon these amazing star foil cases from dotcomgiftshop. I bought them months ago and have been waiting for an opportunity to use them ever since – well no time like the present. They were super easy to bake with, no change in time or temperature from normal cupcakes, and didn’t require a shaped tin as the foil completely holds it’s shape.

foil star baking cases from dotcomgiftshop review and how to use

Method

– Blend the yoghurt and chopped mango to form a paste
– Cream the butter and sugar, beat in the egg and the mango mixture
– Sieve the flour and baking powder, and fold into the mixture
– Spoon into cases, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 180 degrees C until golden, well-risen and springy to the touch

mango star cupcakes foil baking cup dotcomgiftshop freshly baked just risen

For the buttercream, I simply beat the ingredients together, and piped onto the cool cupcakes using a wide star nozzle. First I piped each point of the star, trailing the icing off as I got to the edge:

star cupcakes foil case icing pointed star vanilla buttercream sugar

icing star instructions on mango cupcakes foil casing from dotcomgiftshop

…finishing on the top with a final piped star centre:

buttercream star iced mango cupcake vanilla icing recipe ingredients

Have a quick google and you’ll see coulis can be made in endless ways – blending the mango straight from cold, boiling for a while, cooking up with sugar, or really however you please! I chopped mine into small pieces, and simmered in the water for about 5 minutes until it was extra juicy and soft. Then, it simply went into the blender with the icing sugar, and blitzed to form a smooth paste.
Quite honestly it nearly didn’t make it to the cakes – I could have just eaten the whole lot with a spoon! Finally I conceded and poured it into a thin-nozzled piping bag, creating contrasting star shapes over the top of the buttercream.

mango star cupcake recipe ingredients and instructions foil baking cases cups buttercream icing and orange mango coulis

Just look at that mango… how could you resist? I just love all the fresh juicy fruits we get in summer!

mango coulis on star iced cupcake vanilla buttercream orange summer fruit recipes

And inside is a similarly yummy story – moist, springy cake, light smooth buttercream, and that striking tangy mango topping. Mmhmmm!

inside cut open cupcake mango recipe vanilla buttercream and mango coulis moist spong cake

As with all cake (surely?) they are best eaten straight away (no problem there!). They will keep for a day or so in the fridge but the mango coulis might get a little sticky in storage. Not the worst problem ever 🙂 Here’s to a long, hot, fresh & fruity summer!

An Afternoon at White Rabbit

Yesterday, following last months meet-up mix-up I finally managed to get together with the lovely girls from kerrycooks and makedoandspend. We all live relatively locally, love and blog about similar things. It seemed only fitting we embraced two of these great loves – cake, and shopping!

After meeting at the lovely new Cath Kidston shop in Nottingham (if you haven’t been in yet it’s a real treat, certainly their biggest store I’ve ever been in, 2 whole floors of loveliness) , we chanced our luck on getting a table at White Rabbit.

If you have not been White Rabbit Teahouse before, I heartily recommend giving it a try! It is one Nottingham’s tiniest tea rooms, but well worth trying for a table. They won’t let you queue as such (although taking a seat on the bench outside is perfectly acceptable if the resident rabbit will mooch up a little), nor can you book. I’d recommend either going earlier in the morning, or, if they are busy, ask how long it will be for a table, then have a mosy around some of the lovely shops nearby before popping back.

Fortunately we didn’t have to wait long for a table, and, as us bloggers do, immediately starting snapping away at all the cute decoration!

How cute are these rabbit salt and pepper shakers – complemented by a fresh floral sprig?

To drink – supporting the local economy – fresh Belvoir juice from a rabbit-themed glass…

…and to eat – oh the choice! Cakes all freshly homemade and absurdly different to pick just one.

So – between the 4 of us – we picked 4! All different, and all of us had a good taste of each one. I can heartily recommend their choca-mocha,  blueberry, chocolate orange, and the day’s special, sticky toffee cake served with a jug the most delectable toffee sauce (as modelled by the lovely E from Make, Do and Spend).

We had a delightful afternoon, the staff were happy to let us sit, chat, photograph, ask questions, and ask for continual refills of tea from the beautiful china selection.

To finish off the afternoon, we wandered down to Station Street, and spent far too long browsing endlessly around the newly opened Hopkinson’s Vintage & Antique store. A great find and veritable treasure troves of all things old, from records, to jewellery, furniture to kitchenware (I rather fell in love with a wooden Edwardian cake stand…) and well worth a visit, but with 3 floors to look round, leave yourself plenty of time!

All in all – a truly delightful afternoon. Great to meet some new friends, try some new places, and wash it all down with a good cuppa 🙂

Too cute a photo not to share but not sure where to fit in above. Spot the rabbits… the inside of a pretty, pretty glass!

Photo Friday

This week courtesy of Nottingham Food and Drink Festival, held last weekend in the city’s Old Market Square.

Although it’s the 4th year the event has run, it was the first time I’ve been able to attend, and popped across on Sunday afternoon (I found myself with a good amount of free time after failing to go to the WI Summer Fete…)

The Festival was a great mix of local businesses, selling, cooking or generally promoting their edible wares. My kind of an event!

Brilliant sounds and smells coming from the stall hosted by Memsaab restaurant – yummy fresh kebabs that looked and smelt absolutely delicious.

Look what I found! Tucked away on the Lakeland were these beautifully decorated floral cakes. A chat with the staff later and I found out their own store manager had made them using their piping set. Tempted as I was to take their 15% off voucher and hot foot it over to the Nottingham store, I retained some self-control and will instead add them to my baking wishlist.

Another cake find – and I kick myself for not asking them for more information. If anyone has any more information on where I can find this in the Nottingham area please do get in touch! From my fuzzy memory it looked like something local restaurants were teaming up to offer, but even with my very well honed Google skills, I cannot find any further details 😦

And finally – no festival is complete without music, and a great Ale House to go with it!

As far as I’m concerned a good afternoon was had by all – taste, sight, smell, sound and yes even touch! Will definitely be making a date in my diary for next year.

Photo Friday

With the exception of my patriotic battenburg, this week has been pretty quiet baking-wise. I’m not quite sure what else has made it so busy – but my suitcase from Hong Kong still lies half unpacked in the middle of the bedroom floor…

Sticking to my promise of weekly photo updates – this week I am sharing my baking wishlist. Of course this means I don’t have my own photos to use – so hope you will forgive me, and take some inspiration as well!

1) The MAT by Sweetwise – sold in the UK by The Cake Decorating Company. Basically just one large square of clear plastic, that you pop your fondant icing etc. between, and roll out quickly, evenly, and smoothly. From the reviews I’ve seen it makes covering large cakes a doddle – and anyone that’s worked with fondant knows how tricky this can get!

2) Adjustable square cake tin by Silverwood. I am almost certain that this is the same time my mum has already. I borrowed it last year but she took it back – threatening not to make Christmas cake if I didn’t! She honestly doesn’t use it much so I’m hoping to give it a permanent home in my cupboard – with the addition of an extra set of dividers so I really can make any size of cake.

3) Cake Pop Easy Roller from Heavenly Cake Pops. A video for this appeared on my Facebook earlier in the week, courtesy of the same The Cake Decorating Company in Nottingham, who are one of the UK sellers. Watch the video in amazement as I did – how to make perfect round little cake pops every time. But it got me thinking – isn’t half the fun getting your hands sticky making them yourself? Then I looked at the price as I was writing this post. Whoa! Staying firmly put on the wishlist.

Happy shopping for the weekend! Any other must-haves you’ve stumbled across, or you think would be a welcome addition to a baker’s kitchen?

11am Edit: and the supplier said “Let there be sweets….!”

Look what we just had to delivered to our office! I absolutely had to share it with you. It’s a thank you for our recent business (Hong Kong being a part of this), and is so gratefully received on this grey, rainy Friday.

From A Quarter of…‘s retro sweetshop, it came beautifully packaged in a wooden hamper, and I love how all the sweets are pink 🙂
A note to my dentist… for what I am about to eat, please forgive me!!

Photo Friday!

Blogging is unbelievably addictive. You write things, people comment. You read things, you comment. Every comment opens up another link to look at what someone else is posting about. Travelling photos. Restaurants. Pubs. Animals. Current affairs. CAKE.

On one of my many digressions reading blogs, I stumbled across the very cute rumpydog.com. This post is inspired by his most recent wordless wednesday (how cute are those cats!)

Going forwards, I’m going to make it my aim to post some photos every Friday, of everything bake-y, cake-y, or otherwise exciting that’s happened in my week. Cunningly enough this also gives me a great excuse to do more of 3 things I love: great creative with my camera, write wonders with my blog, and of course capture anything cake-related!

Without further ado, here are this weeks photos (with descriptions following):

1) last of the amazing double chocolate guinness cupcakes I made at the weekend, served with some fresh, juicy British strawberries. How they’ve managed to ripen at all in this horrid weather is beyond me though!

2) teeny tiny vintage print cake stand from dotcomgiftshop, as recommended by the lovely KerryCooks (displayed on my trusty ikea “arv brollop” cake stand)

3) a brilliant surprise of a parcel picked up from the post office on wednesday – 4 new issues of my cake decorating magazine, each with a free gift! Watch this space for some of their inspired ideas coming up soon….

4) kitty cats and cupcake case. Enough said 🙂

So that’s all for now, next week I’m lucky enough to be working in Hong Kong, but will be back on Friday with photos – albeit probably some rather jet-lagged posts…

Happy Friday everyone!!

Cake-Pop-Aloola

I don’t really think this one needs much introduction; after my previous dalliance with cake pops, it was pretty clear I was to continue my quest into teeny balls of cake!

These were actually made a while back – before I’d been able to source some proper Wilton candy melts and lollipop sticks on my shopping trip. Making cake pops on cocktail sticks adds to the already challenging process, but if it’s all you’ve got, then they do work!

My finally excuse for some slightly dodgy photos – I am literally begging Rob to make me a proper cake stand, but it still has yet to appear. Short of picking up a drill myself (I’m really not allowed near power tools!), I have to make do with what boxes etc I have around for the meantime. And threaten not to make any more cakes until he pulls his weight 😉

My inspiration for finally getting round to this post, is this these stunning little beauties that one of our suppliers bought in last week (we have a lot of suppliers who bring in a lot of treats. I do like my job):

A quick google of the label led me to pop bakery, a lovely looking little shop down in London.  Mental note firmly made to pay a visit next time i’m in the capital, if I don’t cave in and order a batch beforehand! Needless to say they were super yummy and didn’t last long in the office!

Back to my baking – hopefully the reason you’re all here reading.

For these cake pops, I baked up a batch of chocolate cake, just in a flat tin so it was easier to crumble. It always seems a shame to crumb up such nice cake, but at least it’s a good excuse for a taste test!

The crumbed cake was mixed with some vanilla buttercream, and rolled into pop-sized balls (I tried all kinds of editing to make this photo look less like…well…and more like chocolate, but still seem to have failed, very sorry! Just look at it and think of a big bar of dairy milk….)

Next step – more chocolate – this time white, melted, and also taste-tested:

The end of the sticks were well-swirled into the chocolate before being firmly pushed into the cake balls. I think this yep is probably my favourite,easy and aesthetically pleasing!

After a good 10 minutes in the freezer (it helps keep everything ball-shaped at this stage), I covered the cake pops one at a time in more white chocolate, before embarking on my decoration experiments.

Number one: polka dots. Starting off easy; the coloured sugar discs were simply pressed into the chocolate coating, or stuck on with a dab of extra chocolate where it had started to set.

Number two: honeycomb. I crushed up a bar of honeycomb to crumbs, then rolled the pop in it as soon as it had had its chocolate coating. The plus side: crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, yummy. The down side: they look like chicken nuggets!

Number three: graffiti glitter icing. Quite simply, I took two of my favourite colours of writing icing and freestyled designs over the white chocolate cost. Very pretty, but writing icing does not dry quickly, so very difficult to eat/store/have in the vicinity of anything else!

Number four, five, and six. Pink glitter, blue food colouring, yellow insanity.

Let’s start with the pink. How could I make any kind of cake without using some edible glitter! It looked amazing, bit messy to eat (glitter all over your face is not a great look), and probably not that great for you – if you haven’t seen the recent hoo-ha on edible glitter then don’t worry your pretty little self. There’s plenty more to be read if you google it, mostly from bakers like me saying they don’t actually know what the fuss is about, it’s all a bit political-correctness gone too far in my opinion. I certainly will keep using it, although am quite sadden that my beloved Hobbycraft have decided this will stop them stocking it.
Rant over. Number five. I wasn’t sure how food colouring would mix with white chocolate, but this blue actually came up quite well. Just an experiment really.
Number six was my last and a complete free for all. The inner cake layer was covered in white chocolate, then yellow fondant (I found a spare piece while I was rooting through my decorating equipment for inspiration), finished off with some matching mini yellow chocolate beans. Looks like something out an alien movie but impressively funky!

So my second batch of cake pops, and I’d chalk it up as another success. Need to brush up on my neatness and roundness (a proper cake pop stand would really help, hint hint!), but there is definitely scope for a lot of fun with these balls of yumminess.
Rob couldn’t believe how much mess I’d made in the kitchen for 12 little pops – still he ate them without complaining so it can’t have been too bad 😉
Which is your favourite…?

I don’t just MAKE cakes… Thea Caffea Nottingham Review

You may be surprised to know I also eat them. A lot. Not to the point that I almost too big to fit through the door of my local bakers, but to the extent that if I was filling in one of those forms which asked for my hobbies, afternoon tea would come pretty near the top. And it doesn’t just have to be in the afternoon. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve eaten cake for breakfast before, and damn right I’d do it again!

So, with the 4th and final day of a great jubilee bank holiday weekend, I went into Nottingham city centre to meet some friends to partake it said afternoon tea hobby. At 10.30 in the morning. We were sat out the front of an Italian, having a drink and a cake, and people watching. About an hour in I noticed something behind my friends head that I’d not seen before. My excited squawk was so high pitched that probably only dogs could understand it. A. TEA. ROOM. About 5 metres from where we were sat!

What you have to realise is that tea rooms in Nottingham are 1) few and far between, 2) normally very busy and difficult to get a seat, 3) mostly closed on bank holidays, and 4) end up selling out or shutting down just when it becomes your new favourite place.

Finishing at the Italian we gave into our urges and went to explore the intriguingly named Thea Caffea – from the street you really could have no idea what would be inside – just a couple of simple wall signs and an a-frame to tell it was “now open”, flanked by a newsagent to the left, and a cobbler to the right:

But my how we weren’t disappointed! Even before we’d walked through the front door we were in awe! How could this amazing space exist at the back of such a busy street, with hundreds of shoppers walking past every hour completely unawares??

Inside it was like a fantastic retro tardis – tables, chairs, cakes and chandeliers stretching as far back as we could see.

The furniture was simple but elegant, interspersed with wide ferns, vintage photographs of Nottingham, and an amazing piano in the back corner.

When we finally quelled our excitement enough to take a seat, the menus were no less delightful. A fantastic selection of fresh leaf teas, breakfasts, sandwiches, daily specials and of course the homemade cakes we’d already eyed up on the way in.

The tea was served in beautiful bone china pots, cups and saucers, and even the table centres were in matching little china tea cups!

My choice of a cream tea (scone with jam & cream plus pot of tea) was certainly a good one – it looked and tasted delicious! Made the ‘proper’ way of course… jam first and then cream, although certain friends would disagree…

We got chatting to the owner, and quickly established they’d only been open a week! Up until about 6 months ago, the very space where we were sat had been a derelict outside space, behind the back of some offices and flats. She and her builder husband had seen the potential of the space in such a prime location, and built the back section with the fantastic glass skylights to let daylight streaming in.

So my review – a hearty recommendation! The place looked great, staff were brilliant, tea tasty and cakes yummy! It will definitely become one of our new favourites – and hopefully will stick around for a while, as only a week in and it already had a good stream of customers through the door.

Their website is advertised on their menus but at the time of writing this it doesn’t seem to be up and running yet – www.theacaffea.co.uk – here’s hoping it will be soon so you can all have a peek at our fantastic find!

They do have a Thea Caffea facebook page setup with a few photos and you can send them a message about their yummy cakes too!

For those of you lucky enough to be near Nottingham and fancy a visit, it’s on Low Pavement, just down from Jamie’s Italian and Paul Smith – if you get to Paperchase you’ve gone too far. Let me know what you think!

A bank holiday well spent- I hope you’d agree. Not the best of photos (the humidity has played utter havoc with my hair) – but nevertheless – my best friend Matt and I very much enjoying our tea 🙂