The cream tea crawl continued this weekend, and in typical crawl fashion, we picked up some hangers-on along the way.
The Violinist has always loved a good scone, and the Chocoholic professed an affinity for clotted cream (any kind of cream, really), so we bundled up against the cold and walked to town with jam-covered baked goods on the brain.
The Grand Cafe purports to be the first coffeehouse in England (est. 1651), along with several rivals it would seem. It certainly is grand, with gold paint liberally employed and every wall covered with floor to ceiling mirrors. There were even golden arms holding golden torches sticking out of the wall. Always a classy touch in any establishment, don’t you think?One charming element which could almost go unnoticed was a (yes, golden) teapot connected to the door which bobbed up and down when someone entered or exited. I’d like to think back in 1651 they occasionally filled it with real tea. A fine Lord or Lady would have the graces to skilfully open a door without spilling a drop.
Suffice it to say: high marks for ambience, although I must note the Violinist sensed that the background music wasn’t quite right. A little more Prokofiev, Ma?
We found the scones nice and big (almost couldn’t finish all four of them!), with a fluffy-floury texture instead of oaty-crumbly. I could go either way. With scones, I could probably go any way to be honest.Although we had to ask for extra jam and butter, they obliged without extra charge, and the only thing we could really complain about was the curiously high level of cleavage on display from the service. I guess that’s the 1651 way.We returned home fully satiated, just in time for a few rounds of Settlers, with the Violinist and Philosopher sweeping the board. Given their professions, the Chocoholic and I barely stood a strategic chance. But we did pass around a Cadbury’s bar to keep our blood sugar up.All in all, we ranked the Grand Cafe a 5.4 out of 7. Not bad for an old joint!