More tea?

We spent a very nice long weekend loafing around drinking tea, mostly at home to avoid any lovely bank holiday traffic. We did end up getting out to two local tearooms over the weekend as well; once before getting lost in the Meon Valley and the second time to catch up with friends from the other side of Hedge End.

Lilly’s Tea And Coffee House, Wickham

This was the first time we’ve been here since it became Lilly’s Tea and Coffee House, and it’s much better than before the make over. It seems quite spacious inside and there was a very tempting selection of cakes, but we both went for a cream tea. My only complaint with the food was the jam, cream, scone ratio: tiny jar-plenty-1! There just wasn’t enough scone to hold all the cream! Nice scone though, and larger than average, but just the one.

There were also a surprising number of staff, most of them looking slightly frazzled though. Despite being a good half an hour before closing time, we had the nagging feeling of not being made particularly welcome. They were all very efficient but Jo thinks they may not have heard of service with a smile.

The Anvil Tearooms, Bishops Waltham

Second time at the Anvil and I was very much looking forward to another slice of Tunisian orange cake. There was a scary moment when it looked like someone was buying the last piece!!! Luckily there was another whole cake ready to go, and it was every bit as good as I remembered. Jo had another cream tea, just for the purpose of comparison of course. Much better jam, cream, scone ratio, with the ideal two scones and bowls of jam and cream. There was also butter here, which is nice.

As before, the service is more unique than the average tearoom, which I like. And the singing chef is still singing.

If you want a more modern cream tea, I’d recommend Lilly’s tearoom, but my favourite is still the Anvil.


Tea o’clock

I’m quite partial to a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake, but finding a good tearoom while out and about is a bit hit and miss. For full-fat dining, Jo often checks the ladies who lunch reviews before booking a meal. Unfortunately when it comes to tearooms, there doesn’t seem to be anything similar; I can find a tearoom in Boston, but there’s slightly less to go on in Hampshire!

Fortunately we’ve been really lucky with a couple of our recent tearoom selections:

The Anvil Tearooms, Bishops Waltham

The tea and cake was excellent in this slightly random tearoom/wine merchant combo. We took my mum here for some lunch recently, so I also had my other favourite food at the same time: pie! There’s entertainment as well as food on offer with a fire alarm (not exactly a rush for the door- luckily it wasn’t my food!) and a singing chef, so be prepared!

My mouth’s watering just thinking about the Mexican chilli pie and the Tunisian orange cake. Definitely recommend a visit- check their website for directions.

Folly Tree Tea Rooms, Petersfield

We probably wouldn’t have found the Folly Tree without the internet so I’m glad Jo planned ahead. I had a starter before getting to the cake- it’s been a while since I had a proper bacon sarnie, mmmm, bacon cooked to perfection, thick white bread with the butter soaking in. Unusually the milk jug poured without a drip escaping the cups and my cake was very nice as well, so I was happy. Jo’s sister (who was paying- thank you Kate!) was not so lucky in the cake department, with a bit of a tearoom shocker… they were out of fruit scones!!!

Jo’s all keen to start a dedicated tearoom review site so I’d better get thinking of a proper rating scale… teaspoons maybe? Any suggestions for good places for tea and cake to try out?

Local pub

Still trying to decide where to live so, with the ideal ideal excuse of a friend’s birthday, I did some important research on one possible location: the local pub! Now my current local is a disaster, so it’s a pretty low bar to beat, but the Bunch of Grapes was a bit of a revelation- if only I hadn’t been driving!

So on the plus side: same distance to work, a very nice meal there on Tuesday, and a great local. On the minus side: it’s a little out of the way (I would definitely miss my station) and I’m not from round there :)

It’s on the (not so)short list.