In late-December, those of you that follow me on Twitter will have seen that I enjoyed a spot of tea at Wild Thyme in Norwich’s Labour in Vain Yard. As I posted that tweet, I had an epiphany and realised that a blog post is long overdue.
My friend had chosen Wild Thyme as our rendez-vous point not only because it is a vegetarian establishment (and could cater to their needs) but also because it serves rather good cake and didn’t want to miss out.
So, slightly before 3pm on a cold, dark and damp afternoon, I rocked up to the café, where I was immediately shown to a table and waited for my friend. As my eyes adjusted, the first thing that struck me was the warmth. It was cozy and warm inside and filled with the gentle hum of people talking about their festive plans. The decor is simple, with bare-brick walls, wooden tables and exposed beams, so it felt like the ideal spot for a casual mid-afternoon catch-up.
I will confess that when I picked up the menu I thought I had been duped though. At first glance it appeared to only feature meals, but upon glancing around I found a specials blackboard, which had a tempting list of desserts, while the counter housed a display of irresistible looking cakes. It was at this point that I started to suffer a little food-based anxiety: What do I choose if I want to try everything? What if I suffer food envy?
Thankfully my friend arrived and saved me from my dilemma and I opted for fruit crumble with dairy-free ice cream and English Breakfast tea, while my friend picked crème brûlée and a cider. The waitress seemed a little bemused by the fact that we just wanted desserts, but in my dessert-based experience that is a fairly common reaction.
Making the right choice
The drinks were served promptly, with my tea in a little pot, and the desserts arrived about ten minutes later. I have say that I was pleasantly surprised when the crumble appeared. It actually looked healthy, with chunky fruits and berries topped with whole nuts, rather than butter-based crumble. The brûlée looked rather decadent too, with a rich yellow custard beneath a thick, crispy layer of caramel.
The crumble taste test had a similarly positive result. The fruit was slightly tart, slightly sweet and al dente, just the way I like it, with berries bursting with rich juices, while the crunchy topping added a variety of textures owing to its composition of walnuts, cashews and hazelnuts. Their almost-savoury flavour counteracted any sharpness of the fruit, while the vanilla ice cream melted into it, so there were lots of different textures, flavours and temperatures. Incidentally, the ice cream was so rich that I would never have known that it was dairy-free – I’m glad I chose it over the cream.
The price of £5.95 (I think) was very reasonable for a delicious, warming meal and a couple of hours spent in a cozy environment nattering with a friend. I recommend Wild Thyme rather highly and shall be returning to try a main meal soon!