As you will by now be aware, I have something of a penchant for tea. I am constantly wowing The Chap with my tea drinking abilities and unquenching thirst for the stuff. It is both a blessing and a curse.
As such, when I meet up with my BFF, the occasion tends to be punctuated by well-timed tea stops, and our most recent rendez-vous in Norwich was no different.
After umming and ahhing over which establishment to try this time, we remembered that Harriets tearooms is now open on London Street and we should best go see them. It would be rude not welcome such an establishment to this fine city, after all.
Times gone by
The first thing that hits you when you walk through the glass doors is the decor. They’ve tried to recreate the feel of a Lyons tea room, right down to the waiting staff, who are wearing nippie uniforms. It is beautifully done out with chandeliers, glass counters, marble table tops and mirrors. The whole effect is like stepping back in time. Needless to say, we felt right at home!
We were shown to our table, past rows and rows of yummy looking cakes, and presented with a menu each. Filled with hundreds of different teas and coffees, we did spend quite a lot of time weighing up the relative merits of nearly every option, only to go with a pot of own blend tea (£2.90 for one). Yep. We’re really that adventurous…
And because it was time for elevenses, we sort of had to have a cake each – isn’t it the law to have cake at 11am? Unforfunately this was sweet torture (almost literally) for the pair of us; being asked to choose just one cake is sacrilege. From beautiful petit fours, to sumptuous-looking sandwich sponges and scones with clotted cream and jam, it was a real struggle. Our waiter confessed that he thought we may never make our minds up!
It was the lemon meringue (£3.85) that eventually won my favour – fancying something tart and sweet on a bright summer’s day – while the scones took the eye of my BFF.
The tea was presented in a beautiful silver teapot, along with some extra hot water, and dainty little cups. The ceremony of it all was lovely and it felt rather decadent to spend my Saturday morning that way (especially as I’m sure there were about a billion other things I should have been doing!).
The tea itself was rather good, but I couldn’t for the life of you tell you what it tasted of. I wish I was more of a connoisseur, but it tasted like tea. Really nice tea. That’s about all I can give you. (If anyone wants to send me on a tea tasting course, I would be up for that…)
Thankfully I can speak with a little more authority on the lemon meringue, as I shall…
The lemon curd base was so tangy and sharp and complemented the light, fluffy meringue perfectly. There is something profound about a well-made meringue and this was no exception. The pastry was crisp and sweet too, with not a soggy bottom in site. Mary Berry would be proud.
I also have it on good authority that the scones were very fresh, with two per serving and a generous helping of clotted cream. Apparently they’re baked in house every morning, so I’m keen to get my mitts on some soon.
And although it was a bit expensive, we did spend more than an hour talking almost incessantly and we left feeling like we’d done something special for under £10 each, so I can’t really complain.
I’m keen to try it for lunch next… I shall report back in due course…