Guest blog from the Cream Tea Doctor
Last weekend I went to The Oxford Vintage Fair in the Oxford Town Hall, which not only promised fabulous vintage fashion and homewares but vintage cream teas too! Now, normally the Cream Tea Queen would jump at the chance to combine some vintage treasure-finding with a delicious cream tea to top off the experience, but alas, the Cream Tea Queen was otherwise engaged and enlisted my help to do a guest review for her blog. I am a cream tea lover, though not a seasoned connoisseur like the Cream Tea Queen, and I LOVE to eat, so here goes.
After almost two hours of browsing the vast amount of beautiful vintage pieces everywhere I turned, three laps of all the stalls, one purchase (four glass dessert bowls) and a couple of stops at my friend’s stall, Madam Magpie Vintage, I was well and truly ready for my vintage cream tea.
You need to understand how excited I was about this. My last cream tea was in November! I eagerly made my way down to the Town Hall Café and was immediately taken aback by the complete lack of any atmosphere at all, never mind a vintage one.
I didn’t let this deter me; after all I couldn’t let the Cream Tea Queen down. As I approached the till I was welcomed by some scones on lovely pink floral napkins (the only thing remotely vintage about this cream tea). They looked to be of average size, fruity and very cute with little flags on top saying “Take Your Pick”.
I ordered my cream tea and picked my out my own scone and paid £2.75, yes £2.75! Wow, this was the cheapest cream tea I had ever heard off. I took a seat and eagerly awaited the arrival of my cream team whilst listening to the humming of the very large drinks fridge. As I said earlier, it wasn’t a very atmospheric café.
On its arrival I was immediately impressed by the size of the tea pot and the milk jug, there was enough tea (and milk) for two large cups, perfect. I was a bit disappointed that the scones were cold and by the fact that they definitely didn’t look homemade, but they were served nicely and with ample amounts of clotted cream and jam. Despite not being fresh out of the oven, the scones tasted rather good, not too dry or stodgy and had plenty of fruit. The clotted cream and jam were both fresh and delicious and the tea (English breakfast) was served at the perfect strength. I was impressed.
Based on the price/quality ratio alone, I would have rated this cream tea 9/10. However, for me the full cream tea experience is important, so taking into account the drab atmosphere of this café, my final rating is 7/10.
Overall, I was really impressed with the quality of this cream tea at such a bargain price and it was a lovely way end to afternoon of vintage shopping, but I won’t be returning to the Oxford Town Hall café anytime soon.