Sunday, 3 June 2012

Grand Cafe, Oxford

I love walking past the Grand Cafe on Oxford's High Street and having a little peek through the windows. The blue and gold paint always catch my eyes, glistening away like an icon of sophistication.

Previously I'd only been here for cocktails (which I can thoroughly recommend), but today I was there for an entirely different reason: afternoon teas. What an ideal way to celebrate the Jubilee. More importantly, this would also be my first foray into the world of reviewing afternoon teas. I felt both excited and nervous at the prospect.

Grand high tea at the Grand Cafe
Grand high tea
The Cafe was buzzing as usual. Luckily for me, my friend Liz got there a few minutes early and snared us a table at the back. While we waited for our friends Anna and Sam to arrive I told Liz that today was the day I'd been talking about. I was going to start reviewing cream teas. Talk soon moved onto the fact that I'd need a notepad with a scone on the front to note my observations, but for now the back of a supermarket receipt would have to do.

We placed our orders. Sam and I were to have a cream tea (£7.50), while Anna and Liz outdid us and ordered the Grand high tea (£17.50). Our orders didn't take long to arrive, and soon our table was filled up with tea pots and two silver cake stands, each one brimming with edible delights.

I should have paid more attention to the Grand high tea, but I was drawn into my new job of reviewing cream teas. All I can tell you about the Grand high tea is that Liz was suitably impressed by the way the sandwich fillings spread to the edge of the bread (although I think that this came at the expense of the filling thickness).

Cream Tea Queen's cream tea at the Grand Cafe
Cream Tea (note the tea strainer)
Back to the main event: the cream teas. The English tea was very drinkable, and I particularly enjoyed the fact that it came with a tea strainer (plus stand). Extra pots of boiling water mean a lot to some of my friends, so I'll warn them now that this tea didn't come with it.

I love a good-sized scone, nothing too small, so these ones ticked all the right boxes. Each cream tea comes with a fruit scone and a plain scone. I dived in for the fruit scone. It was at this point that I forgot all about my new job of reviewing cream teas; a good sign as it shows just how tasty the scone was! Moist, not too fruity, everything a Cream Tea Queen could hope for. I wasn't as impressed with the plain scone and found it a bit dry. I also felt sick by the end and couldn't finish it all, but I think that's a reflection of how much I'd eaten rather than anything else!

I must also mention the cream and jam, both of which were equally tasty. The waitress also brought us another pot of cream and jam (at no extra charge) when we'd polished ours off. My only suggestion for improvement would be to have homemade jam. 

Cream Tea Queen gives the Grand Cafe a thumbs up!
Thumbs up to the Grand Cafe
Finally, I feel honoured to have been with you today Sam to see you have your first ever cream tea. (How have they managed to pass you by up to now?!)

So, how did the Grand Cafe do on the Cream Tea Queen rating? The cream tea itself was delicious, the fruit scone in particular. The only letdown for us was the overpowering heat in the Cafe which meant we actually appreciated the cold, wet English summer outside. With this in mind I'd give it a 7/10. Good work Grand Cafe, we'll be seeing you again!

Happy scone eating,

The Cream Tea Queen

No comments:

Post a Comment