A few months ago I was made aware of a lovely little cafe in my local town, Cafe Aroma. As it was only a five minute walk from work, I decided to pop in one lunchtime to get something to eat.
I was warmly welcomed by the owner and staff, had a good perusal of the menu and decided on a chicken, bacon and cheese panini to take away.
I have to say since that day, I have been pretty much addicted to those panini’s and when I am on shift you can usually find me popping along for my lunch.
In fact now, I don’t even need to go to the counter as they know exactly what I am there for.
During chatting with the owners “right hand woman” Yvonne, she told me that they were in the process of decorating the upstairs of the cafe and having a vintage style tearoom where they would be offering afternoon tea.
Well, this girl loves a good afternoon tea and told her I would look forward to giving it a go when it was up and running!
Long time readers of my blog will know that I had been learning sign language to communicate with an elderly gentleman who is profoundly deaf. Dennis now lives in a residential home and I go and visit him every couple of weeks.
On one of the recent visits I asked him out for a cup of tea and a slice of cake, and thought I would take him to see Yvonne at Cafe Aroma.
When I went in on one of my lunch breaks I mentioned it to her, and she told me that afternoon teas were now up and running in the upstairs, wonderfully called “Miss Marples”
I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to treat Dennis, as he has no friends or family, and asked if I could book an afternoon tea.
Yvonne went out of her way to accommodate us, as when I asked Dennis out, he could only make the morning. This, I was assured, was no problem at all!
Also as Dennis is a little unsteady on his feet, I wasn’t sure if he could manage the steep staircase, so asked to have a table downstairs. Again this was happily arranged.
So, the day came when we were to go and have our little treat. I picked Dennis up and we went into town for tea.
Walking along to the cafe I was eager to see just what Dennis thought and also to have a little treat myself.
Yvonne warmly welcomed us and sat us at a lovely table. She enquired if there were any foods that we didn’t like, and if we would prefer tea or coffee.
Signing with Dennis, I was able to tell Yvonne that he would love a cup of tea and was happy with any food that was served us.
A large pot of tea and two china cups were immediately served to us, and I played “mum” pouring and sugaring the tea to our requirements. Dennis had a large mug in his bag which he prefered to a dainty cup and we sat chatting whilst the food was prepared.
Before too long a beautifully patterned cake plate was put in front of us with delicate long crustless finger sandwiches and on the top tier, scones, jam and clotted cream!
The sandwiches were cheese and coleslaw, chicken mayo and ham and tomato and they were delicious. Moist, fresh and tasty on a variety of bread, they really hit the spot!
Then we moved onto the fruited scones. Now these were totally up my street. I helped Dennis prepare his with clotted cream and jam, and we tucked in.
Yvonne brought us another pot of tea over and we washed the delightful scones with the hot sweet tea. She also told us that she would be bringing the cake over imminently!
Cake? I was already stuffed to the gills and when I signed to Dennis that cake was coming, his eyes grew as big as saucers.
A lovely plateful arrived with a little banoffee tart, some mini meringues with cream and raspberry coulis and a huge wedge of carrot cake,
Now this was where I had to admit defeat. I literally couldn’t manage another mouthful and neither could Dennis.
Yvonne very graciously boxed up the cake for us and Dennis said he was too.
Dennis also asked if it was possible to take a look upstairs as he wondered if it would be a little more private and suitable for his needs.
This just goes to show that I shouldn’t assume that the stairs would be a problem, and we went up to have a look around.
The interior was simply lovely, with china tea services and ornaments all around. Old fashioned clocks and sewing machines give a real vintage feel and this is helped along by the 40’s music playing softly in the background.
One of the lovely finishing touches are the framed drawings of our local town and it’s landmarks, drawn beautifully by Ali Kelly, a local artist. Pubs and Churches are some of the featured illustrations and can even be purchased whilst in the cafe.
The tables upstairs were also a little bigger which Dennis preferred, and as it was of view of the main road, a lot more private to do our signing together.
I told Dennis that next time we came I would make sure to book upstairs. He was over the moon that I was going to bring him back and told me to make sure I thanked Yvonne for a wonderful time.
Going downstairs I relayed his message to Yvonne and told her I wanted to book us in again for a few weeks time.
I really can’t recommend Miss Marples afternoon teas enough. The food was simply delicious, and beautifully presented, the tea was plentiful and I left with a big smile and full tummy.
Combined with the fantastic price of only £15, I thought it was great value and am looking forward to when Dennis and I return.
Since the first visit we have been again, a different variety of cakes and sandwiches were served, which were so lovely again. We have booked to go back again in a few weeks….
But in the meantime I keep going up for those delicious panini’s!