Tea at Ten
Food 7 / 10
Drink 7 /10
Atmos 8 / 10
Tea at Ten Charming cafe in The Suffolks, strong on tea.
The Longer Read Tea at Ten? Charming, charming, charming.
Tea at Ten has a rather understated exterior signing compared to Little Boho next door. Which is very English I suppose. And that’s appropriate considering the emphasis on tea here. It’s also quite an eccentric little place. The website for example, basically, hasn’t happened – it’s stuck on a timer showing how long it is since they opened. Customers are a good mix of posh locals and curious visitors. This is a place I would bring a friend from overseas to show them a good, non-chain tea room.
Inside Tea at Ten has a groovy (yep, that’s what I wrote in my notes: ‘groovy’) mix of vintage and modern. Vintage glassware (for sale) on the shelves. The room is bright, clean and modern. Multicoloured tin or wood tables, a small chandelier, plants, lovely crockery.
The menu is small but in a good way; croissants, box of cereal, chargrilled vegetables, avocado with tomato and basil as typical ‘small bites’. Sharing plates of cheese or antipasti. Mains are between £4 and £8 – soup of the day (sweet patato (sic) and quinoa), grilled halloumi, a hearty classic pork pie or toasties. I had the Ploughman’s Lunch, which arrived as a Ploughman’s Sandwich (well, this is Cheltenham after all), with balsamic pickled onions and some ‘proper’ cheese as part of the mix.
Loose Leaf Teas at Tea at Ten
Coffee was so-so, but, point coming, Tea at Ten has a fantastic menu of loose leaf teas. It comes with tasting notes and ran the range from teas that you are familiar with to teas that may be new to you: Ginger Cut, Keemun, Chocolate Tea and Rwanda Burundi – which I tried, it’s a strong tea with a brisk malty flavour. There are 25 or so teas on the list.
Service is individualistic. You might find yourself being offered something extra, because they’ve made too much of it. And the manager will happily talk you through the range of teas. She has an evangelistic approach to getting you to try something other that English breakfast.
There is a small range of cakes cut to order – each with a satisfyingly healthy sounding name: Vegan Chocolate Cake (delicious), Lemon Polenta Cake, Carrot Cake. I look forward to going back. If it’s busy, Baker and Graze around the corner is also reliable.