Reviewed by Lee-Anne McCarthy
So on a wet and wind swept day my husband and I found ourselves visiting the Barker Tea House in Cardiff. When we arrived we were greeted by very warm and welcoming staff. The Tea House had a quiet hum of activity about it as people settled into their cosy armchairs sharing in conversations, reading menus and even carrying out what appeared to be business like meetings. Immediately you could see it was a lovely hive of activity that attracted all kinds from business people to young mums with children.
Barker’s offers an extensive range of loose leaf teas. Staff were really helpful especially for a tea novice like myself who has little experience past a rushed dip of a tea bag in the morning. Staff were able to let me smell some of the tea to see if any was particularly appealing. I know I have a palate made for strong flavours and with the help of staff I was able to choose ‘Lapsang Souchong’. My husband, usually a coffee connoisseur, was keen to try something very different and went for a tea called ‘Very Fruity’. We were both carefully instructed on brewing time and in my case was provided with milk should I wish to add a little. The tea itself was like nothing we’d ever tasted it was a real delight to the senses. The smell, the look and the taste were all remarkable.
Sampling the afternoon tea was a real treat. Staff provided us with a beautiful stand with the classic afternoon tea delicacies. The bottom plate on the stand had a range of finger sandwiches Brie Parma ham and grape, beef and horseradish, smoked salmon, egg and cucumber. They were delicious my favourite was most definitely the Brie Ham and Grape. Never a combination I’d even considered before but it was a beautiful eat. Then on the second plate there was a lovely strawberry preserve a plain and fruit scone butter and clotted cream. The scones were light and fluffy. Lastly there was a mix of other sweet treats to tease the taste buds. Mint chocolate brownie, chilli chocolate cake, shortbread to name but a few. The real talking point was the chilli chocolate cake. We were really impressed by the flavour. It really warmed the throat but not in a spicy or overbearing way. It was a really surprising dessert that I’d love to attempt to make myself. The cost of the afternoon tea package for two was £35. For some this may seem a little expensive however I personally felt that the dishes we received were well worth the cost. The Tea House also provides gift vouchers an excellent idea for a loved one who deserves a relaxing and tasty treat.
The interior of the tea house is truly amazing. It oozes character and vintage appeal. The owners of Barker’s have worked really hard to create not only a comfortable space but one that also sparks interest in a bygone era. The huge chesterfield chairs and plush sofas provide such comfort for those often running round in the busy cityscape of the capital. We chose a lovely window table. It was wonderful cosying into the wings of the beautiful leather chair with my hand wrapped firmly around the gorgeous bone china cup people watching. Every little detail has been carefully considered. Right down to the gorgeous travel blankets on every chair by the outside tables should you wish to brave the elements in comfort. As I looked around the establishment it was also very clear that families were very welcome with highchairs, traditional toys and baby change facilities all available. The beautiful interior really enables you to relax and feel like you’ve found a little piece of history and a place of sharing for friends and family right in the heart of the city.
We give the Barker Tea House a deliciously delectable 5/5.
For more information visit Barker Tea House on Facebook.
Barker Tea House · High Street Arcade · Cardiff CF10 1BB.