My partner and I were in Alnwick to visit the Alnwick Gardens, and whilst we like the gardens, the food and drink there tends to be a little on the expensive/ average side, so we were looking for somewhere else to grab a tea and a cake.
We had noticed Bari Tea earlier in the day, and that it looked modern, inviting and sophisticated, without being too self conscious, and so we decided we'd give it a try. I cannot tell you how pleased we were with our choice!
We were greeted politely very soon after entering, and offered a table in the window. Yes, the tables are reasonably close together, but the table surfaces are large enough to accommodate a fair whack of teapots/ cakes, and so that is not an issue. Plus, part of the character of going into this beautifully decked-out tea shop is its cosy nature, and low ceilings. If you want a white box and lousy drinks, go to a chain venue (well, that's what I think, and always chose not to do!).
The menu is a kind of newspaper style - very funky and interesting, with little factoids and information about local tourist destinations. This was a really quirky touch, and also gave us something to have a read of after we'd made a decision of the food we'd order.
My partner and I decided to share the High Tea for Two. This is a tenner for two, and frankly an absolute steal. Not only do you get to select whichever tea you wish from the extensive list, but you get a choice of scone and a fruit kebab each. Fantastic value, and perfect for elevenses or an afternoon pick-me-up after treading around the town.
I would class myself as a reasonably seasoned tea drinker - I've had teas from Jing and Peko Tea, plus from other speciality tea shops - and I was impressed with the choice and the fact you could smell the blends prior to choosing. We opted for the Senko Cherry Rose, and it was truly delicious. We also opted for the cherry and rooibos scones, which were fresh, large and came with jam and fantastic cream. The other options were fruit scones, and cheese and apple - both of which I'm sure would have been delicious.
We were brought an additional jug of hot water to re-infuse the tea, which was a great touch. The remainder of the tea had become (as is normal) a little dry after a long infusion, and so topping up the pot with fresh water gave my partner and I another decent few cups of tea.
I think we were served by the proprietor, who was impeccable, and another older gentleman. We really couldn't have been made to feel more welcome, and the service had the charm of an old tea room with the sophistication you'd expect from a large city.
Please, please visit Bari Tea. You won't be disappointed. It's an oasis of calm, sophistication and downright great tea at brilliant value.
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