Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Cordial and Grace tea-rooms, Clifton Village

Last weekend, the pretty Georgian shopping quarter of Clifton Village was bathed in frosty sunlight and looking at its best – definitely a good choice for a stroll and morning coffee with my visiting family.  After a potter over the Clifton Bridge and a bit of window shopping around a few of the fantastic independent boutiques, it was time for a cup of tea and a bite to eat. Unsurprisingly, many of Clifton’s coffee shops were busy and, as there were five of us (Mum, my aunt (R), my brother (D) and his girlfriend (J)), it was a little difficult to find somewhere to seat us all. 

Although a little understated from the outside – possibly accounting for why they were not quite as busy as other places – once inside, Cordial and Grace tea-rooms are bright and modern with a fashionably kitsch feel.  They are a sewing café - apparently following a trend in Paris and Berlin and catering for the increasing market of crafters – and hire sewing machines by the hour as well as holding a wide variety of sewing workshops. 

There was a good variety of cakes available, including three types of mince pies, three different cream teas (including a savoury option), a chocolate and clementine marble cake, apricot and yoghurt cake, peanut butter brownies and home-made cookies. We loved that they had little tasters of a couple of the cakes and a taste of the apricot and yoghurt cake tempted me, J and R. The cake was a decent sized slice and lovely: moist, full of flavour and not-too-sweet – great for a mid-morning snack. D went for a peanut butter brownie – he was slightly disappointed by the size (definitely a girl-sized portion!) but not by the taste – he allowed me a crumb and it was rich, peanutty and delicious. 

I loved that the tea came served in mis-matched teacups and saucers – very fitting with the overall atmosphere of the tea-rooms. The tea itself was proper leaf tea and came with a very cute little egg timer – to let you know when the tea had brewed correctly! D had a big mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows, Mum had a latte and J had a Jasmine tea, which were all good. R ordered a white Americano but it came as a black Americano, but she decided to just use some of the milk provided with my tea, rather than asking for it to be changed.

Overall, I was impressed with this cute little café. Not sure if I’d return with EHH, but I’d definitely bring a couple of my girl friends – who would love it! I’ll definitely be back to Clifton in the near future though – I hadn’t been for a while and I’d love to have a bit more time (without a shopping-averse brother) to potter around all of the brilliant independent shops up there.

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