I had a really lovely and unexpected day today. There is a pretty café about 20 minutes’ walk from my house. No.84 Tea Room and Eatery. I’ve seen it lots of times but never visited. It’s always busy, which is a good sign.
My aunt texted me this morning and asked if I’d like to go today for elevenses. We’d talked about going a few times at our handicraft meet-up so today was as good a day as any. And my cousin has just moved back home so it was a good chance to catch up.
It was already busy when we arrived at 11am but a young chap said hello and to help ourselves to a table. A big, floral sofa with low coffee table was empty, as were the two outside tables. It was a perfect sunny day so we nabbed an outdoor table quick! The café is in Echo Square, Gravesend, which is a busy roundabout. So there was a bit of traffic noise but not enough to irritate and we could do some prime people-watching from our vantage point.
It was a little while before anyone came to serve us but they were very busy and we weren’t in a hurry. Adrian was our super ace waiter. A happy, bearded man. Beards automatically get bonus points.
He reeled off a long list of cakes available. We said we’d never been before and wanted to try EVERYTHING. We asked if they did a taster plate or mini selection? They didn’t but he’d put one together for us. Perfect.
Again, it did take a while to arrive but they’d never been asked for a taster plate before and it was peak time. We had plenty of drinks and were busy chatting anyway.
And oh my goodness, what a selection it was! A lot of cake, even for four hardened consumers of pudding. My Grandma (my aunt’s mum) always makes at least three desserts for her Boxing Day buffet. We are no strangers to multiple sweet treats. But this was epic!
We had a full slice of chocolate Creme Egg sponge for my seven year-old; then thinner sample sized portions of: dark chocolate and honeycomb cake;
lemon and raspberry cake; chocolate sponge with caramel cheesecake baked into the middle layer; ginger and white chocolate bombe; lemon and blueberry drizzle loaf; and Simnel cake. A LOT OF CAKE!
All delicious and tasted fresh and homemade. The chocolate and honeycomb was bitter and not too sweet. The lemon and raspberry was really zingy and light. And the caramel cheesecake layer cake was sweet and creamy.
Adrian topped up our teapot and replenished our milk jug halfway through. We also had a bottle of water delivered to help wash all the cake down!
The crockery and teaspoons were all chintzy and mismatched. I tried to take a photo inside but I was on a sugary cakey overload by that point so it came out a bit squinty. But it’s a really cute, retro place full of friendly people. They hold lots of interesting events there too, which you can find out about on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/No84Tearoom
It’s great to see a small, independent business doing so well and I’d thoroughly recommend popping along.