Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Cup of Tea and a Cake

Whenever the other half and I are out shopping, it's an unspoken law that we have to stop for a cup of tea and a cake at some point along the way. If it takes too long to get to that point, it can quickly become a very vocal law on his part, and spoil the whole outing. So I try to make sure these essential sustenance stops are well-planned and slotted in at the appropriate interval. Favourite refuelling stations in Brighton include Puccino's, Bill's, Komedia, Moments, Wai Kika Moo Kau and of course the Sanctuary. In Lewes, the cosy Needlemakers is the best. When we're away on holiday, the pursuit of the perfect refreshment pitstop becomes an even more serious business, and can easily preoccupy our collective thoughts for the better part of a day.

This outstanding table of cakes (beautifully photographed by Ant) was discovered at Café BeanGoose (I know - brilliant name!) on Holy Island during a tour of the North East a couple of years ago. The beverage selection was just as abundant, making for one of the best cup-of-tea-and-a-cake episodes in our ongoing saga. At the very opposite side of the planet, Zippy's of Nelson (New Zealand) comes in a close second with its cool hippy vibe and artistically served coffees. The Haga area of Gothenburg in Sweden is the epitome of European café culture, awash with mellow little venues full of yummy mummies and their bright babies, it's where we first discovered that it is perfectly acceptable (if the Scandies do it, it must be ok) to have a cinnamon swirl and a bucket of tea for your lunch. A trip to Belgium wouldn't be complete without scoffing at least one lot of waffles a day, and the best we have encountered so far (I challege you not to salivate) were in a little backstreet, not very touristy, place in Bruges.

Outside of Europe (and some English-speaking ex-colonial countries), the tea and cake culture is harder to come by, though if you are prepared to experiment, there are some interesting variations around. A mug of steaming spiced chai accompanied by teeth-achingly sickly sweets on a beach in India can really raise the spirits, as does a cup of stimulating Brazilian maté tea with a slice of the wonderfully named bolo de rolo, or something equally soothing. But you can travel the world in search of the best cup-of-tea-and-a-cake combo, and find, like Dorothy before you, that there really is 'no place like home' to enjoy a freshly baked bun and a brew.
blog comments powered by Disqus