At a convenient spot opposite the bustling beach at Ryde is a new and attractive tea shop entertainingly named the Happy Heifer.
The cafe is nicely decorated with tongue-and-groove panelling and quarry-tiling on the floor. Although the interior is pretty small, Matt and Cat had no trouble finding a seat; if there is no room inside there are a couple of tables on the little terrace. The staff were very welcoming and attentive, and soon the traditional pot of tea for two was on the way, followed by a beef sandwich and an egg sandwich. Although Matt’s first choice, baked potato, was not available, the waiter very efficiently offered to produce a microwaved one, making it clear that this wouldn’t be as good. In many places you expect to get a microwaved spud regardless, so this was a positive display of helpfulness showing an obvious interest in the quality of the food.
The menu was of the traditional tea shop style, with tea, coffee, homemade cakes, scones and light savouries including baked potatoes, sandwiches and the like. Prices were moderate. The tea was not bad, coming in a china pot with real milk; Cat’s request of hot water to top up the pot was politely complied with (the teapot did not hold more than 2.5 small cups). The food arrived promptly, and compared favourably to a similar order which Matt and Cat recently had at the Jireh, Yarmouth. Unlike the Jireh, the Happy Heifer sandwiches were large, generously filled, and served with a very attractive salad garnish, including some fancy crisps and no sign of the much-detested sliced raw onion! Matt’s beef sandwich even came with optional horseradish.
Matt and Cat broke with their usual tradition and ordered deserts, Matt choosing a delicious chocolate and fresh cream roulade and Cat sampling the slightly rubbery rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice cream. The deserts and revived tea pot rounded off an excellent snack, which was served in a pleasant environment with exceptionally good service.