When holidaying somewhere as picturesque as the Isle of Wight it is mandatory to have a cream tea in one of the many splendid tea shoppes. Likewise, when enjoying a break at the historic city of Lincoln this same refreshment is a must and there are plenty of places where the weary sightseer can rest their aching feet and imbibe this food of the gods.
Matt and Cat, having worn out much shoe leather gawping at the splendours that are Lincoln Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace, were gasping for a cuppa. They could have gone back to their holiday cottage and sat in their delightful garden supping on supermarket tea. As attractive as this prospect was to Matt, it was not sufficient for Cat who had worked herself up into a cream tea frenzy. Like a toddler petulantly demanding an ice-cream at the jingle-jangle of the van’s Pavlovian bells, she tugged at Matt’s sleeve and dragged him into the Steep Hill Tea Room for a nice cup of tea and a sit down.
M and C had already eaten at this quaint little café and had been impressed by the dainty crockery and modest prices. Without preamble Cat ordered a cream tea which came with a choice of plain, fruit or cherry scone. Matt, presumably still full from his tartiflette breakfast, rather reticently just had a pot of Assam tea. Along with the tea, the waitress kindly bought her charges two glasses of iced tap water (which Cat was tempted to pour over her hot feet) and disappeared to get the scone.
Cream tea £3.95
Pot of Assam £1.55
The Steep Hill Tea Room may have stood on this spot in Lincoln for hundreds of years. In which case, they have used those centuries well; honing the cream tea to a specialist art form. Loose leaf tea came in pretty gilded China teapots, with jugged milk, matching cups and saucers and a tea strainer. With the table laid with such adorable crockery it looked like some tourists’ idea of how a cream tea should look. Matt and Cat were those tourists and that’s exactly what they thought.
Cat’s scone did not come with butter – this debate has been had before on this website – but was delivered with a ramekin of thick cream and a matching one with strawberry jam. She spread the stuff on her soft cherry scone and shoved it in her eager cakehole. It was a fantastic scone; with a springy texture, not like some of those dry crumbly ones with a thick eggy glaze. Delicious. Matt got to have just a nibble but Cat wasn’t in a sharing mood and soon it was all gone.
Just a few steps away from the tea shop was Matt and Cat’s accommodation. Matt flopped into the house and Cat skipped off to the shops. Her flaccid demeanour was a distant memory; she had been revived by the age-old cure of tea and cake.