Slightly off the beaten track of Brading’s gift shops, wax museum, doll museum and tea shops is the Carousel Cafe. It is strikingly furnished with merry-go-round memorabilia – a welcome departure from the usual doilies and pastoral venacular. Cat and a friend ended up in the Carousel Cafe, not by design but because all the other tea shops in Brading were closed. This was a Saturday afternoon in high season, come on Brading, that’s not really good enough.
However, Cat and companion were glad that the doors they rattled were tightly shut, as otherwise they would not have experienced the delights of the Carousel Cafe.
A selection of home-made cakes greeted your reviewers, including carrot cake, fairy cakes and a spectacular-looking roulade, apparently made fresh that afternoon. However, it was a cream tea that your reviewers were after and what a great cream tea they got. The scones were huge and the perfect consistency – nice and crumbly but not too short. There was plenty of jam, two packets of butter each and piles of clotted cream – so much, in fact, that Cat’s usually capacious friend complained that there was too much – what blasphemy! And the price! £5.50 for two cream teas. The tea was very nice, although it would have benefitted from being served in a tea pot rather than being a teabag in the cup. This meant that only one cup per person was possible. Also, a jug of fresh milk is always preferable to those fiddly little cartons of milk – the same goes for the jam, butter and clotted cream, all sadly served in prewrapped portions.
Your reviewers sat on the tiny terrace although there is plenty of room in the main cafe and also within the conservatory. The toilets were well sign posted and were very clean. Despite the teabag/cup issues, the overall impression was extremely positive and Cat will be taking Matt there very soon so he can experience the best value for money cream tea on the Isle of Wight.
The Carousel Cafe, Brading