An established lunch and afternoon tea destination benefitting from a recent facelift and change of management
The Upside: Charming cakes, comforting soups, inspired savouries and freshly baked scones.
The Downside: Lunches are from 12-2.30 and the tea-room shuts at 4.30pm everyday.
The Flip-side: Lovely company creating unique food and local employment.
Tips: Leave plenty of time to mooch around Secretts Farm Shop too. They have an eclectic stock with some intriguing finds.
When word on the street filtered through that Suke and Tom Wibaut (owners of Butter and Cream) had taken over Eliza’s Tea Room it was welcome news. Situated right next to the entrance of Secretts Farm Shop this venue had been inching its way towards a fresh start for a while. Tired décor and a menu as old as some regulars had contributed to its fading star status.
At the moment changes here are small but visible to those in the know. Appreciating the loyal following the tea-room still has, firm favourites such filled baked potatoes have, for now, remained. New more contemporary menu items are being slowly added while Tom (a carpenter by trade) has refitted and restyled the serving area. Now there is plenty of room for a shiny new coffee machine and a large display area for gorgeous cakes (£3.00 a slice) and freshly baked scones (Cream teas from £5.45). For the more adventurous diner the specials board features seasonal bakes, tarts and home-made soups. Previously some of the food on offer was bought in so it’s delightful to see many more dishes being prepared on site from fresh produce some of which is local.
Having photographed the new menu for Suke I already had a sneak preview of the changes here. Designer sandwiches with interesting fillings, fresh soups with classy garnishes and great new breakfast menu. A few weeks later I popped in for lunch with my daughter. We sat with our backs to the specials board and ordered off the main menu but were lucky enough after chatting to the chef sample what was on offer . The beetroot, sweet potato and celeriac gratin had a subtle spicy earthy flavour, complimented by the sweetness of the potato which lent itself to the creamy texture . The roasted tomato tart was housed in a perfect short crust case and the rich yellow custard complimented the savoury-sweet tang of the roasted tomatoes (both (£7.95 with salad).
Having chosen from the main menu my daughter loved her classic tuna filled potato. This is a combo that seems to have beaten off the competition over the years, canned tuna mixed with mayonnaise, lemon juice and a few twists of black pepper in a piping hot oven baked spud. The oven baking of course develops a delicious skin and is a far superior being to those lazily blasted in a microwave. I opted for a new menu item; salad of roasted beetroot and butternut squash served over Secretts leaves and finished with chunks of fresh goats cheese (£8.25). The leaves had been tossed in a light, balsamic and olive oil dressing before serving, lending a refreshing tangy edge to each bite. The beetroot and squash were served warm making each cheese-laden mouthful one to savour.
After a busy morning and tasty lunch we still had room for a scone and a slice of gluten free almond cake all made by Suke’s team at Butter and Cream. The almond cake was moist and nutty and the scone would have got 10/10 from even the most old school Home Economics teacher. There is also a new breakfast menu which really comes in to it’s own on Sundays where you can enjoy cook to order French toast, American pancakes with maple syrup which compliment creamy scrambled eggs and omelettes.
Changes here mark a positive new era in the life of this Tea Room and it’s definitely worth a visit. Put it on your go to list!