Resolution 37 - Afternoon tea at Chez Shamwari
This is the first time I’ve participated in a secret tea room experience. And it was all rather fun.
The menu is confirmed a few days in advance, the address just a few hours beforehand. We had strict instructions to arrive between 1.50pm and 2pm. The food would wait for no-one, so mustn’t be late or risk missing one of the courses.
We were welcomed by our host Shirley and invited into her rather beautiful terraced house in the heart of Saltaire village. Shirley clearly has an eye for interior design her lounge and kitchen, although small, felt far bigger than they were, and were expertly crafted. We were two of six guests invited along, and within a few minutes we were all chatting effortlessly, and discovered we were all oddly connected via Minworth.
The atmosphere was relaxed from the get go. No awkward silence and lots of laughs, and interesting range of topics covered.
But of course the real centre of attention was the food. For those not au fait with the afternoon tea thing, it follows a very satisfying format. Trimmed finger sandwiches to start, in our case prawn, avocado lettuce and sundried tomato, and Monterey Jack with gherkins.
With dinky little mustard cheese muffins, and mini pizzas alongside.
Then onto the main event – the cakes. My favourite was the Mississippi mud pie, but that’s not to dismiss the American cheesecake, carrot cake, or buttermilk scones. All of which were absolutely delicious.
Shirley, who is originally from Zimbabwe, was the perfect host. Cups of lovely tea, best enjoyed without milk, and strong coffee were filled effortlessly, and goody bags provided for any of the leftovers, all kindly wrapped and packed for our ongoing delight late into the night.
The suggested donation of £13 was well worth the money. I chucked in £30 for the two of us, and felt like we’d got great value for it. The doggy bag alone was worth a tenner, packed as it was with five or six delights from the cake stand.
And the wife, whose birthday we were belatedly celebrating, a self-proclaimed connoisseur of afternoon tea, was most pleased.
Next week she’s off for another, less secretive, afternoon tea at Woodlands, subject to the Groupon voucher coming through. I doubt it can match yesterday though for quality of food, atmosphere and conversation.
For more information contact: http://chezshamwari.com/
Afternoon Tea Menu
Monterey Jack & gherkins
Avocado, lettuce & sundried tomato
Cheese and wholegrain mustard muffins
Mini tomato, olive & feta pizzas
Cakes and scones:
Carrot cake & cream cheese frosting
Mississippi mud pie
Baked American cheesecake
Buttermilk scones with jam & clotted cream
Loose leaf Rooibas (South African herbal tea)
Loose leaf Tanganda (Zimbabwean black tea)
Loose leaf Ilam (Nepal)
Green tea & selection of fruit teas
Nicaragua Santa Barbarina Marogogype