‘Where there is tea, there’s hope’ – Sir Arthur Wing Pinero
Buried in the heart of the ever-trendy and ever-growing Northern Quarter lies Teacup Kitchen – an invitingly warm and humble cafe where you can drop all your worries and troubles at the door.
Its red front exterior gives Thomas Street a burst of colour, an indication of the vibrancy and life that the cafe boasts. The red and dark grey colour scheme runs throughout the entire location, where descended lights hang from exposed pipes, giving the place an elegantly cool and industrial vibe.
The soft, cafe jazz you hear upon arrival creates a relaxing ambience – making Teacup Kitchen the perfect location to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
As soon as we entered we were greeted by the array of delicious and colourful cakes on display – a visual taster of the sweet sensations Teacup have to offer. One cake in particular stood out for all the right reasons – the Rainbow Cake is a staple of the establishment. Many regulars travel miles to grab a slice of the colourful Battenberg layers, topped with raspberry jam and enrobed in marzipan.
Our warm and spritely host, Lorna, led us to our table where our food and drinks menu awaited us. As the name suggests, Teacup are renowned for their exquisite selection of popular, rare and premium teas.
The understated drinks menu reads ‘a proper tea experience’ and that’s exactly what you get. “When Teacup Kitchen first began”, Lorna told us “we specialised in loose leaf tea and a selection of cakes”. Whilst they have expanded in recent years to accommodate a delicious breakfast and hearty, healthy lunch menu, Teacup stays true to their origins with the vast array of deliciously unusual tea options.
From Teacup’s NQ brew, to red lychee to vanilla cacao – the selection is nothing short of divine. The unusual blend of floral notes with the Indian black Assam tea, make for a tantalising assortment that would be sure to feature in any NQ bucket list.
At Teacup, teas are brewed to the strength of your preference. With a triple sand timer that indicates the strength of your tea, and the providing of milk and sugar – Teacup Kitchen do not fail to deliver the ‘proper tea experience’ that they promise.
The sweet and fragrant aromas from the vanilla cacao tea give only a fraction of the satisfaction the tea delivers in taste. The indulgent flavours are first welcomed with the obvious overtones of sweet vanilla which are then followed by the rich and delectable chocolate aftertaste.
The Rooibos tea is light and sweet and serves as the perfect palette cleanser. The refreshing tea has a taste almost similar to a mixture of peppermint and liquorice and is delightfully uplifting.
We started with the duck and pear salad, a light starter to the meal ahead. The duck was succulent and tender and infused with the sweetness of the perfectly ripe pears. Sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and rations of horseradish, the beautiful colours and the sweet and tangy tastes perfectly balance the flavoursome dish.
The ‘British Brekkie’ goes above and beyond any traditional English Breakfast. The baked beans were by far the most surprising part of the dish. By stewing borlotti beans in a homemade sauce with pork lardons, Teacup Kitchen has made their own twist on the classic addition to the traditional British breakfast. Although the poached eggs were slightly overdone, the whole roasted tomato, the thickly sliced black pudding and toast made from freshly baked bread, made the dish an exquisitely flavoursome and hearty meal.
The fish finger flatbread wrap is a bestseller for good reason. The accompanying salad, coleslaw and lemon balance the coley based dish, although without it, some may find the fish overpowering.
The flourless chocolate cake may have been the winning dish of the entire meal. The dark chocolate ganache, which is whipped and then baked, creates a melt-in-the-mouth truffle texture. Whilst the cake is gluten free, it is definitely not sin-free – the flourless cake is a delicious and moreish moment of guilty pleasure that you never want to end.
As well as the fine selection of tea, Teacup also offers a delightful cocktail menu. The English Country Garden cocktail made a refreshingly sweet accompaniment to the meal. With its combination of Breton botanical gin, fresh raspberries, elderflower and lime, the English Country Garden is a fancy and refreshing twist on the classic G&T.
The generous portion sizes and outstanding service warrant the prices, which stand at around £8 for breakfast, £9 for lunch options and around £4 for the wide-ranging selection of teas. With the option of free wifi and the promise of service with a smile, the Teacup Kitchen is the perfect place to unwind and relax with friends and family.
Amid all the Brexit woes and the ongoing widespread social unrest, take a break and have some supper with a cuppa at Teacup Kitchen.
TNT Food & Drink Alexia Hendrickson