October 13, 2013

High Tea in the Hills

A couple weekends ago while I was still sick, I roused myself from my death bed to have an afternoon high tea at De Bles Cafe in Kelmscott.  Take it from me, it's not the most enjoyable experience to attempt a high tea sitting while you can barely breathe or talk.  In hindsight I should have stayed home, but I'm loyal to the cause and will rarely say no to food.

I pass De Bles Cafe on a weekly basis even though I live nowhere near it but my fabulous Pilates instructor is nearby in Roleystone and I drive past the cafe on the way to her studio.  In fact, I actually thought it was located in Roleystone because she is literally only a short walk further down the street but a quick check tells me it's Kelmscott.  When you have a good Pilates instructor you will drive far for her.  The same can be said for buttery pastries. 

As well as being a cafe, they are also a patisserie and the rear of their premises sells a variety of baked foods as well as breads and baguettes.  Knowing this I may stop in after a Pilates class to indulge in a pastry.  Again, I'm loyal to the cause.

I was really impressed with the cafe upon walking in.  It really is quite unassuming and for many they would probably drive past and not even know it was there.  The main dining room where the high tea is served was prettily decorated with the tables set with cute crockery and a simple vase of flowers.  At the rear is further cafe seating, however I believe this main dining room is solely for high tea.  

They offer a really good choice of teas, as well as coffee and hot chocolate.  I had the vanilla rooibos which was really good.  I didn't pay close enough attention though to making a note of the tea and coffee they serve so I'm not sure which brand of tea it was.  I did pay enough attention though to know that I enjoyed it.

The tiered stands came with an assortment of savoury and sweet treats, as you would expect.  A couple of different sandwiches, a quiche, strawberry tarts, macarons, chocolates and of course, scones with jam and cream.  I didn't eat everything as my appetite was feeling a bit suppressed, but the scones were really good.  They were great scones.  The sandwiches were good too, not being stale or dry.  

I noticed as we left that you can also buy the teas and coffee that they serve.  The only downside to De Bles was the confusion as to where we pay when we left.  The staff looking after the main room farewelled us, and they were very lovely and provided us with great service, but it seemed that they were not the ones who take care of the bill.  We were left standing there and when no-one came to take our payment we walked out into the rear cafe where the staff working that area helped us out.  We went out that way and saw the lovely grounds that they occupy complete with a flowing stream.  It was very picturesque.  I imagine it would lovely out there on a nice day.

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