Monday, 27 December 2010

My visit to Peacocks Tearooms in Ely (Cambridgeshire)

When I had mentioned to my lovely friend...(the LOVELY and newly hitched Mrs Taylor)... that I have wanted to visit a tearoom in her local town for some time, and had never made it there to be able to enjoy their yummy treats, she jumped at the chance to join me for afternoon tea! 


So the date was finally set, and we met up on a very relaxed.... and very snowy and frosty Sunday lunchtime to enjoy the wonders of
Peacocks Tea Rooms in Ely, Cambridgeshire.
A riverside location, it really is a lovely spot at any time of year. 

Now, I had visited this very quaint tearoom earlier in the year, where myself and the mister had spent a warm(ish!) summer evening cuddled up under a blanket in the orchard at the back of the building. We had attended an outdoor screening of the new Tim Burtons' version of *Alice in Wonderland* which was just the perfect location to watch the movie al fresco. 
We had hoped for the opportunity to try their own tea and cake, however it was cheap boxed wine and popcorn only...a real shame

But today, I got to try both

We walked through the warm entrance to the main parlor, having left my mister walking the pooch along the river whilst we sat and had a gossip...hehe bless him! A little gem, he really is!
... And we were welcomed with a friendly smile from the girl at the counter, and were given a choice of tables to occupy, which is always great when you are as picky as I am when choosing a table....It can't be too dark (I like to be able to see my food and drink, as well as the menu itself!)....However I don't like it too light (No bright synthetic light overhead showing off my roots coming through, or bright sunshine through the blinds straight in my eyes... It needs to be just right!). 

The table was the perfect spot in the very centre of the room...a great seat to spy on other tables and their menu choices before ordering our own ; ) 
The table was Laid with a very cute sugar bowl with a traditional beaded net covering the cubes, as well as a very pretty lace tablecloth which reminded me of my grandmas kitchen table

The choice of tea was extensive, to say the least! 
Having only really just started to get into my tea choices, and learn which ones I actually enjoy drinking...It took me a while to realise that I would in fact like to go with a reccomendation from the lovely Sally, who I have been talking tea parties with via facebook (Thank you Sally...GREAT CHOICE HERE!!!)...I went with the Pleine Lune... a black tea with toasted almonds, spices and honey.
It smells as delicious as it tastes. It really does. 

I am starting to learn that black teas infused with any flavour are my favourite over green teas any day...but I know that I still have a lot to learn...So still (and always!) open to suggestions, should my readers have any to help me try new infusions!

Anyhow...should you be unsure of which tea to try...and, like me, are faced with the difficulty of having to choose one of tens of choices on the menu... this one is most surely one to sample! A real winner... which comes in real eye candy at Peacocks (in the form of Mis-matching teacups and saucers to help make this civilized treat even more fun for us tea geeks!)

Now for the accompaniments.

We all know that you can't have a pot of tea somewhere as special as Peacocks, without some treats alongside it : ) 
Having scouted the menu...and had a nosey at the cake stands towards the front of the tearoom, we both decided on the Peacocks special, this being a Christmas Cream Tea. A festive option that suited the feel of the day. 

We were given plenty of time to choose...we didn't feel rushed...which was great, as the gossip was just as good as the surroundings it did take us some time to decide. 
The lady who took our order even let us change the tea that came with it to our own choice, which was a welcomed bonus. 

The Christmas Cream Tea came with a large (And warm, which is becoming a favored option for these!) scone and a choice of preserve with the clotted cream. 
I went for the Blackcurrant and Sloe Gin option...and it was SO tasty that I actually bought myself a jar to take away and share at home later on. 
The menu also offered a warm home-made mince pie with brandy butter, which seemed a little decadent once the scone had been slowly consumed...but I did try a little with this...just a little...and it was well worth taking the time to try...and I felt very naughty indeed...a seasonal melt in the mouth butter with the already buttery pastry... I am a sucker for this sort of food which will one day, be no good thing!

To the eye, even the plate was decorated with a leafy clementine, which was a really nice touch to such a simple choice.
Garnish is always good to see, no matter what you order...noted for personal (And nerdy!) future reference! 

We took our time, and enjoyed tucking into everything, alternating between the mince pie, the scone and of course the tea.
We were not rushed at all which was a real pleasure. 

And the guilty conscience inside of me (Feeling bad that the mister was waiting outside with the pooch after their walk)..told me to buy a scone to take away for him to try at home..and the staff were extremely accommodating, allowing me to take one away which he did enjoy with my jam later that evening. 

I would highly recommend this place for a spot of afternoon tea or just a pot of there is such a huge selection to choose from, you could try a different pot every day of the week for months and never have the same one twice, I am sure of it!

I should imagine in the summer this place is taken over by tourists and locals alike. It can be a real hive of activity in this area in the nicer months, so if you are anything like may well be worth mentioning this! 
I would imagine the experience would not quite be the same when busier...I may be wrong there, and I may well have a nosey in 2011 to find out myself : ) 

And the next stop...once afternoon tea was consumed...was the antique shop next door....which you could spend hours browsing in!
3 floors of antiques to browse...everything from jewellery and nic nacs through to furniture, military uniforms and even crockery... My first Xmas present bought for me here in the form of a beautiful antique *Tea-For-One* set, which my lovely fiance bought for me when he saw that I couldn't keep my eyes off it ....I still can't... It was the perfect early Xmas present. 
What a lucky girl I am : ) 

A Lovely afternoon! 

And looking forward to more of them if they are going to be as lovely as this one hehe. 

Peacocks Tearooms is worthy of a visit, trust me! - I will be back to sample more tea very soon! 




  1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful journey to this tearoom! And what a great gift!

  2. I posted today about the book "Tea and Crumpets" and noticed that it has an article about the Peacocks Tea Room and a recipe for their Carrot Cake! They were voted Top Tea Place in 2007 by the UK Tea Guild.