Family’s magical tea time
- Credit: Archant
We are in pretty Redbourn this week, at the newly opened The Enchanted Tea Rooms. Situated in a lovely old building right on the High Street, the café is full of character, with ceiling beams, paned windows and a narrow winding staircase.
Pale vintage-style furniture, green walls, tulip wallpaper and tables set with vintage crockery create a light, welcoming atmosphere. We sat in two high-backed armchairs which are exactly the same as those my 91-year old grandmother has in her sitting room, which surely can only be a good thing.
Sisters Alexandra and Andrea run the café, along with mum Elena, and the café has already been very busy with lots of locals going in to see the transformation.
It is table service, so find a spot and read the surprisingly long menu – I was expecting tea and cakes of course, but they also do simple breakfasts and a lunch menu, including quiche, soup, jacket potatoes, sandwiches and salads.
The superfood salad, for example, is made with spinach, beetroot, quinoa, sun-dried tomatoes, sweetcorn and peppers and is £5; add avocado for a little extra.
You may also want to watch:
Cakes and bakes are made each day by the in-house patisserie chef and you choose from the small counter. When we went in there were brownies, banana bread, blueberry muffins and mini fresh cream buns; a freshly baked Bakewell tart was being cut up, so I waited for a slice of that. My partner chose a cream tea which came with two small, warm scones, clotted cream and either jam or lemon curd.
Pots of loose-leaf tea are a sensible price at £2.50 for one person, which gave us two to three cups each. There was a long tea menu, and I was surprised there was no decaffeinated black tea option, but there were alternatives including mint.
- 1 St Albans named among UK's coldest cities
- 2 Needle spiking incident alleged at St Albans nightclub
- 3 The latest court results for the St Albans area
- 4 11 questions to decide how St Albans you are!
- 5 White Horse landlords ride off into sunset after 10 years
- 6 St Albans Chamber's Not St George's Day event is a smash success
- 7 Apply for free tickets to be in the audience of The Masked Singer UK in Hertfordshire
- 8 Jeffers has double helpings as St Albans City continue to wolf down their 'bread and butter' at Bath
- 9 Boy, 14, mugged in Harpenden park
- 10 Driver disqualified after St Albans crash
Full afternoon tea is the café speciality, with sandwiches, scones and cakes for £19.95. You can add prosecco or Champagne, and gluten-free and vegan options are available with a little notice. I like that they do a smaller tea for under 12s, which include mini rainbow bagels and sparkly cakes; a lovely idea for a special birthday.
Upstairs are two spacious rooms and I am sure you can book one for a special tea occasion; the room with the huge chandelier is very pretty, and they use them at weekends when busy too. Do have a peak upstairs; there is a beautiful mural in one room, painted by local artist Sarah Nicholson, which explains the ‘enchanted’ name.
Alexandra explained to us that the bread comes from Yummies in Radlett, where she used to work, and they buy flour from nearby Redbournbury Mill for bakes that work well with their strong flour.
I was pleased to see a glass urn of tap water with proper glasses rather than disposable plastic, and if you want to get a takeaway coffee, their cups and lids are recyclable.
The front door to the tea rooms is kept closed, which is sensible for warmth and road noise, so do venture in; it is a deceptively large café. I like that there are high chairs, and sensible children’s options, which makes it a useful café option for the village. I did ask about dogs, and they are not allowed.
With The Hub down the road always busy, there is definitely need for a new café in Redbourn, and I think Alexandra and Andrea have made this a great local option, whether for an everyday cup of coffee or a special occasion. It is open seven days a week, 7am-6.30pm during the week, and 9am-5pm Sundays and 9am-6pm Saturdays.