Monday, 11 April 2016

Boston Tea Party, Stratford-upon-Avon

This place occupies the old school at the top of Henley Street that was once the Buzz cafe and then a branch of Hudson's coffee shop and tea rooms. The layout is essentially the same - steps up to the entrance but a garden round the back for easier access. There is a humungous staircase to conquer if the place is full, though. Having said that, the staff are so chirpy and friendly, they will do their best to help you out.
The menu is the same all day as this is a cafe not a restaurant. So do not expect to go at 7-8pm at night and be offered a more traditional evening fare. Just the daytime array of breakfasts, variations-on-a-theme-of-sandwich and burgers. All of which comes highly recommended by me, especially the poached eggs on toast. Free range eggs, granary bread and real butter, accompanied by a hot, creamy latte.

There is also a slightly different clientele. Younger, for one. It offers up for your delectation an array of willowy young men, bearded, earnest-looking doe-eyed hipsters, DILFs and silver-haired elderly gentlemen of lean and lissom build*.



*I'm back on the steroids again. Can you tell?

Coughton Kitchen Restaurant, Coughton Court, Alcester

I cannot really give a fair review of this as my mind was preoccupied at the time, but I have used this restaurant before. It is not as small as you think it is. There's the seating area by which you enter which is in the form of a conservatory/marque. Then an indoor seating area opposite the kitchens and service space; but, venture further and there is a small, brightly lit room at the back offering plenty of seating since no one seems to know it is there. Particularly useful for access if the entrance is full.

I only had a cup of tea here and it was perfectly acceptable although served in a slightly too utilitarian style. I had the aluminium-tea-pot-and-plain-white-crock-cup-and-saucer combo that, while serviceable, I always think of as not very National Trust. Still, at that time, my mood was such that I soon abandoned the place to roam the gardens in the lamping rain trying my best to get thoroughly soaked, switching off the oxygen to exacerbate the maudlin feelings, hoping to align myself with that most Romantic of fates, the onset of a fatal, consumptive cough. Think Wollstonecraft on Putney Bridge, Keats on top of a coach in a pelting rainstorm, Byron in the swamps at Missolonghi.

Which did not work. Back outside the restaurant, an elderly lady asked me if I was alright. Which ruined the mood somewhat. Especially when she offered me her toasted teacake.