Following the success of their first tea room in Penylan and the one year old ‘Washington’ tea room in Penarth, the team behind the Waterloo Tea brand in Cardiff have recently expanded in to a third location. They have chosen a beautiful city centre site for their next project, taking up residence in the perfectly-picturesque Wyndham Arcade.
If you think that sounds a little too chain-y, rest assured, this is no carbon-copy venture. The move has given the team a chance to try something a little bit different, and as a result, the city centre site will offer full table service which complements the new ‘more involved’ food menu. Upstairs, they have also included a private lounge area which looks ideal for business meeting and the like, as it offers a little more privacy. The final icing on the cake (literally) is the fact that they will be housing an in-store bakery meaning that they can now create some delicious sweet treats on site, every day.
I was lucky enough to be invited down to the new premises for a taste of what they have in store. In keeping with the ethos of their other tea rooms, the walls were adorned with work from local artists, and the interior was decorated in crisp, clean lines with minimal clutter – a far cry from the kitsch styling that usually goes hand in hand with the ‘tea room’ concept.
We were seated by a lovely, smiley, gentleman who talked us through the extensive tea menu that regular Waterloo customers will have become accustomed to. He also served our chosen selection of teas with clear instructions for optimum brewing times, presenting them with their own mini sand-timers so that we could judge it to the exact second. Here, the brewing of a perfect cuppa isn’t simply a passion, it’s an exact science.
We chose to lunch on a meaty miso-marinated hake fillet served with green beans, and a quinoa and pearl barley salad. Both were of a standard you would expect from a great restaurant – locally sourced and often organic, arriving beautifully presented on contemporary white crockery. There were a couple of meat options on the seasonally-changing menu when we visited, but many of the dishes were vegetarian – making this the perfect drop-in venue for a healthy lunch date.
Business or pleasure, the Wyndham tearoom is sure to be a hit with the city centre crowds.
Love tea? Check out local Cardiff blogger Cardiff in a Teacup for more musings!