The Tea Garden

Goscote Nurseries, Syston Road, Leicestershire LE7 4UZ
Tel: 01509 812 121 (this is the number for the nurseries)
Website: (website for the deli and patisserie)
Opening times: Monday – Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 10am-5pm
Access: Flat to enter and within; also around the gardens. Toilets on site. Parking on site.

I have always been a bit dubious about tea rooms in garden centres because I have found some not to meet my criteria but, recently, I have been proved wrong and The Tea Garden at Goscote Nurseries is one that I am glad to have been proved wrong about. Here is a cute tea room in a garden-house like structure attached to the nursery shop. There are 6 tables inside but the delight is that, around the nursery’s beautifully laid out gardens, amongst trees and a water feature, are garden tables and chairs. This provides a really lovely setting for tea.

The Tea Garden is run by “Dominic at David North Deli and Patisseries”, which is a local deli. This has an excellent reputation for good quality food, which therefore guarantees the quality of food and drink in the Tea Garden. Service is to the table and the menu is a combination of breakfasts, sandwiches and salads and a specials menu, including soup of the day. I ordered a Pea and Mint Soup; home-made and full of flavour. The cakes on display also looked very tempting.

Excitingly, for me, there is loose leaf tea here and the Earl Grey I tried was clear and refreshing. The walls house an exhibition of paintings from a local artist. I loved this tea room and noticed a lot of people seemed to be combining some garden shopping with a good value and tasty lunch – perfect. Don’t miss out on this great place; The Tea Garden has ensured I don’t overlook garden centre tea rooms! Do pay a visit if you are in the area, or passing by.
Images courtesy and © Dominic at David North Deli and Patisserie


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12 Victoria Street, Nottingham NG1 2EX

Tel: 0115 948 4461



Opening times: Monday – Friday 8am-7pm; Saturday 9am-7pm; Sunday 11am-5pm

Access: flat access to enter, seating on ground floor (mainly stools but couple of tables and chairs) and mezzanine area. Delilah is within a largely pedestrianised area with tram access.


I visited Delilah several years ago so, when I revisited, I was confused as I didn’t recognise the building. That’s not surprising because Delilah Fine Foods has moved to larger premises in the same area. What it has managed to do is to maintain “the feel” of the original deli and tea place. The downstairs is mainly the deli with wall to ceiling shelving housing a wonderful range of deli foods. There are a couple of tables and a large breakfast bar for people to sit at. Upstairs is a mezzanine area with conventional tables and chairs.


The deli is amazing; I bought some beautiful sourdough bread and cheeses but the food and drink in the ‘tea place’ is equally amazing, using ingredients available in the shop. Table service and loose leaf tea make this a special place. The menu was difficult to choose from because everything I looked at I thought, “I’d like to try that”. Chocolate and peanut butter cake caught my eye but I settled for Bara Brith with Black Bomber Cheddar – fantastic. There are more than 20 loose leaf teas to choose from; I went for Yunnan – another good choice.


Delilah is a real find, near the centre of the city and open until 7pm in the week – ideal for eating on the way home from work, going to the theatre or just popping in for a pot of quality loose leaf tea. This is definitely a place to visit.

Images courtesy and © Delilah Fine Foods

On the Sands Cafe and Deli

7a The Sands, Long Clawson, Leicestershire LE14 4PA

Tel: 01164 820208


Opening times: Monday – Saturday 9am-4pm; Sunday 10.30am-4pm

Access: 2 steps in (there is flat access through side entrance and to back of deli), flat within including toilet. Parking on street.


It is well over a year since I last visited On the Sands Cafe and Deli. It was good to see that some things don’t change, like the fact they still serve loose leaf tea, use vintage china, still serve Darjeeling Margaret’s Hope tea (my namesake!), have a good array of cakes, traybakes and an interesting menu, including specials board. I did like the new tablecloths and the fact that the tea room had been laid out to make it feel less cramped. They have 5 tables, accommodating 18 people in all, with a garden area at the rear where more tables are available.


I do like their menu; the breakfast baguettes are so good and I had remembered this from my last visit. The bacon and egg baguette was delicious. There is table service but, also, a handy notice in the shop telling you that if it is busy and you feel you have waited too long, to go to the counter. I haven’t seen a notice like this anywhere else and it seems a good idea, recognising that they want to offer a quality service that meets customer needs. I tend not to mind waiting a while myself – good food and service takes a little time to do well! On the Sands attracts many locals but also tourists (this area is known for its food), walkers and cyclists. I am glad I went back here and it is a place worthy of my recommendation. The Darjeeling Margaret’s Hope is highly recommended but the English Breakfast tea is good too.

Image courtesy and © Margaret Thornby


Tea Tasting: Assam 2nd Flush

New CHASH Logo

Here is the 3rd of the different teas from Chash Teas that I have sampled and reviewed. While I don’t dislike Assam teas, if you gave me a tea menu, it is not one I would be my first choice. This is because some Assam teas I have tried have tended to leave a strong aftertaste and, generally, have a strong taste without subtlety. I was, however, really pleased that I sampled this Assam. The dry leaves looked well formed and similar in size; they also smelt good.


There was no unpleasant aftertaste at all; it had a lovely and subtle flavour, no need for more than a dash of milk and infused well. I could happily drink this tea morning or afternoon; I enjoyed it a lot and would certainly try it again. This sampling has taught me not to pass over a tea I may not have enjoyed in the past; teas from the same country/ region can be very different in both quality and taste.

Images courtesy and © Chash Teas

Chash Cup CMYK
Chash Cup CMYK

Broughton’s Coffee Lounge

Broughton’s Interiors, 75a Cropston Rd, Anstey, Leicestershire LE7 7BQ

Tel: 0116 234 1888



Opening times: Monday – Saturday 9am-5pm; Sunday 10am-4pm

Access: Flat access to the building. Tea room and toilet upstairs but there is a table within the shop on ground floor and no steps to garden area. Parking on site.

Coffee Lounge Banner

I first reviewed Broughton’s Coffee Lounge some years ago when it first opened. It is good to see that there are tables in the garden/ terraced area and one on the ground floor now in order to provide access for those who cannot manage the stairs. The Coffee Lounge is well used by locals and has an interesting but simple menu, including some wonderful sandwiches and an array of home-made cakes. I do find that simple menus work well, indicating a place that knows what it does well and sticking with it rather than trying to be all things to all people.

Broughton’s Interiors is a shop selling both furniture and home accessories, the coffee lounge making the most of displaying some of the many items available in the shop. I certainly enjoyed ‘browsing’ as I enjoyed tea and a sandwich. There is table service from efficient staff and the atmosphere is one of tranquility and relaxation. I loved this place as I did the first time I visited; it is well worth a visit.


Images courtesy and © Broughton’s Interiors

Tasting teas: House Blend 1

New CHASH Logo

Chash Teas House Blend 1 is my second tea tasting from this company. In my experience, House Blend can be synonymous with a, perhaps, rather second rate tea; nothing unusual or surprising. I was pleased, therefore, to find this House Blend to be interesting, good quality and flavoursome.


This is a large leaf tea and, on opening the sample packet, the smell of the dry leaves was fresh, urging me to get the kettle on. The liquor, once brewed – and I brewed for 5 minutes – had a light colour, tasted fresh and refreshing, needed little milk and struck me as ideal as an afternoon blend. It was certainly the sort of tea you could drink several cups of over the period of the various ‘courses’ that go with proper afternoon tea; sandwiches, through to scones and cakes. I am looking forward to sampling the 3 other House Blends from Chash Teas.

Image courtesy and © Chash Teas

Brown’s Tea Room


Allandale Road, Stoneygate, Leicester LE2 2DA

Tel: 0116 270 6865



Opening times: Monday – Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 10am-4pm

Access: 1 step in, flat within including toilet; steps down to garden. On street parking.


I had visited Brown’s Tearoom under previous ownership. I am always concerned about new owners and whether the standards will be maintained. I shouldn’t have worried. This is a great, traditional tea room. The decor is delightful – soft mushroom-coloured walls, large framed mirrors, substantial pictures. It is very restful, with tables covered in white tablecloths and dark wooden chairs. There is table service. Loose leaf tea (and tea strainers) and the most amazing array of cakes contribute to the atmosphere. The best way to describe the cakes is to say they are so good, you really ought to go and sample one. The Victoria Sponge Sandwich was oozing jam and buttercream; the chocolate cake looked fabulous and I heard the man on the next table extolling its virtues.


This is a tea room not just for locals, though many frequent it. People travel some distance for the afternoon tea, evening events or Sunday lunches. The menu is an interesting combination of light snacks like Croque Monsieur or quiche, as well as more traditional dishes like ham, egg and chips. There are also daily specials, including home-made soups.


I really do like the atmosphere, food and drink at Brown’s Tearoom and would highly recommend that you pay a visit when you are in the area.

Images courtesy and © Brown’s



Tasting teas: Earl Grey 1833

I was delighted to be asked to sample and review some of Chash Teas black teas – both some of their most popular and a selection of bespoke teas. With a great strap-line – “If ‘tea makes everything better’ shouldn’t we be drinking better tea?” I was excited to get going. As with any review, whether tea room or tea, I have not been paid to taste or review these teas; I was sent the samples and given a free reign to write honest reviews.

New CHASH Logo

The first tea I selected for sampling was the Earl Grey 1833. In the main, I am a fan of Earl Grey tea but it is dependent on a) the quality of the leaf, b) the quality of the bergamot and c) the balance of the two. As I opened the sample packet, my nose was gently awoken by the delicate aroma of bergamot; not overwhelming or overpowering. The leaves were large and contained delicate blue flowers, making for a very pretty blend too. I infused the tea for 5 minutes, using a timer, as I would normally do and served it with a very small amount of milk using white, bone china cups and saucers. It was a clean and clear liquor; a beautiful colour. One of the lovely things about this particular Earl Grey blend is that, as you take the cup to your lips, you are not assaulted by the smell of bergamot, which can be off-putting but, as the liquor passes your lips, the full flavour bursts forth. Delicate is a word I would use to describe this tea; just lovely, refreshing and I can imagine sipping this with a full afternoon tea or on a hot day sitting on the patio. This is probably one of my favourite Earl Greys – I had a Superior Earl Grey some years ago in Hungary and had not, until sampling this one, found one to match it.


No 10 the Tearoom


9 South Street, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S40 1QX

Tel: 01246 237843


Email: not

Opening times: Monday – Saturday 8am-5pm; Sunday 10am-4pm

Access: On shopping precinct; Lanes car park nearest parking, flat access, 1 step inside (some tables on flat)


Chesterfield has a great outdoor market 3 days a week, which is one of the largest in the country; it is in the centre of a pedestrianised area with small side streets and independent shops. No 10 The Tearoom is conveniently located to ‘stop off’ during your shopping trip for a good cup of loose leaf tea, and a delicious cake. It is not often you see Yunnan tea on the menu so this was a nice surprise; I couldn’t resist ordering it. It was also pleasant to find such comfortable chairs – just what you need when you’re on a shopping trip. There is an extensive outdoor seating area for those sunny days.


The menu is interesting and varied. I had a sausage bap; I am not sure they could have put more sausage in the roll if they’d tried! Great value and a good sausage. Table service from friendly staff makes this a place I would always visit on a trip to Chesterfield. Nice to see a tea room serving loose leaf tea in the middle of a shopping centre.

Images courtesy and © No 10 The Tearoom

Boston Tea Party (Birmingham)


190 Corporation Street, Birmingham, B4 6QD

Tel: 0121 236 2972



Opening times: Monday – Saturday 7am-7pm; Sunday 9am-6pm

Access: Full access facilities (ground floor level/ toilets). Some nearby parking and public transport good. (Continuously changing roadworks, in my experience, in City Centre, so useful to check on day of visit)


Although another Boston Tea Party (BTP) in Birmingham, with the same menu, loose leaf teas and commitment to quality service and friendly staff, it is completely different to that in Harborne. The building itself gives it a different atmosphere – a Victorian, red brick building set on a corner. There are two levels inside. On the ‘top’ level there are banquettes under the window down the length of the room, giving it a light, airy feel; there is a lot of space. There is a cosy corner down a few steps with 1950s style leather armchairs and, on the flat level, more tables and chairs. The interior walls covered in wooden planks, give a ‘shabby chic’ look.


Because of its location, the customer base tends to be business people and university students. Free WiFi makes it an ideal venue for a quick business meeting. Maybe because of the height of the ceiling, while busy, it doesn’t appear noisy at all. You can sit and while away an hour or so, reading a newspaper, using a computer, or even entertaining children as there is colouring pens and papers. I tried the Raspberry Flapjack with Yoghurt Topping as I didn’t feel ready for an enormous (but delicious looking) scone. The flapjack was flavoursome and not too sweet. I also tried the Boston Tea Party tea blend, which was very smooth and refreshing. As with other BTPs, you order at the counter and service is then to the table. I loved this BTP in Corporation Street and, if you are in the centre of Birmingham, I recommend you try it as you will surely enjoy it. Given the opening hours, it is ideal before the theatre.

Images courtesy and © Boston Tea Party