Archive for the 'Bistros' Category

The Waiting Room – Whetstone

Reviewed on May 10th, 2015 by Dina

A slightly different take on a cafe, The Waiting Room teams itself with its small home furnishing store. The Waiting Room is a really cute cafe adorned with fairy lights, dressers lined with lamps, frames, tealights and flowers. A garland of hearts decorates the cafe window. Stars hang above the lamps and small chandeliers also make up the lighting.

At the back of The Waiting Room, there are a few cosy seats. The rest of the cafe is made up of table and chairs. The soft lighting and jazz music create a lovely ambiance. Even though the cafe was busy, it was not noisy. There was a gentle hum about the place.

The staff were friendly and not intruding. They provided excellent personal service. The Waiting Room seemed to have its regular customers with the staff taking time out to chat to them. It made it feel like the staff were caring.

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As I was seated at the back of the cafe, I was next to the kitchen. It looked clean and compact. There was not much noise from the kitchen and hence it did not impact on the atmosphere.

The tea that caught my eye was the rooibos with cherry. The tea was from the Little Sparrow range of loose teas. A heavy silver teapot with its own stand contained the tea. There was a traditional feel to the teaware. Small flowers decorated the teacup and saucer.

The aroma of the cherry was strong from the loose tea. Sometimes teas can be a letdown, as in they do not taste as good as they smell. With this Little Sparrow tea, the taste of the cherry with the rooibos was divine. The staff had no problem refilling my tea when the pot was empty.

The Afternoon Tea continued with the silver theme and it was presented on a square silver cake stand. Squares of soft bread, one filled with classic cucumber and the other with cheese and pickle were the fresh sandwiches. It was nice to have a combination of white and brown bread.

The two small fruit scones were delightful. The attention to detail really made the Afternoon Tea at The Waiting Room great. Shot glasses with teaspoons contained thick clotted cream and strawberry jam. Whole pieces of strawberry made the jam more special.

The last of the cakes were the macaroon and chocolate brownie. The almond macaroon was perfectly crispy on the outside with a chewy texture and creamy filling. Rich, gooey and moist made up the intense chocolate brownie. Just to make it more indulgent it was lovely to have it with a little bit of the clotted cream and jam.

The Waiting Room gives a ray of sunshine to a dull rainy day. It definitely brought me that happy feeling. It is a gem of a place and I am excited to introduce my friends to the wonderful world of The Waiting Room!

The Waiting Room, 50-52 Totteridge Lane, Whetstone, London, N20 9QJ

Rating: ★★★★☆

Waiting Room on Urbanspoon

Old Tree Bakery – Golders Green

Reviewed on March 29th, 2015 by Dina

Old Tree Bakery is a Taiwanese bakery with displays of its buns and cakes in the shop window. This bakery is a little different in the sense that it prides itself on trying to keep their products low in salt, sugar and fat. All of their food is baked fresh every day on site. Trays of small bags of hand made cookies are also on display.

It was great to see that the baked good items were all covered on the shelves and that it was not self service. After we were seated, we went to the front of the store to choose our delights. One of the staff picked all of our items and packed them for us as we had wanted some for takeaway.

To dine in at Old Tree Bakery, the Chinese mushrooms, bamboo and vegetables in soup was ordered. The big bowl of steaming soup was packed full of the vegetables and garnished with coriander. The soup was very flavoursome with a slightly sweet and sour taste and it was also thicker than I had expected. It was a hearty soup with its gravy like broth.

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As I was not feeling adventurous to try the milky bubble tea, a decaffeinated Americano was had instead. Coffee and cake are a match made in heaven. The coffee bun was soft and had a light texture to it. The coffee paste that intertwined through the bun was just sweet enough.

Old Tree Bakery felt clean and well maintained. The cafe area is of a medium size with some comfy seating by the windows and normal tables by the counter. There are a few tables and chairs outside too. The staff were friendly and gave us good service.

There are so many cakes, buns and savoury dishes that Old Tree Bakery has on offer and it really is hard to decide which ones to choose. It is great that the products are available for takeaway. The Curry Bun that was had as a takeaway was equally delicious as the other food had at the bakery. The bun was fresh, soft and had a slight sweetness to it. The curry filling was potato based and not too spicy.

It was great to have such a wonderful first experience of Taiwanese food and it is all thanks to Old Tree Bakery!

Old Tree Bakery, 105 Golders Green Road, Golders Green, London, NW11 8HR

Rating: ★★★★☆

Old Tree on Urbanspoon

Darlingtons Tea Room – Nr Weedon

Reviewed on February 9th, 2015 by Dina

Darlingtons Tea Room is part of the Heart of the Shires Shopping Village. This lovely tea room serves freshly made home cooked food. If you are looking for something for breakfast, they have bacon sandwiches, beans on toast, sweet and savoury croissants.

As it was close to lunchtime, there was a range of food to choose from. The menu included quiches, salads, open sandwiches, jacket potatoes and soup.

The Parsnip Soup was creamy and slightly sweet. It was served with a freshly baked warm granary baguette. The soup and bread made for a filling and satisfying lunch. They also do gluten free bread rolls.

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A decaffeinated milky coffee was served by the mug. It was a good way to warm up on this cold day together with the soup.

The staff were really friendly, welcoming and gave good service. Darlingtons Tea Room had a traditional feel to it. Lots of sunshine streamed into the dining area at the back of the tea room. It was nice that the view from the tea room was out into the garden. There is also outdoor seating which would be lovely to sit out in the summer.

Darlingtons Tea Room is a hidden gem in the Northamptonshire countryside. If you do come here, make sure you leave some time to browse the variety of boutique shops of the Heart of the Shires Shopping Village.

Darlingtons Tea Room, Heart of the Shires, A5 Watling Street, Nr Weedon, Northants, NN7 4LB

Rating: ★★★★☆

Darlingtons Tea Room on Urbanspoon