Friday, 30 December 2011

Down at Le Café Crazy

It was some years ago that I first came across the concept of a cream tea. In my teens, I would be on family trips and see them on menus, but choose not to have them. As it happened, nobody else had them either, so any curiosity I may have had at the time remained unassuaged.
Some years later, I had dropped ignominiously out of college and everything was, for quite some time operating on a shoestring. Eventually though, things got better and I could then afford to go places. One of the first things I did do was take a trip to a large family event that was taking place quite some distance away. Since the invite was for guest 'plus one' and my sister was taking her current beau - one of my friends - I asked if it was OK to bring along another friend as my '+1'. This friend was the fourth and final member of our little coterie and would have been the only uninvited member. This was OK'd (even though it led to long-running speculation upon my sexual preferences), so we all booked rooms in the same B&B near the party.
The four of us arrived a day early for the party, so we decided to venture out into town (Southend), just to get our bearings. After a while, we decided to take a breather and stopped at a cafe. My friend looked at the menu and opted for the cream tea. I was curious by now about what a cream tea entailed, but I had never ordered one, just in case it meant a cup of tea with cream instead of milk. As it turned out, a cream tea is a pot of tea, one or two scones, some jam and a portion of cream (clotted cream for preference).

NB - many cafes mistakenly include butter with the cream tea. Wrong - this is why you should use clotted cream, because it is effectively replacing the butter. Cut open the scone, spread some cream and then spoon some jam on top. Oh yes - and the scones should be freshly baked to, so they crumble slightly when you bite into them.
Anyway... where was I? Oh yes.
Fast forward to the present. I have since met, fallen in love with, and married Julie.
This weekend just gone, the two of us were out and about and popped by a cafe called Neates Cakery. As you can guess, they have a certain specialisation. And believe me, they do very well in that area - here's the menu:

And here's their basic(!) selection of cakes - usually also available as cupcakes.

Pity the website isn't complete - they're on Facebook though.
Lovely cakes, eh?
In the end, though, I went for a tuna/cheese melt panini, and Julie opted for the cream tea. Well, there was a little moment of hesitation before the final decision was made.

If it wasn't bad enough, I've actually lost count of the amount of times, Julie has had, or at the very least shared, a cream tea. Oh, deary me.