On a lovely Saturday morning, we thought we’d head into Cheltenham for a spot of shopping. Cheltenham is good for this. You’ve got one-off boutiques in Montpellier and premium brands/ retailers along the Promenade, plus your usual high street shops along, well, the High Street, as well ones as spilling in the two shopping centres, Regent Arcade and the Beechwood Shopping Centre.
I’d heard of Boston Tea Party‘s cafes in Bristol and knew that one had recently opened in Cheltenham, on Clarence Street, near to the newly-refurbished The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum (something else I need to check out when I have time). I’m slightly bending the rules of my blog, as in the ‘About Me‘ section I vow not to review big chains. There’s nothing more boring when you open your local newspaper to read a review of a newly-opened Pizza Express in your area. As if we don’t know what these places are like already! Boston Tea Party is a relatively small chain and has 15 branches in west and central England, and because of this I think it warrants a review. We decided to give it a try for a spot of breakfast.
The interior is very urban and you can expect a lot of wood, and splashes of chalky, dusky colours. Expect lots of shabby-chic style seating and tables.
The order area/ bar is to the right of the main entrance, piled high with slabs of brownies, rocky-road and other intriguing tray bakes. Little charms of egg and bacon muffins in glass cases ornament. You need to order at the bar and give your table number if you want food.
The great thing about Boston Tea Party is that it supports West Country suppliers, uses free range meat and eggs, and organic milk. You can tell this is a chain that cares about serving good food. Plus it has been awarded the top three star mark rating and membership of the Sustainable Restaurant Association. Basically this means that Boston Tea Party cares about the way it runs its cafes and the food it serves. As a diner, this makes me happy. I like to go to places that give a shit about what they’re doing.
Water at Boston Tea Party is free and you can help yourself to a bottle flavoured by a little mint or citrus fruit if you wish.
My dining companion goes for The Boss breakfast (yes, my dining companion is a man who needs his feed) and I go for Eggs Royale. If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you may have noticed I am a lover of smoked salmon. I love the stuff, can’t get enough of it. The boss who’s about to eat The Boss has a double shot latte and I just stick with my free minty water. It’s a hot day and I’m thirsty.
We sit down at a table in the corner and the cafe is rammed with geeks who look as though they work in digital marketing, dishy dads and yummy mummys with cute kids, uni students with crop tops and scruffy buns, and couples like us who look like they’re fuelling up to shop.
Considering the busyness of the joint, our food arrives in ample time, served in tin crockery that looks fit use for a weekend of camp stove dining.
My Eggs Royale was how I imagined. The hollandaise sauce was buttercup yellow and tangy, the poached eggs cooked seriously to perfection (gooey but hard if that makes sense), both dolloped on top of the delicate pink smoky stuff. Yum! The muffin was pretty big and round, did not look that toasted and I would have preferred it to be thicker, but hey, I’m not going to let those small details ruin my breakfast.
The Boss breakfast looked equally as good. The smoked bacon was cooked just right, and the scrambled eggs were delicious with pieces of tomato and basil mixed into it. The sausages tasted nice and you could really tell that the meat they use is of a good standard. What can I say other than it was a bloody good breakfast, ideal to start the day with.
When you think of a traditional English breakfast, you think of some greasy fry up in a trucker’s cafe. This was not one of those. The Boss breakfast at Boston Tea Party had all of the good qualities of a cooked breakfast without the added slob feel you might have after eating a greasy fry up.
The bill for Eggs Royale, The Boss and a double-shot latte came to just under £19.
I would recommend it if you’re ever heading to Cheltenham. In the evening Boston Tea Party serves alcohol too, and so with its urban feel I think it would make a nice spot for a drink. Take a look at its menu here.