the sandwich club

Waterloo Gardens Teahouse

Posted in Features by thesandwichclub on January 19, 2010

A harsh winter and an inability to cope with snow and ice for most meant that the usual sandwich club Saturday trip turned into an impulsive weekday – but impending – visit to Waterloo Gardens Teahouse. Our intentions were to review this establishment, but on entering this fine dining tea experience, the choice of sandwiches was severely limited. With a menu selection of soup of the day, Panini’s (5 fillings to choose from) and cake this place is not so much about the food but the extensive range of teas on offer. With some 50+ flavours printed on the wall behind the counter it’s easy to see why this is more of a “tea and cake” experience than getting down and dirty with a wedge of filling and bread.

Panini’s ordered, but perhaps more importantly a pot of vanilla black organic tea brewing on our table. The tea was the clear highlight of the visit and with a slice of cake this place offers an experience that nowhere else in Cardiff can offer. No! Not a cup of tea and a slice of cake, but an extensive selection of teas that is simply unsurpassed in the city. The friendly staff clearly trained in the art of brewing suggested we wait for the tea to brew for 3 minutes before serving. Experimenting with this theory we poured 3 cups at 1 minute intervals between 1 and 3 minutes. Our server was right; cup 3 with a brewing time of 3 minutes was the clear winner. However, as sandwich clubbers, there’s no escaping our urge for bread and filling so two paninis, “steak and cheese” and a “tuna olive melt” were ordered. The Panini’s were clean, fresh and delivered on flavours with a small salad garnish on the side.

The minimalist interior design and clean branding of the store shows an appreciation of style as well as substance in the products on offer. Artwork on display comprises several artists from black and white photos to self portraits that can be purchased with or without a frame. One of the clubbers (an ex picture framer) noted that the frames were mounted on non-acid free board, which could effect the quality of the photo in the long term. Why mention this? Well, although the tea was exciting, our conversation did not only consist of metaphors about leaves submerged in hot water.

Waterloo Gardens Teahouse has been open for a year and has already won an award as “best café in the UK”. If you’re after a cup of tea and a slice of cake be sure to head here. See the website for further details.
Full of tea, the clubbers attempt some promotion of the club on an abandoned side road.


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