£5 Afternoon Tea at Wyevale Garden Center
I’ve made it my New Years Resolution to eat more Afternoon Tea. It’s my favourite meal out and I’ve only sampled a small selection of what the local area has to offer – plus I’m going all over the UK this year and that seems like a grand opportunity to eat a lot of delicate finger sandwiches, cream slathered scones and sugary delights. Sadly, as I haven’t yet won the lottery, I also have to be aware of eating on a budget. Pretty sure we’ve all got to keep an eye on the pennies and sometimes Afternoon Tea is a bit of an extravagance we can’t quite justify unless it’s a special occasion. My last review was of The Deck, Cardiff which at £18 per person was definitely a special occasion (although it was worth it!), but when I had an email from Wyevale Garden Center in St. Mellons, Cardiff advertising Afternoon Tea for two for £10 (usually £14), I thought – why not give it a go? This offer has also been on Groupon before but I never took the plunge. This offer will be repeated on 22nd – 28th January 2018 and you can get a voucher from the offers section of their website. Watch this space as by the end of 2018 I hope to have a page up with all the places in South Wales offering Afternoon Tea! You can click here to see how I’m getting on so far. Since my mum was a little bit down as she was having cataract surgery the next day, I decided to cheer her up by inviting her along with my husband and son, making our Afternoon Tea for four cost £20 total (yeah, we included the baby!) and at five quid per person that’s as much as a sandwich and a drink from my local bakery. Wyevale Garden Center, Cardiff offers a host of plants but it also focuses a lot on home decor, has a lovely kids section, sells books, and also a range of upmarket drinks and food. All a bit too expensive for me to buy anything, but a great idea for gifts or special occasions. It also sits on site next to a bunch of other shops such as Peacocks and Maidenhead Aquatics, but we didn’t go in there. The cafe is lovely. Since this entire garden center was recently built after tragically burning to the ground a few years ago, everything is spacious, airy and modern, with massive amounts of natural light. The cafe was clean and considering it was a Thursday afternoon surprised me with how bustling it was. I saw at least 5 other groups eating Afternoon Tea, so I think it was popular due to the pricing offer. We’d all been tempted in! There is a soft play section in the cafe. It’s fully soundproofed so diners can’t hear a peep from the kids. It’s quite small, but more than adequate to burn off some energy and only costs £2. To me, this makes this cafe a winner already for families. The garden center also has the mini kids-size push around trolleys which are super cute. Toilets are just next to the cafe and are plentiful, very clean and I loved the bright decoration with flower prints on the back of the toilet doors instead of usual depressing adverts, and there was a spacious baby changing room. You order your food and pay at the till and then take a seat, where the waitress will bring it over. The Afternoon Tea for two comes with a pot of tea or coffee when you order, and then it took less than five minutes to bring out our order. There were two types of sandwiches – cheese and cucumber on granary and ham and tomato on white bread. The filling was plentiful and the bread was fresh. Only two varieties is a little less than you’d expect, but the bread was chunky and it was very filling. Scones are either plain or fruit, and come with a small pre-pack of clotted cream and a little glass jar of jam. Just enough for the scones. The scones were definitely fresh – still warm in fact! Finally on top you get a selection of cake type things. I’m not entirely sure what they were – very very sweet! These tasted like they came out of a packet and weren’t that amazing but a nice sweet treat to finish off. The baby devoured his share of the sandwiches, but anticipating some leftovers we popped his scone and the majority of the sweet treats into a tupperware to take home. There were definitely too many little sweets to eat there and I felt they could have perhaps had an extra variety of sandwich and a little less sugar, or perhaps something more traditional like brownies. On the whole I’d say it was certainly a budget cafe experience but the cafe is bright, airy, clean and family friendly. The Afternoon Tea was well presented, fresh and tasty – absolutely worth the price of £7 per person at full price or £5 when there’s a voucher floating around. We could nip in here on any occasion and not feel like we’re breaking the bank!