I hadn't been to see my mum in a little while, I'd decided to give her a break from my perpetual chatter on the subject of this blog. Mum had been busy lately on one of her projects and now things had eased up and she had some time I wanted to take her somewhere nice. I met her in Waterstones, a ploy to lull her into the thought we would just grab a quick coffee in the Costa upstairs. I mentioned I wanted to look in another shop first and led her down towards The Print Room. It was a muggy, humid afternoon and the high ceilings and cool floor of the old processing room of the Daily Echo made it a perfect place to relax over a pot of tea. I took a pot of a superlative lapsang whilst mum went for a breakfast tea, my mother drinks more cups of tea per day than anyone I have ever known. The used tea bag dish is always mounded up as high as possible and yet it gets emptied once or twice a day too! A tea fiend.
The classical spread of an English afternoon tea arrived on the obligatory tiered stand. Sandwiches, crusts removed, scones with clotted cream and jam and finally some cakes at the top. The Print Room have a night baker and everything from breads to cakes are made in house. We cut the sandwiches in half to share, egg and cress, ham and mustard, cucumber and smoked salmon. Exactly as a traditional afternoon tea requires. I want to point out that I wasn't being stindgy by only ordering one, I had a joint in the oven back home and had my mum wanted one all to herself then naturally I would have insisted that is what she have. Ever the mummy's boy, I like to make sure my mum's ok, the fact that she was quite capable of looking after herself long before I arrived on the scene, then took care of me and my sister for many years, is irrelevant to me.
Next we attacked the scones and more importantly, the clotted cream. There was a moment of panic as mum thought she smelt something burning, but on further investigation it was just my lapsang tea giving off its smokey aromas. Mum, now much calmer knowing the wooden booth wasn't smoldering, removed the top plate and sat it neatly on the table between us. The chocolate mouse cake didn't stand a chance and was devoured in a matter of minutes, then, both feeling a little guilty from making such short work of it, we took our time over the shortbread. Service was polite and subtle and I had a lovely afternoon with my mum. Afternoon tea at The Print Room is just £10.50 and includes one pot of tea, four sandwiches, two scones and two cakes from the in house patisserie. I think it's fantastic value.