To my great shame I did not know about Waterloo Gardens Teahouse until recently, it's been around for a while but because it's off my usual path I never came across this place. I'm always looking for new places to discover and call my new favourite. A recent trip with WGP has made this my firm favourite. Waterloo Tea Gardens is a refreshing change from the usual tea establishments. Whilst I do love a bit of shabby chic and an exposed wall every now and then, this new interior trend has become a little predictable.
Waterloo Gardens is located, rather unsurprisingly, just a stones throw from Waterloo Gardens park, a beautiful and tranquil place which seems to be favourite for dog walkers. WGP and myself arrived before lunch and didn't leave until after three. We started our marathon with some delicious welsh rarebit which I am obsessed with ever since WGP introduced me to it when we went to the Potted Pig a few weeks ago. Our plates were pretty much liked clean and the little salad that came with it was delicious and very thoughtful. I hate nothing more than tasteless plain salad leaves tossed onto the plate as an after thought. Not the case here.
It was too hot to drink tea so the lovely staff kindly whipped us up some ice coffee even though it wasn't on their menu. It's something I've been really craving as of late and it was very refreshing. We rounded off our rarebit with some cake. White chocolate and raspberry for me and upside-down peach cake for WGP. Both put in the middle and we dug in. Lots of the cakes here are gluten free which is great as not many places offer tasty gluten free options. You can also place an order with the staff, pick your cake up and take them away. We saw lots of people come in to do this which really makes me happy for this local business.
As I said I love that this place is calm, slightly minimalistic and chic. I don't understand why EVERY tea room must have mismatching crockery and 'quirky' decorations. I do love that but sometimes you just want something different. The environment here is calm and relaxing, it makes you want to settle in for hours, as WGP and myself ended up doing.
In the end we were tempted to try some tea. The selection was amazing and it's something Waterloo Gardens Teahouse obviously pride themselves on. One of the staff members talked us through all the different types of tea and giving their suggestions based on what kind of tea we normally like to drink. I went for rosebud tea, something I've never drunk before and it was beautifully delicate and perfect for a sunny day. WGP went bold and had the 'champagne of the tea world' by going for a grade 1 Assam.
It was really a great place to visit. They have a great breakfast and lunch menu, everything that came past us looked amazing and I can't wait to go back. I think even my boyfriend who is not big on teahouses at all would really like this place. My slight criticism is that there are no newspapers around to read, but that was remedied by a quick visit to the newsagents next door. Waterloo Teahouse also have speedy free wifi, all in an attempt to make you want to stay forever. They also offer afternoon tea and take bookings which on the weekend is highly recommended.
Cardiffians, if you've not been here yet you're really missing out.