Most department stores these days have a cafe or a restaurant. They’re usually not much to look at, but the Tea Terrace at House of Fraser in Guildford is a little different.
It’s like stepping into something from Alice in Wonderland.
Everything is pastel pink and blue and adorable florals. I remember the first time I came here and I literally squealed – the decor is everything I love. It’s unashamedly girly and twee and I love it.
The Tea Terrace is a cafe with a view – you’re up on the very top floor of the House of Fraser building, so you can see across to The Mount, Guildford Cathedral and, on the other side, as far as Woking. The towers of New Central and the apartments beside Woking station are clearly visible in the distance. If you can get a window seat, do. The view on a good day is brilliant.
The food is very good here. Service can be a little slow, especially at busy times, but the food is worth waiting for. My favourite dish is the savoury scones from the breakfast menu – delicious on their own, but if you’re feeling a little decadent, add some bacon from the ‘extras’ menu to your scone order, split the scones in half and put the bacon inside. It’s absolutely delicious. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal here since it became the Tea Terrace.
Special mention to the cakes, even though I don’t often have them (I’m more of a breakfast fan). Oh my. The counter display is very much worth investigating. Grab yourself a slice of something delicious and have it with a pot of tea from their tea menu, which has a type of tea to please everyone. They also do coffee and a wonderful hot chocolate, which is particularly good on a cold day when you need to be warmed from the inside out.
The location is great as well. It’s an ideal place to start your shopping trip – once you’ve had your breakfast, and your tea, simply head down the escalators and you’re into the House of Fraser store. Head out of the store through the cosmetics counters and you’re halfway up the cobbled High Street, or go down to the very bottom floor and you’re halfway up North Street, which has the market on it. It’s a perfectly located cafe, and as such it gets very busy, especially at weekends. The best time to come is before 10.30am, especially on a Saturday.
Do give the Tea Terrace a try – don’t dismiss it as another bland department store cafe. The decor, the selection of teas and the delicious food make it a lovely start to the day, or a nice stop in the afternoon to rest your aching feet.
The menu, and one of the walls, have some fun tea-related quotes on them, and I think this one from Bernard-Paul Heroux sums up my feelings on tea perfectly:
‘There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.’
And when you are having your tea in pastel blue and pink surroundings, it’s even better.
The Tea Terrace, 5th Floor, House of Fraser, Guildford.
(The opinions in this review are my own and I have not received any payment for my review.)