I’d spotted the Curious Tea Rooms, on Frederick Street, just as it was preparing to open, and made a mental note to visit, once the Alice in Wonderland-themed place had opened its doors.

Upside down interior

Upside down interior

I visited on a sunny but intensely breezy day, so was glad to be inside. I found myself in a place that was full of quirky charm, with an upside down table and chair on the ceiling, and outsized mushrooms on the wallpaper. I liked it.

Service was equally good, with the waitresses welcoming and attentive and full of good chat.

Soup

Soup

Their menu comprises an extensive selection of teas and cakes, but also a good selection of savoury dishes, from breakfast to light lunch, and some more substantial offerings, too. Things looked a little pricey, but I suppose the city centre location is partly to be blame for that.

The Lebanese lentil and lemon soup, a favourite of mine from Union of Genius’s excellent range, looked a rather meagre portion when it arrived. It was up to the Genius soupmongers’ usual very high standards, but there definitely wasn’t enough of it.

Croissant

Croissant

I ordered a ham and cheese croissant, from their all-day breakfast selection, as an accompaniment. It was good, with particularly tasty cheese, but it could have used a little more heat and meltiness. It paled by comparison to the one I had at the St Giles Cafe.

I sampled their “popcorn” green tea, which I was keen to try again, having first tried it at Tea at 94, a couple of months ago. The intensely unusual toasted rice flavour was there in profusion, so I was very pleased with it.

So overall, I was charmed by the Curious Tea Rooms, but think they have some work to do to do refine their offering. This is entirely as you’d expect from somewhere that has only been open for a matter of weeks, though. An extra ladle in each portion of their excellent soup would go a long way, for a start. I look forward to visiting again, perhaps with a sweet-toothed friend, to try their cakes.

Scores
3.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 14.5/20

I ate: Lebanese lemon soup; warm ham and cheese croissant

I drank: “popcorn” green tea; water

I wore: brand new questing pinstripes

Total bill: £11.45

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Written by BKR