Optimist Cafe in Y'Port
We had afternoon tea at the Optimist Café for my b day. This building has had many owners my favorite being when it was the Aardvark. Nothing since has really been successful. We were keen on afternoon tea so gave it a go. We were seated by a lovely hostess and as soon as we stood at our table a very pleasant waitress came to our table before we could even sit explaining the menu. As I took off my many layers I listened to her short but thorough description of the tea menu. We sat down and reviewed the two options while we looked around. The dining room in back has a full on gallery of art (oil paintings) almost to the point of overwhelming. The music was canned popular hits. Some nice soft music would have been welcome. During the hour we had tea we saw about 6 different staff go back and forth, so there is no shortage of people. We were in the flight path from the kitchen to the bar so it was a busy area. Our waitress was from Lithuania. She was very attentive almost too much so. She came to our table about 8 times most eager to meet our needs. She offered hot water which was most welcome and brought a fresh tea bag at the end. Very considerate but a few less visits would have been ok too.
We had the scone tea for 13.95. The tea brand was Mighty Leaf Tea. It was very nice. We asked for sugar cubes vs the packaged sugar bags and were accommodated. She started us with crumbly hot blueberry scones, a teaspoon of Devon cream and some nice strawberry jam. The scone was the hit of the tea. Next came our tier of treats. The sandwich choices were cucumber (with the skins on -ick), egg and onion and ham. All were heavy on the mayo. The crusts were removed, the bread was firm. They were ok but nothing special. The dill in the cuke sandwich was a nice touch. The pastries looked like they came from BJ's or some discount store, in paper and with stiff hard icing. We passed on the carrot cake and the cheesecakes but ate the cream puff. The other was a Neopolitan kind of cake with a thick icing we removed and tapped at the hard crust. It was disappointing.
I should have prefaced this by saying we love tea and have been to the nicest tea rooms in Bermuda, London, Ireland and Boston so are perhaps tea snobs? I think homemade pastries are important. The ones served at Optimist really make it an average place I would not recommend for High Tea. A far better choice is the Dunbar Tea Room in Sandwich.