On 8th July, while my mum was here to stay for the week, my sister came up from London for the day. We all love afternoon tea and had walked by this place the last time we were all together. We’d made the plan in advance to see what this place was like. I called in advance the day before to book a table, letting them know at the time that we would have a pram with us.
Our table was booked for 12:30 but we arrived a bit early but this wasn’t a problem at all. We were greeted with a warm smile at the door. After mentioning our booking we were shown to a table at the back of the room. Now, at the time, this felt like we were being shoved out of the way. However, we really weren’t. Another party came in with two prams and sat near us. The back area has a lot more space for prams so I guess more comfortable for everyone.
I was absolutely amazed to be sat next to a piano player. My mum plays piano so she was happy and the setting was absolutely wonderful. Who would complain at afternoon tea with real piano music being played. The cafe decor matched the feeling from the piano player. The whole place is beautifully decorated and even before ordering anything, I was enjoying myself.
All three of us chose to order the Special Afternoon Tea, priced at £19.95 each. This consists of any tea or coffee, smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese and ham sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, miniature patisseries and handmade macaroons. When Erin is older I will definitely be getting her a child’s afternoon tea. I think it’s amazing that Harriet’s do something like this. I haven’t seen it anywhere before. Other children’s meals are offered too at really reasonable prices (£2.35 and up).
We asked for a couple of alterations on the sandwiches due to dietary requirements (and me being picky). My sister is the tea drinker of the family and she was really excited about the options available. To start with she had Rose Chocolate Tisane and later had Russian Caravan. My mum had coffee while I had orange juice because I don’t drink hot drinks. Nothing was too much trouble!
Our visit to Harriet’s was Erin’s first time in a high chair that wasn’t her own. She is small for her age still and doesn’t actually fit in generic high chairs. I had to pad her into one with blankets etc. I had with me but this isn’t the fault of Harriet’s. I was glad that Erin was happy enough sitting in the chair so she could have her own lunch at the same time.
Our afternoon tea was amazing and by far the best I have had so far. As three of us were eating everything came out on two sets of tiered plates and it looked so nice. We all commented immediately on the cakes and how good they looked. Honestly, everything tasted amazing. We all struggled to finish everything but we did, slowly. You get so much for your money with this afternoon tea and I was thoroughly impressed.
Erin managed to try some herself, as she was pretty desperate to when sat on my lap for a bit. She’s in that place now where she wants to try everything and scone with jam was her pick for the day!
My only real negative about our visit to Harriet’s was the facilities for Erin. At the back of where we were sat was the toilets, one male and one female. There was no accessible toilet and there was no baby changing. I thought I might have been missing something but there was no where else these could have been. While the ladies toilets are probably the most beautiful I have seen, I wasn’t happy about changing Erin on the floor. Luckily, I had a portable mat with me but it is not comfortable or easy. I also felt like I was in the way of other people coming in.
Harriet’s not only serve afternoon tea but they have a regular menu as well. We saw some meals come out and they looked so good. Next time (there’s definitely a next time) I will struggle to decide what to order!
On the way out we stopped to look at the teas, cakes and macaroons available to buy separately. My sister, who cannot come to Norwich without buying tea, did so.
Harriet’s was so close to being very family friendly. Had there been baby changing facilities, it would have been the perfect day out for me.
Harriet’s Cafe Tearooms can be found at 38 London Road, Norwich, 01603 614848.