Tea & Quinoa

Waterloo Tea can be found in many pockets of Cardiff. With an objective to be a social hub open to people of all different backgrounds who are welcome to relax and socialise, their venues have increased in popularity. The company fights back the idea that tea is to be drunk at home by delivering an extensive range of flavoured teas that they are constantly adding to using vigorous research.

I had previously been to the Waterloo Tea Gardens in Penylan where I had enjoyed a fabulous chocolate and chilli cake. Therefore, after a busy shopping session, I went with an accomplice to the Waterloo Tea found in Wyndham Arcade. This spot is different from the one in Penylan as it’s a bit more spacious and has a focus on serving food. However it still maintains the offering of tasty treats in full display for all to dribble over.

I really liked the orange colour scheme and the wooden furniture, which is spaced around the restaurant. As we sat down our eyes were drawn to the walls, which were covered in artwork produced by local artists available to purchase. Having this in restaurants and cafés always adds a feel of community. The overall atmosphere of the restaurant was different to the Penylan one. The place was full of professionals having meetings and business lunches. The friendly waiters and the comfortable design gave the place overall a social buzz.

Thirsty and starving after what could only be categorised as a workout shopping session we immediately lunged towards the menus. The amount of tea options was overwhelming. I felt spoilt for choice. Don’t panic coffee drinkers they serve a mean bean too! I decided to sample the Vanilla Black tea that arrived with a small timer and a few instructions that added to the quirk and originality of the ceremony. The timer ran out, I removed the tea holder as instructed and poured a strong looking tea into my cup. The only comparison I can think of for this tea is it was like a liquid cupcake. It was sweet, soothing and warm. The teapot delivered five cups full which came to £2.50.

The display of treats disguises the fact that Waterloo Tea actually offers some pretty healthy food options. This was great as I am attempting/failing to maintain somewhat of a healthy diet before Christmas. I could not help to turn my head when one of their hearty sandwiches swept by. The bread is from Alex Gooch’s bakery that I have mentioned in a previous post. I decided to devote my attention to the salad options. I behaved and chose a Quinoa and pearl barley salad with roasted squash, feta, sumac and herbs at £6.50. Yes I have succumbed to the quinoa fanfare and wear the badge proudly. This arrived looking healthy and fresh. It tasted gorgeous! The roasted squash was the best element; it was so tasty. The feta complimented the squash but unfortunately this overpowered any of the other herbs in the salad. This was a really good dish but I do have major regrets about not having a sandwich because it seemed more substantial.

My friend made a better choice. She ordered the lamb cawl served with bread and Caerphilly cheese for £7. For the non- Welshy’s cawl is a traditional Welsh soup usually made with seasonal vegetables and in modern times features lamb and leeks. This looked so warm and comforting on what was a cold and wet day. My friend loved it! She said that the lamb was tender and the cawl was overall full of flavour, however she found that it was served with too much cheese.

Overall the Waterloo Tea found in the Wyndham Arcade is a must for a pit stop during the busy Christmas period. If you are adventurous with your tea drinking habits this one is for you. They can also be found in Penarth but if you are not from the area they sell the teas on their website (www.waterlootea.com) so you can enjoy them at home. Gift vouchers are also available which would make a rather lovely Christmas present. I will definitely be back there in the New Year to binge on sandwiches and cake!!

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