Monday, 1 February 2010

Twyford's, Beccles

Much of Twyfords' strength comes from its setting - it looks like it was formerly a little arcade of old shops, the fronts of which are preserved within the new, covered shop. This adds a bit of character to what might otherwise be just another modern refurbishment. And then there's the secret garden terrace (not such a massive secret, given that it's advertised outside) which provides a sunny spot to enjoy a cuppa away from the hustle and bustle. Admittedly, Beccles is hardly a metropolis but it's still nice to get away from the shop window sometimes.

So what of the tea? Well, Twyfords offer Teapigs and Suki teas, in addition to their own Twyfords blend. I had the latter and am pleased to report that, although it looked a bit wishy-washy (usually a bad sign), it tasted very nice. Served in a nice pot and with milk in a jug (as you can see in the picture), and with a neat cup'n'saucer combo that had a built-in biscuit tray - who could ask for more? Well, technically the decaffeinated amongst us could ask for more, as I didn't see any decaff tea on the Twyfords menu. On the plus side though, they are quick to point out their green credentials, name-checking the Rainforest Alliance, stressing that their wares are certified organic and that their teas and coffees are fair trade. All good. Oh, and whilst we're on the subject of drinks choices, it's probably worth mentioning that there are four different types of hot chocolate on offer here...

The accompanying menu is pretty decent too. In addition to a fairly extensive menu of snacks and light meals, Twyfords also offers an extensive menu "to go", incorporating baguettes, paninis, wraps, jacket potatoes, cakes and more. It all looked pretty tasty from where I was sat. We had cheesecake to accompany our tea; whilst I had the traditional version, Mrs Great Tea had the triple chocolate cheesecake, the "triple" in question being milk, dark and white chocolate layers. You can just about see it in the photo. Having been called upon to finish it, I can recommend it, but only with the caveat that it is incredibly rich and that one piece is really enough for two people. Especially if it's only an hour since you had a pub lunch in The Kings Head...

Speaking of which, Twyfords is a licensed premise, and they offer a range of wines and St Peter's organic ale. This can only be a good thing, as can the fact that Twyfords also offers free wi-fi for its patrons. I wish more tea-shops did this.

So, if you find yourself in this part of Suffolk and are in the mood for a cup of tea and a slice of cake, there is probably nowhere finer. Prices are towards the upper end of what is reasonable for tea and cake, but still, you get what you pay for, and great tea is always worth it.

Contact them: 01502 710614 | www.twyfordscafe.co.uk