Saturday, 23 April 2011

Biddy's, Norwich

Biddy's Tea Room has a trump card to play, and it plays it at every opportunity, that card being the vintage theme. Everything is vintage. The decor. The artfully mismatched crockery. The seemingly random but probably carefully chosen selection of chairs. Everything is designed to say "this is a vintage tea room, the like of which you may remember from rose-tinted nostalgic memories of yesteryear." And you know what? It works.

Despite bordering on the quaint, Biddy's is both cool and cosy, a genuinely nice place to hang out, and relaxing too - the wilfully bygone atmosphere somehow makes you want to linger longer over your tea. That can only be a good thing. And speaking of tea, as we always are, what an array they have here: everyday, decaff, lapsang souchong, Earl Grey, Lady Grey, rose garden, green tea, English breakfast, Darjeeling, peppermint, camomile, white tea, and more fruit teas than you can shake a stick at. You can ask for lemon or soya milk with your tea too, if either of those takes your fancy - a nice touch.

Despite a varied menu, I am (naturally) going to recommend a cake to go with you tea - there's a wide selection that varies, including some from the delicious Half Moon. But if you're on a diet, there's a wide range of finger sandwiches too... or why not combine the two? Biddy's do a proper afternoon tea on a tiered plate, in sizes for one, couples or groups. Also on the menu, you'll find ploughman's lunches, soups and pancakes, sweet and savoury. Spolit for choice really.

The vintage atmosphere is further ramped up by the piped music from the 1920s - 1940s. Oh, and when I visited there was a lovely big Union Jack hanging from the ceiling, although whether that's a permanent feature or just there for the royal wedding, who knows?

I have to point out a slight access issue - Biddy's is upstairs above a trendy shop, and is reached via quite wide but also quite steep stairs. Those with pushchairs, buggies, wheelchairs or the like may need to think twice. Hopefully it won't stop you though - Biddy's is a quintessentially British tea room, unashamedly wallowing in nostalgia, and we should applaud and relish it in equal measure.

Contact them: 07927 662797 |

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