A very long time ago, I read a post on the lovely blog Quaint Living*, about an amazing-sounding…and kind of secret, tea garden. It sounded amazing, a sort of outdoor tea room perched on the Oxford towpath, and run by a lady called Jane, who lives in a houseboat on the adjoining canal, and who made the most amazing looking cakes. Perfect, hey? Well, it has only taken me about three years to actually visit Jane’s Teas , and it really was well worth it!
We visited for my mum’s birthday, and as there were so many of us I had pre-booked a table for the Grand High Tea…sandwiches, scones, cakes and of course lots of tea. There are loads of other options for ‘tea’ from a simple cake and a cuppa, to the Full Jeeves which also includes soup and prosecco!
The tea garden is beautiful and seems to go on forever, winding along the river bank and through an orchard, in beautiful makeshift tents and canopies. The furniture is all beautifully mismatched, and the space decorated with hundreds of fairy lights, flowers, tea cups and flags. Jane’s website describes the tea garden as enchanted, and it certainly feels so.
And the cake was very good…and I like to think that as a family, we eat enough cake to be excellent judges of this!
There were a huge number of wasps swarming everywhere on the day we visited, which did take the edge off the cake-y enjoyment slightly. It was fairly amusing to begin with, as scones layered with cream and jam, also attracted a generous layer of wasps. With several babies and toddlers in our group, the wasps did quickly become quite worrying, and we sped through a second cup of tea, before escaping. I am sure the wasps would be much less of a problem earlier and later in the year, we just hit peak-wasp-season.
*Quaint Living has recently been re-launched, and Alice’s posts about Jane’s Teas are no longer available on the site…it does have a gorgeous new look though, so pop over and take a look!