When I recently updated my post on the best places for afternoon tea in Cardiff, a few people on Twitter were astounded that Barker Tea House in High Street Arcade wasn’t included.
It wasn’t for any other reason than I hadn’t had the chance to try it yet, but have wanted to for a while. So Mother’s Day was the perfect opportunity.
I like Coffee Barker, Barker Tea’s sister coffee shop in Castle Arcade, so knew I should expect a relaxed atmosphere, vintage touches, quirky but delicious food and hipster staff. That’s exactly what you get a Barker Tea House too – in fact some staff are so cool and stand-offish that they come across as a bit rude at times. But not to worry, we were soon sat at a table upstairs, which had been reserved for us (you have to book for afternoon tea) and were given our comprehensive tea menus. I went for the green chai, which was a lovely spiced tea, as you’d expect from chai, but much lighter with the green tea base.
Green chai tea at Barker Tea House
My husband had the gunpowder green tea, which he says was nice and not at all bitter as some green teas can be, while our toddler had a steamed milk with chocolate sprinkles, which of course went down a treat.
Then the afternoon teas arrived and they were immense! I was shocked at how large they were. Sandwiches, two scones, a huge slab of cake, a flapjack, a caramel shortbread and two brownies and that was per person, not between two! It was a shame we weren’t given a choice of which cake we had as the largest cake on the top tier, not sure if this is standard or just because Mother’s Day was busy, but I would’ve liked to choose my favourite. As it was I was given the carrot and my husband the chocolate and violet. More on that later….
Afternoon tea (for one person!) at Barker Tea House
The sandwiches were delicious, really stuffed full with what you could tell are great quality ingredients and they were a decent size too. Each cake was rich and delicious and an honourable mention must go to the chocolate and violet cake, which was incredibly decadent.
Chocolate and violet cake at Barker Tea House
If anything, the whole offering was a little too rich for me. Without anything fruity and light to lift the plate, it began to feel quite heavy after a while. We ended up taking five cakes home as we couldn’t finish it all (and that was with our son sharing the teas with us) and although I’d rather complain about having too much food, rather than not enough, it seemed quite excessive. If you’re looking for a refined celebratory experience, somewhere like the Celtic Manor or St David’s Hotel might be more suitable. If you want a lazy afternoon getting stuffed, then Barker it is!
I will definitely be going back to Barker Tea House. The atmosphere and food is great, relaxed and quirky and their tea selection had plenty more I’d like to try. Next time I go there for afternoon tea, I’ll make sure not to eat for a few days before perhaps!
If you liked this post, check out my post on the best afternoon teas in Cardiff and beyond.
I take afternoon tea very seriously!
Barker Tea House
We paid in full for afternoon tea and Barker Tea House were not aware I would be blogging about them.