Yesterday we were getting our Saturday morning errands out of the way nice and early. It can't have been much later than 9:30am when we stepped into The Art of Tea in Didsbury. The Art of Tea is a bit like Narnia in that if you go to the back of it there is a really cute, rickety little bookshop. Then if you go to the back of that there is a framing workshop. We had quite the collection of pictures waiting to be framed so were taking them in, but thought it would be rude not to also have a spot of breakfast in the Art of Tea while we were there.
Proof that the early bird catches the worm, we were the first people to arrive at the café and managed to get a lovely seat by the fairy lights with a view of the big window. The wonderfully friendly waiter came over and was so nice to us - he was happy to recommend a tea to me and seemed to really want to please us. Excellent service.
Bailey's Cappuccino was pretty tasty and my recommended Lapshang Souchong tea was amazing - super smoky and exciting as I'd never tried anything like that before.
As for food, the menu at The Art of Tea is very simple - bagels, salads and sarnies. At first glance the menu could even seem a little uninspiring, but as it turns out, The Art of Tea follows the good old fashioned rule of doing simple food very well.
I ordered a Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Egg Bagel, this arrived looking absolutely gorgeous on a lightly toasted bagel, with perfectly smooth and creamy eggs and a very generous portion of flavoursome smoked salmon. Even the side salad was brilliant - really crunchy veggies with a creamy, spicy mustard dressing.
Bailey ordered a New Yorker Bagel which consisted of an untoasted bagel with salami, cheese and lettuce with mustard mayo. They employed some psychic powers to exclude the gherkin which was described on the menu which Bailey was planning to take out and give to me anyway. The salami was meaty and peppery, and although Bailey thought it may not be a great breakfast sandwich addition, it really woke the mouth up. That was nothing compared to the mustard mayo - as far as mustard mayos go these guys went to town on the mustard. Great stuff.
What we were both really impressed by were the quality of the bagels. They weren't like any bagels we'd had before and lacked the stodginess and stickiness you expect from a bagel. These were clearly freshly made with a light and fluffy texture.
For a little sweet treat, we also ordered a Toasted Tea Cake with butter and a side of jam which was also lovely.
A very relaxing breakfast experience was had in The Art of Tea and we look forward to returning for our pictures - hope we have time to stop for a cuppa then. We cannot stress how good the service was - I had a little chat with our waiter and the other staff members who'd arrived when I went up to the bar to pay and they were really genuinely lovely people and were happy to tell me all about the café's range of teas - suggesting I "get my nose in" to smell the Chai Massala tea leaves. Sadly service like this seems difficult to find these days and it won't be forgotten.
If you are in the mood for a gorgeous, simple breakfast done well and served in a calm environment, The Art of Tea is for you. Get there early for that feeling of an extension of your own living room!