Date visited: Monday 11th February 2019
Lily’s Licensed Restaurant & Tearoom is rather hidden from passing shoppers, being in College Court, a small alley between Westgate and the grounds of Gloucester Cathedral. Despite its small frontage it has a large room for those taking tea, as it extends behind the neighbouring Gloucester Arts and Craft Centre. Interior decor is firmly set in the 1950s and recently refurbished.
Lily’s offers a range of menus, serving an extensive range of breakfasts and a smaller range of lunches. Their afternoon tea menu offers four different full teas. There’s also a range of wines, spirits and bottled beers available. Rather unusually for a tea room, there’s no selection of cakes, and only one cake – with just one slice remaining – was on display at the counter.
I opted for a Tailor’s Tea, consisting of four finger sandwiches – two of cheddar and apple chutney, two of egg mayonnaise – with salad garnish, two of the daintiest mini scones – one fruit, one plain – with clotted cream and strawberry jam with strawberry garnish, two small pieces of warm Bakewell tart and a pot of Clipper green tea. The Tailor’s Tea also features a ‘hidden mouse’ – a dob of chutney placed on the saucer behind the teacup.
Service was excellent, but overall the meal was rather uninspiring for the price, £13.50, particularly the chilled strawberry jam – the only cold item in the meal – and the Clipper green tea. Whatever the ethical qualities of Clipper Tea – whose teas are the only offering at Lily’s – I’ve yet to have a pot of the stuff that amounted to more than coloured warm water.