Date visited: Saturday 19th March 2022
Situated in a sixteenth century building on Knockhundred Row that used to be a small market, the Museum Tea Rooms opened in early 2020, just before the nation’s hospitality trade was closed down for the Covid pandemic. Occupying the space previously operated by Cockburn’s Tea Rooms, there are, not surprisingly, some similarities, but also differences. The tea rooms are now part of the museum operation rather than an entirely independent business. There are two small rooms for those taking tea, both on the first floor above the museum, as well as two tables at ground floor in front of the museum. The decor and crockery are of a slightly more modern appearance than those of the previous incumbents.
The menu offers a small selection of sandwiches, as well as afternoon teas and a small selection of cakes – three cakes and two types of brownie were on display on the occasion of our visit. For beverages a small selection of teabags and coffees are offered. The tea rooms had clearly been busy earlier in the afternoon, as there were a couple of tables yet to be cleared, but by the time of our arrival shortly before 3pm we were the only customers inside, with both tables on the ground floor also occupied. The tearooms and museum are open Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 10.30am to 4pm.
A ham, cheese and chutney sandwich, with salad, a slice of sticky toffee cake, and a huge pot of green tea came to £11.20. The sandwich was accompanied by crisps, salad and dressing. The sticky toffee cake had a flavour closer to caramel than toffee, and was all the better for that. The teapot provided four cupfuls of tea – and it was quite a large cup too – which was rather more than a single teabag of green tea could sustain. So the offer of extra water, whilst welcome, was something I had to decline.