Date visited: Monday 11th April 2022
Jacks in Cirencester is at the junction of Black Jack Street and Silver Street in the town centre, and next to the Corinium Museum. Despite having space for over seventy people to take tea, with ten tables in its main room, five in its courtyard ‘garden’ and three tables at the front outside, it became full during my visit on a spring Monday morning.
Jacks offers a brunch menu – served until 3pm – and a lunch menu – served from midday to 3pm – but, rather unusually for a tearoom, no afternoon tea menu, despite being open until 5pm. However, a selection of five cakes and three buns and bakes were on display and a blackboard behind the cake display advertised afternoon teas. Both the brunch and lunch menus each offered about a dozen substantial hot options. The drinks menus includes a wide range of coffees and a smaller range of teas, though including some leaf teas. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are also available.
I opted for ‘Wild Mushrooms on Toast’ from the lunch menu, having enquired of the staff whether lunch was yet available despite it being only just past 11.30am. The mushrooms on toast included roast shallot, thyme, garlic, Gruyère cheese & a crispy hen’s egg (think Scotch egg with a lighter coating). I followed that with a slice of coffee and walnut cake, and this was all accompanied by a pot of loose leaf Assam tea. The mushrooms on toast were very tasty, and exceptionally filling, with three slices of toast buried beneath a mass of thick melted cheese. The coffee and walnut cake was quite mildly flavoured and slightly moist. The only disappointment was the teapot which was deceptively small, barely providing enough tea for two cupfuls.
The entrance door to Jacks claims there is a ‘secret garden’. A glass covered courtyard is somewhat stretching the term ‘garden’, but was a pleasant place to sit and includes a large painting hung on one of the walls that provided more visual appeal than the artificial ivy that, presumably, was intended to add a garden feel to the space.
Since 2018 Jacks has been part of the Relish Group. This was originally an events catering company but now has several venues around Cirencester and Swindon, with Jacks their only tearoom. The marketing, menus and pricing appear more aimed at the ‘kitchen’ than ‘tea room’ side of the business, and at £17.40 this was one of the more expensive tea rooms I have visited. But with excellent and filling food, helpful staff and a pleasant environment, this felt like money well spent.