It seems as if there is constantly another branch of a nationwide high-street tea and coffee shop opening these days. These may be all very well for a quick coffee fix or a place to stop for lunch, but there are other options, ones which are as much about the experience as the quality of tea and cake on offer.

Zena Alkayat’s Tea & Cake London is a guide to the best places to stop for tea and cake, showcasing the alternatives to the impersonal, popular chains we are so used to seeing occupying our streets. This informative guide is a celebration of the array of tearooms and cafés that provide a “challenge to our greying world of chains”, unearthing hidden gems alongside iconic venues.

…offering something for everyone on any occasion…

The detailed yet concise guide is divided into helpful sections such as ‘Everyday Specials’, ‘Grand Affairs’ and ‘Tea with a Twist’ offering something for everyone on any occasion. It is evident that Zena Alkayat has thoroughly researched every café and tearoom explored in this guide. Detailed histories, recommendations and observations, ensure that you know what to expect from each.

The accompanying photographs are the distinctive feature of the book. Eye-catching photography occupies pages at a time, beautifully showcasing the tempting treats on offer. Every enticingly detailed photograph tantalises the taste buds, urging you to make a visit to the tearoom, café or bakery and sample that crumbly scone, chocolate brownie or parsnip and maple sponge.

…a tempting insight into the tearooms and bakeries of London…

Zena Alkayat’s Tea & Cake London offers a tempting insight into the tearooms and bakeries of London. When reading you want to visit every establishment featured in the book, although this isn’t good for those of us watching our waistlines!

The book is comprehensive and well designed, what it lacks is a form of categorisation in terms of location, which would make it easier to find a tearoom based on the area of London you are in.

…where to find good quality tea and food…

Overall, Tea & Cake London expertly highlights where to find good quality tea and food and reminds us of the pleasurable experience of our great British pastime. With the growing popularity in tea, and Christmas fast approaching, Tea & Cake London would make a great gift.

Tea & Cake London is published by Black Dog Publishing. It is available for £9.99.

3 ½ Stars

Images courtesy of Zena Alkayat


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