This is a newly opened tea room next to the Hospice shop. I first called in on a Saturday lunchtime when it was very busy and full of happy customers. I sussed out the cakes on display on a sideboard at the back of the shop and decided I needed to come back another time.
I am having a major clear out at the moment with many trips to the Hospice shop, so have been calling in to Mrs M’s to fortify myself before getting the bus back home. One of the perks of a visit are the cakes. This review covers several trips.
When it first opened, it had a large and varied and changing selection of appetising looking cakes – chocolate cake, coffee cake, Victoria sponge, carrot cake, strawberry shortcake cake, lime and coconut, farmhouse fruit cake as well as scones and tray bakes like Millionaire’s shortbread.
On my first visit a few days later, I tried the coffee and walnut cake. This was served on a ‘vintage’ china plate and was a generous size portion of a moist sponge with a good coffee flavour. There was a thick layer of coffee butter icing in the centre and more icing on top scattered with walnuts and decorated with a coffee butter icing swirl and chocolate. It was very good and the portion size just right – any more would have been a mistake. At £2 I felt this was very good value and worthy of 5*.
The second visit I tried the lime and coconut cake. I think the lime must have referred to the water icing on top which was a pale green colour, didn’t taste of anything and was sprinkled with desiccated coconut. I wasn’t aware of any lime taste. The moist sponge contained enough coconut to give a coconut flavour but not to overpower. There was a thick layer of buttercream icing in the centre which was a bit rich. Overall I was not as impressed. Only 3*
Unfortunately this standard hasn’t been maintained. On subsequent visits the cake selection has been poor and the cakes look a lot less interesting with a butter cream filling and water icing with little attempt at decoration. The scones are looking decidedly jaded too. The last couple of visits I’ve looked at the cakes but not been tempted by any. Definitely 2* for range and temptability.
One visit I planned an early lunch – jacket potato with cheese and beans. This was served with mixed leaves and homemade coleslaw. The jacket had been baked in an oven and was good and crispy outside, however was let down by a very meagre filling. It was best described as lots of potato with a few beans on top of a sprinkling of grated cheese. At £3.95 it wasn’t expensive but I did feel a little cheated. I think it was 2* rather than 3*
Staff are very pleasant and try hard. The tea room has rather basic rough brick walls above a painted boarded base, a mixture of different tables and chairs and rather incongruous mock chandeliers.
There is an extensive menu with a range of all day breakfasts. Reading the list of ingredients for the all day brunch at £6.95, it would probably serve two. They used to provide a changing daily special hot meal at lunchtime priced at £5.95, but last visit the only choice seemed to be soup and a roll for £3. There is a range of sandwiches and toasties with prices from £3.50-£3.95. Burgers start from £2.50. They also do a children’s menu as well as afternoon teas.
Mrs M’s is at the end of the shops on Ashby High Street. “Coffee at 43”:http://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/restaurant/156842-review-coffee-at-43
is in the centre of the shopping areas and is a more pleasant place to sit. It’s cake selection may be marginally better. Prices there may be slightly more expensive but last time I popped in the jacket potatoes had a lot more filling and looked to be better value.
So the jury is very much out on Mrs M’s at the moment. It has been noticeably less busy recently. I’ll continue to pop in for a look when I go to the hospice shop, but I’m not holding my breath.
There is a slight step into tea tea room. Once inside there is plenty of space for a wheelchair to negotiate round the tables or for parking a wheelchair or pushchair. There is limited parking along Ashby High Street but there is a small car park 100 yards walk from the tea room. The first two hours are free.