Two very different people have extolled the virtues of Shipleys to me over the last week. It was time to go and investigate.
The tea room has only been open a few months and is towards the end of the shopping area in Brigg, which explains why I hadn’t found it yet.
The 1940s theme seems very popular at the moment and it was described to me as ‘shabby 40s chic’. I’m not really old enough to remember much of the 1940s, but this took me right back to my childhood in the early 1950s. It was like stepping into one of the pictures in the Ladybird Janet and John early readers.
There is nothing ‘shabby’ about the place. The style has been lovingly recreated with 1940s furniture and even the waitresses have 1940s hair styles and scarlet lipstick. Tables have damask of lace table cloths and there is plenty of space between them allowing for intimate conversations. The different size tables accommodate different size groups from 2 to 6 with ease and the window tables with views onto Wrawby Street are the most popular. I usually hate piped music, but this didn’t intrude or drown out conversation.
There is a small counter with a selection of cakes. These are made daily and the range varies. Chocolate, Victoria sponge and lemon madeira are firm favourites. Today there was also morello cherry bakewell, coconut and raspberry cake and orange and white chocolate gluten free cake as well as a selection of scones. Difficult decisions….
In the end I chose the orange and white chocolate cake. This might have looked a bit uninspiring with no thick layer of filling or icing but was very, very nice. It wasn’t over sweet and very more-ish. It had the slightly gritty texture of gluten free cakes and a good orange flavour with grated orange rind. The small chunks of chocolate scattered through the cake finished off perfection.
It was only when I finished I learned about the ‘cake trio, for those who can’t make up their minds’. This is three half slices of cake for £3.50. I will need to make another visit to try this out.
There is a tremendous choice of teas, including leaf tea and fruit teas. As well as Yorkshire, breakfast and afternoon tea, the list includes Earl and Lady Grey, Assam, Darjeeling as well as more exotic offerings like gunpowder green tea, Russian caravan and Lapsang. Even I couldn’t fault the selection of fruit teas and was spoilt for choice. I chose lemon which was served in a brown china tea pot and came with a slice of lemon in a china cup. It was a big pot and easily did three cups.
The tea room concentrates on cakes and sandwiches. It does do soup and a roll but doesn’t try and cater for all the different permutations of paninis, toasties, salads, jacket potatoes etc. The breakfast choice is toast, crumpets, toasted tea cake or croissant. They do a range of different afternoon teas including an over 65s special for those with smaller appetites.
There was a steady stream of customers through the door of all ages from mothers with small children (there are high chairs) to Silver Travellers like myself. All were made to feel very welcome. There was no pressure on people to finish but tables were cleared quickly once a person had gone.
This is a place that concentrates on the basics – good staff, good food and good surroundings. There are several other tea rooms in Brigg, but this is by far the best at the moment. At £4.40 I felt this was very good value. I will definitely be back.