During a wander through Cheltenham on a rare but beautiful sunny afternoon, I found myself on Regent Street – which I had only ever really noted for the Everyman Theatre and another couple of bars and clubs. However, this time I noticed something I had never seen before and that was the presence of several quirky, independent cafes residing in the tall Edwardian buildings along the street... Intrigued, I ambitiously promised myself I would try them all in the next few months.
I decided on Anderson’s Cafe to try first after a friend told me she had been there for afternoon tea and raved about it for weeks afterwards. So, one Wednesday lunchtime I headed to Anderson’s with my cake-loving mother ready to sample the delights of their afternoon tea although there was a lot of other delicious-sounding options to choose from on the menu. We were seated on the lower level of the cafe, which was fairly open and fresh with lovely two-seater tables.
Over the clink-clink of the teacups and saucers, we chatted away in the light atmosphere if the cafe. After a rather long wait of 20 minutes, the waitress brought out our Afternoon Tea for Two on an impressive two-tiered cake stand. The upper tier was adorned with sweet little finger sandwiches, crusts removed, with a small salad garnish and the lower tier carried the indulgent cake selection with some chopped strawberries.
As I worked my way through the sandwiches in as ladylike a way as I could, I was provided with a running commentary from my mother who was aware I would be reviewing our lunch. “Not enough choice of sandwich fillings, Alex – make sure you write that” she muttered whilst devouring said sandwiches. The sandwiches that come with the afternoon tea are smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber, and egg mayonnaise. This was perfectly fine with me however it certainly would have been nice to be able to pick what we would like... and a little more fun!
Next was the cake tier consisting of two portions each of fruit cake, carrot cake and a scone with butter, clotted cream, and a selection of jams. My usually inactive sweet tooth appreciated the scone however after this I was so full I couldn’t possibly fit in any more cake! The spread looked deceptively small for two people when it was first brought out but after a couple of sandwiches and a scone I was stuffed!
Before leaving, we headed upstairs to take a peek at the homemade cakes – which looked absolutely beautiful, even better than the cakes served with the afternoon tea. I took away some Tiffin, which was very reasonable at £1.80 for a generous slice, and even more so for how tasty it was. Visit Anderson’s Cafe if you want to meet a friend for lunch or to take out a friend or relative who is new to the regency town – this is a sweet slice of the Cheltonian lifestyle if ever there was one!