Saturday 17 August 2013

Afternoon Tea at Cox & Baloney

Cox & Baloney tearoom, Bristol

Did you know that it is National Afternoon Tea Week?

While I'm not one for "Hallmark" or made-up celebrations, I feel that I can get fully behind NATW!  Afternoon tea is a great British tradition that everyone should experience properly at least once in their lifetime.  Plus, y'

We decided to join in with the celebrations and I played the part of Research Girl and waded through tons of reviews on Trip Advisor and blogs before discovering Cox & Baloney.  I was immediately enchanted by the idea of stepping back in time a little and having a very vintage afternoon tea.  While there aren't many vintage pieces in our house, I love vintage fashion and beautifully patterned tea sets.

As soon as we walked into Cox & Baloney, Dave said, "This is very you," and it was.  Vintage treasures beautifully arranged, dresses on old-fashioned mannequins and old books with gorgeously painted jackets.  The tearoom is equally gorgeous, with artfully mismatched fine bone china place settings, bone-handled cutlery, and I spotted lovely new treasures to admire every time I looked.  There's a selection of squashy armchairs, couches and tables to choose from.

Chalkboard tea menu, Singer sewing machine, jars of loose tea, vintage cutlery at Cox & Baloney
Chalkboard tea menu, jars of tea blends, a Singer sewing machine & vintage cutlery
As I'd called ahead to reserve a table we settled down at our pretty chintz-covered table and perused the menu handed to us by our waitress who was very helpful.

Vintage teapot at Cox & Baloney, Bristol

We chose Lillie's Afternoon Tea and after perusing the tea menu settled on a pot of "Mr Darcy" tea--an English breakfast tea--to accompany our meal.  I'm not much of a tea drinker, but this loose leaf tea was a total revelation!  As the pot arrived, complete with a tea strainer, Dave started smiling.  He said that he hadn't had proper tea like this since he was little at his Nan's house.  The nostalgia was beginning to hit him...

As we sipped our tea I watched our meal being prepared in the little kitchen within the tearoom.  (Delightfully vintage, too.)  It was so nice to know that the sandwiches were freshly made rather than hanging around all day with curly edges.

Afternoon tea at Cox & Baloney, Bristol

Our fully-laden cake stand arrived with an air of ceremony and we all took a few moments to appreciate (and take photographs) before we dived in and started divvying up the sandwiches.

The sandwiches were generously filled.  I particularly liked the Cheddar cheese & apple chutney while Dave favoured the subtle bite of the ham & mustard.  Our selection of cakes included lavender, lemon and poppyseed, a slightly boozy strawberry jam sandwich which we'd given to Lucas, whoops!  And one which Dave had, whose flavour I can't remember.

Lavender cake at Cox & Baloney, Bristol

Of particular note was the Lavender Cake,  the crumb of which was delicately flecked by little purple lavender heads with more sprinkled on top over it's twin-toned purple and lilac glacĂ© icing.  I really liked this cake but I appreciate that it may be a little bit Marmite-esque.  You'll either love it, or hate it.

The scones were lovely and fresh and while not as deliciously buttery as those at Docton Mill, they were rather tasty and stuffed full of plump raisins,.  (If you fall in love with their homemade jam, there is a sign by the door which says (roughly) "Bring your jam jar, and we'll fill it up for you."  I can't remember exactly how much it was, but if I'm ever in the area with an empty jam jar--stranger things have happened--I'll take them up on it.)

Record player at Cox & Baloney, Bristol
Beautiful old-fashioned record player, with bonus bunting
Ragtime music on an old record player accompanied our meal which added to the old-time nostalgia that we were happily wallowing in.

We had a fantastic time at Cox & Baloney and felt that £21 for an afternoon tea for two was great value.  (They didn't mind Lucas sharing with us, which was great as he wasn't overly hungry even in the face of cake.  Kids are weird.)  The atmosphere was perfect, evoking the England of years gone by, and so relaxed and comfortable.  We will definitely be back!

As we left I spotted some most unusual bunting.  Vintage knickers!  Love it xx

Bunting at Cox & Baloney

National Afternoon Tea Week (as devised by runs from 12th-18th August 2013, so if you want to celebrate, too, you've still got another day to squeeze in a sweet treat.  And of course, afternoon tea is a splendid idea on any day of the year!

Cox & Baloney
182 & 184 Cheltenham Road

Tel.: 0117 944 3100



  1. Not sure how I managed to miss Afternoon Tea Week but think I might try to cram in a few today to make up for it! Hubby will be pleased...

    Looks like you had a great arvo, Cox & Baloney looks fab :o)

    M x

    1. It doesn't seem to have been advertised very well, to be honest. I only found out about it when I spotted a tweet from VisitBristol which mentioned it. Still, we were really happy to celebrate!

      We'll definitely be going back to Cox & Baloney! I really want to try the strawberry & white chocolate tea next time...

  2. This place looks really cute! :)


    1. It's gorgeous inside. My photographs don't quite do it justice!

  3. On our first trip to London I insisted on finding the perfect tea pot to take home for a souvenir. It's my favorite although I brew my imported German tea in it! Thanks for linking up at My Favorite Posts Show Off Weekend Blog Party.

    Michelle @ On A Wing And A Prayer

    1. Thanks for hosting the Blog Party, Michelle!

      I think a beautiful tea pot is one of life's small pleasures, and I say that as a confirmed coffee drinker. There are some truly beautiful ones out there.


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