Review: The Tea Hut, Woodbridge
- Credit: Archant
Emily Cotton visits one of Woodbridge’s much loved cafes for Saturday morning brunch.
My boyfriend Ryan and I had planned to head to The Tea Hut on Saturday for lunch, however with such lovely weather (and football on the TV later in the day), he suggested we could head there earlier in the morning for brunch; when it would (hopefully) be a little quieter too. I hadn’t considered the café might serve anything other than lunch and cakes, so was pleasantly surprised when I looked up its opening times and saw it was open from 9am.
When we got to the café, we grabbed ourselves one of the last tables outside in the sun, found ourselves a couple of menus, and decided what to order.
I opted for eggs and mushrooms, which was described as two poached eggs with sautéed mushrooms on toasted soda bread; there was also the option to add Hollandaise sauce for an additional cost which I included in my order too. The eggs were perfectly poached, still runny in the middle, while the mushrooms had a delicious, intense flavour that tasted almost meaty thanks to their sautéed, spongy texture. I wasn’t too keen on the toasted soda bread however. I feel that regular bread would have been nicer for this dish, as the soda bread was a too dense for its light toppings.
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Ryan chose the Big Hut Breakfast which was made up of two Revetts gluten free pork sausages, two rashers of Revetts smoked bacon, two fried eggs, sautéed potatoes, Heinz baked beans, mushrooms, a tomato and one slice of toast. He also chose to add a ring of black pudding which was suggested as an additional extra to the meal because, well, why not? The sausages were really meaty and we were pleased to see they were from a local supplier. The rest of the meal tasted fresh, although Ryan suspected his mushrooms were tinned, and was all served hot.
Although we were visiting for brunch, we had to try one of The Tea Hut’s gorgeous looking cakes which were lined up, along with scones and sausage rolls, by the till. We chose a slice of the indulgent looking chocolate cake, taking it home to enjoy a bit later on in the afternoon. Our receipt stated that this was a vegan chocolate cake, however I don’t remember the label by the till mentioning this. It might be worth the cafe stating this as it would likely make the cake appealing to even more diners. We tucked into the cake a few hours later and despite it travelling home with us in a box in very warm weather, it was still in very good shape. The sponge was soft and the icing on the top and in the middle of the two layers was rich and chocolatey.
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The Tea Hut’s menu included a great selection of drinks, from teas and coffees, both hot and iced, to milkshakes, juices and even alcohol. We chose an iced latte and an iced tea. The iced latte was great, however the iced tea (served with lemon) but was quite dry and I thought it could have done with being a little sweeter somehow – unfortunaltey I’ve tasted better elsewhere.
The café was very busy on the Saturday morning we visited, and this stress was evident with some members of staff (one complaining to a parent of a young child of around five years old for helping himself to a glass of milk from a table with ‘free’ water, milk and sugar etc, which I thought was a little uncalled for as the child wouldn’t have known this wasn’t allowed). We also had to chase up our drinks after our food was served to us as they hadn’t arrived yet. There was one young girl working however – who I wished I’d caught the name of to mention specifically – who was really friendly, clearing our table with a smile and joking about how my iced tea made it look like I was enjoying a Pimms at 10am.
As mentioned, the café was really busy. But this was to be expected on a very sunny Saturday morning over Easter weekend. We sat outside and despite the many people around us, the atmosphere was relaxing; everyone enjoying their food, their company and of course the incredible weather – this definitely helped. If the weather had been bad, the inside of The Tea Hut is very small, and with people squishing inside to queue to order too, I’m sure the ambiance would have been a little different.
The prices for the main brunch meals at The Tea Hut were reasonable. The big breakfast was just under £10, with the smaller version being just under a fiver. Breakfast rolls were around £5 too. I think however some of the ‘add ons’ were a little over priced. Adding a small slice of black pudding to a cooked breakfast was an extra £1.50, while adding Hollandaise sauce to my dish was an additional £1.50 too (a little steep for the amount on my plate). In total our two person brunch came to £26.10.
Location and parking
The Tea Hut is located almost on the river Deben, situated near both Deben Rowing Club and Deben Yacht Club. There is no allocated parking for The Tea Hut, however there is on road parking around Kingston Park (next to the café) as well as multiple car parks in the town centre, which are only a short walk away.
My highlight was obviously the cake; soft, rich and perfectly chocolately! I’m glad we grabbed a slice to take home and enjoy a little later on.
A great selection of brunch food, served until a reasonable time of day and to us without having to wait too long. While the service to us directly wasn’t too bad, some of the staff weren’t that friendly or welcoming to those around us, making me feel as if the place isn’t that family friendly.