Orange Pekoe, SW13 0PX

Tea shop and cafe in Barnes. All the tea is loose-leaf, and is also available to take away and brew at home.

Entry is into a small space with a service counter piled with cakes and pastries. Steps lead up from here to a succession of three seating areas, two small and cosy and the other larger and lighter. The decor is traditional without being twee: wooden flooring, subtly flocked wallpaper, white-painted brickwork, ornately framed mirrors, and old-fashioned sideboards and china cabinets.

Kake visited on a Monday morning in September 2017. It was almost entirely full when I arrived a little before 9:30am, and I was lucky to get the last interior table — a small round table for one in a corner, flanked by a comfortable armchair. Music was playing very quietly, mostly drowned out by conversation.

From their breakfast menu photo as of Sep 2017 I chose smashed avocado with poached egg on rye toast with chilli and lime (£8.50) photo. The rye bread had a good flavour and a nicely substantial crust; I was glad they'd given me a serrated knife to cut through it. The egg was poached just right, with a runny yolk and properly set white. The chilli was scattered around the edge of the plate, letting me choose how much of it I wanted. My only minor criticism would be that the avocado itself was on the watery side rather than being creamy.

I accompanied this with a pot of Ceylon Pettiagalla (£4.50 for a very generously-sized pot), which was fully brewed and the leaves removed before being brought to the table, to make sure it didn't over-brew while it sat. I am generally quite fussy about tea and always order generic tea "weak" to avoid stewed-ness, but here I didn't need to give any special instructions; I chose a tea that was listed as giving a light brew and let them get on with it, and the result was just right.

Service was friendly and helpful; they were happy to advise me on the best tea to have with my breakfast, going through and explaining the characteristics of each.

Kake's verdict: I'd happily come back. I've been meaning to come here for years, and I'm sorry I left it so long.

Child-friendliness: There's a pull-down nappy change table in the handwash area, and they have at least two highchairs (the type with no tray and very little back support). There was a small baby in during our visit, and the staff immediately volunteered to move tables to make room for the pram.

Accessibility: A large step to get in, two or three more steps to most of the seating, and a couple more steps from there to the toilet (a single unisex cubicle).

See also:

Last visited by Kake, September 2017.
OS X co-ord: 521258 OS Y co-ord: 176088 (Latitude: 51.470772 Longitude: -0.255585)
Last edited 2017-09-13 08:26:16 (version 1)