So, recently it was Nanny Ms birthday (21 again, thank you for asking!) and being the good daughter that I am I took her to celebrate with afternoon tea at Number 9 in Ironbridge, the coffee shop attached to The White Hart pub on the Wharfage (formerly Queenies Cupcakes).
Number 9 is small but perfectly formed, with wood floors, mismatched furniture and shelves along one side of the small room groaning under the weight of freshly baked cakes.
On arrival we were shown to a small table with gorgeous views of the Severn, and were welcomed by the owner, Alex, who also wished Nanny M a happy birthday, a nice touch which definitely made us feel at home. Coffee and English breakfast tea were ordered to begin with – I was tempted by the addition of a glass of prosecco but alas I was driving and Nanny M is too well behaved to drink on a weekday.
Our tower of delights soon arrived, a generously loaded stack of sandwiches, savoury treats and of course, cake! Being the restrained folk that we are, we did NOT skip straight to the cake, but instead took our time with the savouries, looking forward to the treats still to come. Traditional cucumber sandwiches were of course in attendance, alongside ham and tomato, both of which were very tasty and served on delicious, freshly baked, pillowy soft bread. Velvety smooth duck liver parfait was served on wafer thin toast, with a generous dollop of caramelised onion chutney, delicious. But the star of the show was the quiche.
Now I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never liked quiche, and usually avoid it like the plague, but seeing as it was sitting on the plate staring me in the eye, in for a penny, in for a pound. Well! Perfectly light, crisp pastry, no soggy bottoms, with an unctuous and wonderfully seasoned filling, served still slightly warm and wobbly, it totally converted me! Although now that I know where the best quiche I’ve ever eaten is I shall avoid it everywhere else to avoid disappointment!
Once we felt we had shown enough decorum and had eaten our savoury gems at a respectable pace we soon fell onto the cake plate and inhaled most of the contents faster than Mr M devouring a plate of pasta (honestly, you should see him!). Scones preloaded with jam and cream, zesty lemon and lime macarons, hazelnut creme filled choux buns and mini battenburgs were all in attendance, all clearly baked that morning, and all delicious. It is hard to pick out a stand out sweet treat, but if pushed, it was the incredibly light, crisp, and very messy to eat choux buns that I would go back and have another taste of, just to be sure, y’know?
And just like that, our afternoon tea was over. Further slices of cake the thickness of a phone book were offered, and although tempted, we declined for fear of ruining our image as ladylike ladies who eat dainty ladylike afternoon teas and what-not. We could not fault number 9, the service was excellent, not so fast that we felt rushed out of the door, not so slow that we felt forgotten about, just right for a relaxed afternoon putting the world to rights. Tea and coffee was topped up on request and seemed bottomless, but most importantly the food was incredible, and from peering at other people’s tables during a lunch service the sandwiches and hot lunches looked pretty darn good too! I will definitely be returning for another afternoon tea before too long, or a lunch, or brunch, such a treat in such a beautiful location!
Love, Mammy x