Tea by the Taw – Cafe Review

The size of those sandwiches, the taste of those toasties, the cuteness of the crockery – lunch at Tea by the Taw is awesome.

Why it’s on my list

I think I am becoming a lady who lunches. So next on my list of places to visit in Barnstaple had to be another popular place for lunch – Tea by the Taw, which is on the Strand and right by the River Taw, hence the name.

Cafe Information

Website: no website, but the Facebook page is kept up to date www.facebook.com/teabythetaw/
Location: The Strand, Barnstaple
Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm
To book: call 01271 370032

Overall verdict

Phenomenal! It was delicious and wholesome, and a very relaxing and pretty place to be. Maybe it was something to do with it beginning to look a lot like Christmas, or maybe it was the food, atmosphere and friendly service.

What I had

As it’s nearly Christmas, my husband had the Christmas special sandwich – turkey, sausage, cranberry and stuffing in between granary bread, served with roast potatoes and gravy.

Festive sandwich from Tea by the Taw

To make sure we could give the normal menu a good test, I had a Brie, bacon and cranberry toastie, one slice of granary (doorstop size), with a side salad.

Brie, bacon and cranberry toastie from Tea by the Taw

We also ordered potato wedges to share, which came with barbecue sauce, sour cream and sweet chilli sauce. Plus the obligatory cups of tea.

The best

It’s too difficult to pick a favourite, so I’m going to indulge myself (it is Christmas after all!) and choose a festive favourite and a favourite favourite.

The festive favourite is of course the sandwich, which was incredible. The filling was incredibly generous, and perhaps towards the end you may need a knife and fork. But that’s no problem, there are roasties and gravy to be had, so you’re going to need them anyway!

And the regular favourite has to be the potato wedges – skins on, delicious. With three sauces, people who love a condiment should be well satisfied. Myself included.

Potato wedges and dips from Tea by the Taw

That Brie, bacon and cranberry toastie was also amazing, just giving it a mention here because it really was very special – bacon cooked super crispy and generous slabs of gooey cheese. Good proportions too, the bread, although proper doorstep slices, wasn’t too thick to take away from the flavour of everything else.

Not the best

Places do get booked up, we were quite fortunate to get a table that they wouldn’t need back for a while. Still, when it’s a good place to eat, that’s the proof!

The venue

Tea by the Taw occupies a unique spot in Barnstaple. It sits right by the River Taw in a building that used to be the Barnstaple bus station. The business has stuck around where others have failed, certainly for the good food, but also, I think, for the atmosphere. The decor is cute, there’s a cake table and fridge (not that I had room for any) and the mismatched teacups, saucers, milk jugs, sugar bowls and teapots are adorable.

Tea set from Tea by the Taw

Location wise, it really is a little haven away from everything. There are other buildings on the Strand, but it’s like a little island, surrounded by pretty trees, paving, grass and then there’s the river itself. Very relaxing.

Seating in Tea by the Taw

Top tip

Leave some room for those wedges, so choose wisely! Next time I may just go for wedges so I can try some cake.

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