David Le Masurier ‘s inspirational story is an example of someone who has pursued their dream. In 2010 he packed in a successful career in the hotel industry with the intent of establishing a traditional British tea room. Two years later Pettigrew tea rooms opened in the gate house of Bute Park.
David’s story isn’t unique. Other people pluck up the courage to follow their dream on a daily basis. What is unique is that David shared his journey via his compelling blog – iwanttobakefree.blogspot.co.uk. Before I’d even visited Pettigrew tea rooms I was emotionally invested in the place. I was rooting for it to be fantastic. Thankfully it doesn’t disappoint. And the owner is just as affable in the flesh.
Pettigrew tea rooms is a slice of old fashioned British charm. Wooden display cabinets are filled with freshly baked cakes and loose leaf tea, and mismatched teaware and bunting all add to the vintage feel.
3 out of the 4 of us ordered the Pettigrew afternoon tea (£13.50 for one, £24.95 for two). This buys you a bucket load of food and drink: a choice of loose leaf tea, a selection of finger sandwiches, two scones with jam and clotted cream, and your chosen slice of cake.
I ordered a pot of Angel Peach tea; a refreshing blend of green tea with a taste of peach. Mrs G and Mrs G’s mum enjoyed their pots of pot pourri-esque Lavender Grey and seriously fruity wild berry blend respectively.
Finger sandwiches were on the nail. The bread was soft and the quantity of filling generous. Our selection included egg mayonnaise (with a welcome dash of salad cream), cheese & tomato, smoked salmon & cream cheese, ham & English mustard, and cucumber.
Mrs G’s sister rated her beef and horseradish sandwich (£5.45).
Next up were the scones. Even though the scones were a touch on the dry side, a generous dollop of fruit rich strawberry jam and indulgent clotted cream provided some welcome moisture. Having been advised to save room for our slice of cake, we each doggy bagged our second scone.
Saving some stomach space for cake was certainly sound advice. Pettigrew’s cakes are the star of the show. Freshly baked on the premises by a rather talented young baker, every cake on display in the retro glass cabinet looked equally tantalising. Thankfully we each settled on a different one.
My Victoria sponge was light and packed with strawberry jam and butter icing.
Mrs G’s lemon drizzle cake was as moist as can be with a delightfully sharp and oozing lemon icing.
The mother in law’s banana and pecan cake was a dense banana hit with a good background note of pecan.
Finally Mrs G’s sister ‘the self appointed carrot cake connoisseur’ gave her doorstop of carrot cake her seal of approval.
By the end of this tea and cake marathon I was suffering from the cake sweats.
As far as quintessentially British afternoon tea experiences go in Cardiff, Pettigrew tea rooms takes some beating.
Address - Pettigrew Tea Rooms, West Lodge, Bute Park, Castle Street, Cardiff, CF10 1BJ
Telephone - 02920 235 486