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Tea on the Green
Tea on the Green,
2 Cathedral Close,
Exeter,
EX1 1EZ
01392 276 913
In a moment of spontaneity and wanderlust Amos
whisked Lilly away on a romantic trip to… Exeter. It
would not have been a Noveltea day out without at
least several afternoon teas. Desperately needing
our spirits lifted after a few drizzly hours traipsing
around the city we came upon Tea on the Green, a
Tudor style building overlooked by the famous
Exeter Cathedral.

We looked tentatively through the
raindrop-spattered windows into the sparsely
occupied, low-ceilinged interior, and keen to get
into the warm and dry we made a faltering push
inside.

In our extensive experience in the tea reviewing
game we have come across a phenomenon we
have dubbed the "cathe-dull tearoom" and it is this:
we have found that many tearooms surrounding
cathedrals or other points of interest are able to,
and often do - by virtue of their central location -
become the 'default setting' for afternoon tea in a
given city. Given that they can almost guarantee a
fair footfall of tourist trade such places can happily
rest on their laurels and provide a barely passable
standard of tea which does a disservice in the
eyes of the world to this great, British tradition.

Seriously hoping to break the trend we ordered a
pot tea from the "historic" Tregothnan Estate (in
Cornwall), teacakes and a slice of Vicky Sponge.
The first warming, earthy sips of the West Country
blend transported Amos to the wild and sunny
shores of his Cornish childhood... until he was
unhappily bought back to earth by a thudding great
slab of VSC being slapped down at our table (a
gutsy £3.95 a slice, by the way).

The staff were found to be polite and service was
not slow. The menus were comprehensive and the
fare of adequate quality. Perhaps because of the
rain, though, the atmosphere wasn't there, and we
were forced to ask the question:

"did this cathedral tearoom break the mould?"

There are nice touches, like using local jams and
loose leaf tea - which we applaud - but although
there was nothing strictly wrong with it we both
agreed that it reached only really the minimum
standards required of such an establishment.