After a really bad week and a late night at the office on Friday, I was not looking forward to waking up early on Saturday. But I was looking forward to meeting up with the girls, as promised. One had to happen for the other to come to pass, so I got up and got going, and headed to Dianne's Tea Shop on Long Circular Road in Maraval.
Firstly, pet peeve...pet peeve. There needs to be a sign. If you don't know where you are going, you will never find it. My co-pilot had seen a photo of the place and so we parked and hoped for the best as we exited the vehicle and ventured to the front door. Signage generally is needed. If there is indeed a sign, it is not strategically located. I had to double back. Not cool. Fail.
However, let's go inside. Beautiful. Very sleek, very modern. If you like the look and feel of a posh tea shop, this is the place for you. For some, the all white exterior was not warm and inviting enough for a tea shop but it really does come down to personal taste at the end of the day. What I will say, regardless of what your decor tastes are, you surely felt the warmth from Dianne at the front door. Genuine warmth and welcome. Gold star.
Time to eat and I was a bit disappointed in the menu options. Maybe being new, the menu is a bit limited but I had a hard time choosing something as the options for me, were not that varied. But it being close to lunch, I decided I would try the pasta - Neapolitan rustic scented with garlic basil and white wine reduction, with grilled chicken. My friends ordered different things from the breakfast and lunch menu, and so we waited.
Well, let me also say that for a tea shop, the range of hot beverages also seemed a bit limited and this was a real deal breaker for me. The range of teas as offered to us by our server did not seem to be very wide, and of course I asked about coffee and was offered the choice of a latte or a cappuccino. That's it. If there were more options, we were not offered these. I was really disappointed by this - total fail for me. I was also distressed by the long wait for our hot drinks. Some cappies came with cinnamon and a spoon, some did not. Had to ask. Limited cold beverage service as well. I mean, I know it is a tea shop, but most tea shops I have been to still offer a mimosa! I was really jonesin' for a Saturday morning mimosa with my brunch!! Had to settle for a glass of water. Not cool. Fail.
The food got there, and it was tasty, but it seemed standard. Presentation was also a bit lacking with the pasta I had ordered. The eating experience did not live up to the meal's description either. I also had to ask for parmesan. I should not have to ask.
|My pasta order - the chicken just kinda lay there.|
|DH Sandwich - turkey breast, enmenthal cheese, peach jam, radiccio |
and alfalfa in multigrain bread slices. Much better presentation!
One of my friends had an unusually long wait for her order - it came long after we had gotten ours and we had started eating.
Dianne's also has a lovely array of products such as preserves and cookies, as well as kitchenware from which to choose while at the shop. So you can have tea and then take home some nibbles for later. Always a winning outcome!
Still, as a new establishment, there were some pros and there were some cons. I am sure there are a lot of teething issues to be sorted out, which I am sure will be sorted out soon. The enthusiasm and good nature of the owner truly indicates that this is a work in progress, and judging from the number of guests there that morning, there is certainly a lot of interest and certainly there are a lot hungry bellies out there. Best of luck!