Poppys, Chipping Sodbury

February 16, 2011

After surviving what is said to be the most depressing day of the year (the last Monday in January, apparently, for a whole host of reasons) we felt that further protection from the perishing cold was needed in the form of a day out and of course a cream tea… or three.

We tentatively ventured to Chipping Sodbury and were pleased to find a charming yellow-brick market town with a wide, attractive main boulevard seeping afternoon tea potential from every crevice.

After tearing Lilly away from the last of the New Years sales, we came across Poppys – boasting a range of freshly made cakes, hot food and a selection of fine teas. Poppys is well placed, in the middle of Broad Street, at the pounding heart of the Chipping Sodbury, and as such is clearly a popular haunt of a diverse array of her natives. We surveyed the menu and peered through glass bell jars at an extensive array of rather sturdy looking homemade cakes.  We started the ball rolling with one pot of Earl Grey and one of Assam, which arrived promptly. The mismatching crockery lent a quirky air, for certain, but we were less convinced by the teabags, and further disappointed to find they both tasted identical anyway.

We both are possessed of that quintessential British hatred of sending anything back to the kitchen in a restaurant (indeed when travelling abroad Lily has been known to heat her own meal with a magnifying glass rather than risk causing offence by sending it back) but we broke the mould on this occasion as the crumpets she ordered were nothing short of inedible. Our stammering request was met politely and the second attempt arrived hot on the heels of the first, and much improved.

Amos then attempted to tackle a dense and sizable wedge of Victoria sponge – the eating of which Lily unkindly compared to the town’s infamous annual uphill half marathon, the ‘Sodbury Slog’ – but even his most noble efforts were eventually in vain.  Strictly in the name of research, and not to be outdone, Lilly ordered the cream tea to finish with. The humble scone, so often a gold standard benchmark of an establishment’s merit did not taste (we have to say) overly fresh but it didn’t detract from the fact that Poppys is a reliable place as any to find a no frills afternoon tea.

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