On a quest to find an authentic kooky cafe in the city, Kathryn Lewis discovers a gem on the universities door step.
Lately it seems that every café I enter is aspiring for the quirky vintage style; with endless bunting, unnecessary kooky clutter and mismatched furnishings, it’s a look that can easily appear over strained. However, I think I may have finally found the real deal just down the road from my door step.
Thé Pot on Crwys Road is everything you could wish for from a charming community café. A small and cosy spot, perfect for an intimate date or a long awaited catch up, the independent eatery is worth a visit just for a cup of tea and the warm and friendly atmosphere, let alone the delicious food offerings.
After a couple of minutes spent pondering the pronunciation of this place’s intriguing name (is it French? is it Welsh? who knows?), walking into Thé Pot there was a homely and inviting ambiance. With a cute collection of vintage tables and chairs, intriguing artwork lining the walls and an original open plan kitchen, it was clear that this is a café with real character. Taking a seat in the window, the perfect spot for a little people watching, one look at the menu confirmed this was my kinda’ place.
Chicken and halloumi salads, butternut-squash lasagne and more avocado than you can shake a stick at; this was going to be a tricky decision. After much deliberation, opting for the goat’s cheese and caramelised onion filled bread with a large mocha on the side, the waitress swiftly took orders with a friendly smile. The compact size of the cafe meant that there was a sociable buzz in the air, unlike some chain coffee shops you could tell that you’re more than welcome to stay and chat long after your food’s been and gone. In no time the drinks were on the table and the mocha was everything I looked for in a coffee; served in a large round cup (the perfect shape to get a good warming grip with two hands) with a rich bitter kick of coffee and a sweet smooth taste of chocolate hitting soon after. The malted milk biscuit on the side was the icing on the cake, and a tempting treat to dip into the coffee.
Before long, the food we could see being prepared in the open kitchen was in front of us and ready to eat. The filled bread that I’d chosen arrived in epic proportions. A huge slab of warm ciabatta, stuffed to the brim with oozing salty-sweet goat’s cheese, layered with a chunky caramelised onion chutney; it was heaven. Served with a small but well-rounded side salad this was the perfect, if not extremely filling, lunch. Five pounds for a sandwich may seem slightly steep for some, but the sheer size and delicious-ness of the meal made it well worth the pennies. There was a little surprise waiting at the bottom of my mocha too, with a few melting white chocolate buttons waiting to be scooped out from the cup, this place had all the little extras covered.
Next time I’ll be heading here for cake as the pudding board was extremely tempting, the lime and courgette cake looked particularly mouth-watering. With an intriguing breakfast and dinner menu too, Thé Pot is no one trick pony, and I’m looking forward to exploring more of their culinary conquests.