We found great places for a coffee in Worcester, but surely in a town so full of references to Charles II there would be room for a traditional tea room in memory of the King who brought tea to the English Court when he returned from exile?
The weather was warm in Worcester, and so was the welcome in Café Aroma, once I’d found the place (led astray by misleading information on Google searches and plain wrong guidance on my gps!).
Darren is the perfect host to all his customers, most of whom he knows by name (and can pretty accurately predict their orders too!). And his coffee is just as his website describes it: “smooth-tasting, never bitter, strong but not too strong…”.
And he’s laid back enough to come and talk to casual bloggers that turn up unexpectedly in the middle of the morning rush. And this place was full of locals reading the morning paper, having a work meeting, or just meeting up in an organised group. A really good start to my day in Worcester.
Worcester was so Royalist in the Civil War period that it became known as the “Faithful City” – there are images and references to Charles II all over the place. But it’s an earlier king who lies close up against the High Altar in the Cathedral: it’s said that King John was so disliked in much of England that Worcester was his likeliest bet for a safe passage to heaven and he chose to be buried here.
There’s lots of history in the Cathedral – goes back to the 7th century – and a real sense of grandeur there, but the tour I went on felt a little too earnest and lacked the quirky stories that usually feed the Fancy a Cuppa? blog and memoir.
If you look at our History of Tea, you’ll see that it was Charles II who brought tea to the English Court when he returned from exile with his Portuguese wife. Given Worcester’s infatuation with old Charlie, I was surprised not to find a more traditional tea room, with lots of Charles & Catherine (of Braganca) trimmings.
I ended up diving into one of the buildings that’s just up the road from the hotel where Charles II spent his last night before going into exile. They had an offer on for a cream tea, even though they called themselves a coffee house, so I thought I’d give it a try.
Good choice, I have to say. Fantastic old building; great life-changing story from owner Elizabeth; and utterly wonderful cakes baked by her Mum. Easy to recommend Edesia Coffee House in New Street.
But come on, Worcester, someone should be opening up a quaint old tea room…
For the rest? Worcester has lovely river-side walks, where you can check out the flood levels of years gone by (and see how close to the record the 2007 floods were); lots and lots of Tudor buildings even in the High Street; and little gems to discover, like the original shop where they sold Lea & Perrins Worcester Sauce: it was in a chemist’s…