Afternoon tea

Took my family on a trip to Ely town, a small place near the famous city of Cambridge.

In Ely we found a tea-room which has been chosen as the ‘Best Tea-room in Britain, 2007.’ It was in a very green area right next to a beautiful river. There were weeping willow trees nearby and the Muscovy ducks who live by the river had just had lots of babies so there were about 20 little yellow ducklings running all over the place, and the children were so happy to see them. So this is the best place in Britain to have afternoon tea.

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I was sure there would be a very long queue for afternoon tea, so I thought we would avoid the queue and have lunch there. So we had afternoon tea for lunch!

Fortunately this tea-room also serves sandwiches, soup and salad so we could have a nice lunch, and afternoon tea became the dessert. There were about forty different teas to choose from. We had a pot of the regular ‘House Blend’ tea, which was excellent (no tea-bags here!) and another pot which was spicy and flowery, also really delicious. The scones were very good, but I chose to eat summer pudding, a pudding made from fresh summer fruits: raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants and probably some other fruit too. And with clotted cream it was scrumptious.

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I spoke with the owner, he was very friendly even though he was busy, and he told me that winning the award as best tea-room had really helped his business and now he was always full at week-ends.

We went past later in the afternoon and the queue was so long, though it was such a beautiful day that no-one seemed to mind.

Roggen Meyer part 2

Yesterday I was in Shizuoka station and I needed to buy a baguette, so I decided to try Roggen Meyer in Parche.

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I hadn’t been to Roggen Meyer since my bad experience there in April, when I was served by a waitress who was not interested in the products.

I looked for a baguette but there were none on display, so I asked a shop worker and she checked for me. She politely asked me to wait a few minutes because some more baguettes had nearly finished baking.

And sure enough I saw the oven open and a lot of fresh baguettes on a tray. The shop worker picked up a baguette with some tongs, let it cool a little, and slipped it straight into a long bag. Then she took it to the cashier.

To my surprise the cashier was one of my students. She spoke to me in very good English  and at 4.03pm I had the baguette. Roggen Meyer’s service is much better now.

I went straight to the platform to catch my train at 4.06, and I arrived at my station at 4.10, and got home at 4.17

At 4.20 I was eating the baguette, about 20 minutes after it came out of the oven!

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Great service

With my friend, Robert-Gilles, who writes the Shizuoka Gourmet blog, I went to a Japanese pub/restaurant, called Yukichi, in Fujieda yesterday. Recently I had some poor service at Roggen Meyer bakery cafe in Shizuoka station Parche because the waitress had no interest in the bakery’s products. However two of my students, one in a tea shop, and one in a bakery, told me that they were interested in their shop’s products so I felt relieved.

So my friend and I asked about the sashimi on the menu. To our surprise the young waitress came to our table with a large dish full of different kinds of fish. Then she gave us an explanation of every fish (and there was raw chicken meat and chicken liver too!), and how it would be served, some as sashimi, some as tempura. She really knew about the products. She also told us where everything was from, mostly from Yaizu port, but the chicken was from Nagoya.

Later when she served the delicious food she also explained which fish should be eaten with soy sauce and horseradish, or with soy sauce and ginger, and the raw chicken should be eaten with a sesame sauce. In addition we chose some junmai sake from a local Fujieda brewery, and she gave us some interesting information about this too. She really knew her stuff.

We also had some tempura which was cooked so well that we didn’t need to dip it into a soup, just a little sea-salt was enough.

When I get such great service it makes the food taste even better!

And another

When I heard that one of my students had just started a part-time job at a bakery I asked her if she is interested in the bakery’s products.

She told me that after she learns the basic skills of the job, then she will learn about the products, so she can answer any questions from the customers. I was very happy to hear it.

A student made me happy

A few weeks ago at Roggen Meyer bakery cafe I asked the waitress about one of the products. She was very polite but she knew nothing about the product. I was very disappointed that she took no interest in the bakery’s products.

But today a student made me happy again.

I saw that one of my students was reading about green tea in English. I found out that this student works in a green tea shop in Tokyo, and she was studying the products in both Japanese and English (she needs to learn the English explanation because there are a lot of foreign customers). I was so happy that she was interested in her shop’s products.

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Roggen Meyer

Today I had no classes in the afternoon. I wanted to buy some lunch and eat it in Sumpu Park, but the weather was too wet and windy, so I looked around for a place that was not crowded and where no-one was smoking.

I found the Roggen Meyer Cafe in Parche. It’s a small place next to the Roggen Meyer bakery. The cafe was empty and there were no ashtrays on the tables, so I decided to eat there.

Firstly I bought some bread rolls and pastries from the bakery, then I ordered a cappuccino. The waitress was very polite, and I was happy to sit and eat quietly.

Although the coffee was very very hot it tasted as bad as the coffee from Mr Donuts, but the apple pastry was delicious. It wasn’t so big, but it cost only 116 yen, and was full of slices of tasty apple. There was no cinnamon or other spices, just the taste of the apple. Perhaps it was a little too sweet, but it still was really good.

The name of the apple pastry was マイヤーズ (or Meyer’s), and I wondered if it was a speciality of this shop. So, when I was paying the money, I asked the waitress about the Meyer’s apple pastry. She had no idea, she hadn’t even noticed that マイヤーズ and Meyer’s were the same word. I realised that she was a part-time worker who had no interest in the products she was selling, shame!