Cafes, sandwich bars, delis, they're a dime a dozen these days. In most towns and city centres you can't walk twenty yards without seeing a sign beckoning and you find you're actually quite parched and in need of a sit down.
At the far end of Corporation street, however, there's been somewhat of a shift: Boston Tea Party has arrived. The recently opened café is changing the way Brummies lunch. After a successful opening in December Boston Tea Party has brought an element of Southern charm to Birmingham city.
Bare brick walls, lamps that look like they belong to a warehouse and brass fittings in the toilets, BTP have put a lot of thought into their image. The stripped back décor makes way for what cafés should be about: food and drink (and free wifi). The exposed wood and dark décor connotes an ethical 'real' food approach, which makes me crave food and drink. Time to sink into a chair, peruse the menu and place my order.
They have an extensive Breakfast list (written on the chalkboards behind the till), on the menu, which is served all day (win), so I opted for the eggs royale, and a slice of almond and orange cake. All washed down with White Peony, and Vanilla Black tea.
It is expensive, not as expensive as most, but it's not cheap. Prices start from £1.80 for tea, from £3.00 for an espresso, and savoury dishes start from £3.50.
Tea served in a tea pot and provides two cups full for £1.80. Loose tea leaves are placed in a tea-leaf catcher and the teapot is filled with water. You get a refreshingly smooth cuppa unlike many cafés that proffer run of the mill tea bag tea.
The names of the sandwiches will entice you and the tea list is extensive, but what really catches your eye is the cakes on display. They have a huge carrot cake, and when I say huge I mean a board-covering slab of carrot cake that is cut into squares. It covers most of the counter, however I tried the gummy-looking, gluten-free orange and almond cake, which is a sticky and not too sweet. Not as good as my Nan's, but it went down well with the tea.
The staff and atmosphere is calm, and cool, but buzzing with excitement. It's always nice to be acknowledged, and when you walk in you're welcomed with a bright 'Hello' from the staff, who have spotted you enter.
The slightly edge of town location makes it feel exclusive, and kind of like a cult-café for those who know. Sadly, my fantasy is short lived because it soon fills up with a judge (I recognised the collar), university students, people who work in the area, and just about everyone else who has spotted this new cafe and is keen to have a look.