Ambling along and doing a little window shopping in the bustling historic market town of Thame, I was unexpectedly caught in a rain shower with a baby. A bit disorganised, I didn't have a coat, umbrella or rain cover for the pram, so decided to dash in somewhere to wait it out. I was about to rush into Costa when I noticed an inviting place called Time Out.
Entering this tea shop I was welcomed with a friendly smile, a blackboard full of interesting drink choices and a cabinet of sweet treats. With plenty of room around the tables to manoeuvre the pram it was easy to relax and make my selection. As they specialised in tea, I decided to go for that and at the last moment chose a fudge cupcake. Inviting enough to be a little naughty but not too big to be over indulgent. I ordered at the counter and my order was then brought to my table.
My pot of loose leaf tea with a strainer felt like a special treat on a cold November afternoon. A guaranteed good cup can be expected from a place passionate about their tea. The cupcake was heaven. The rich velvety swirl on top was thick and delicious with yummy chunks of fudge. Hidden inside the cake was a sticky, oozing piece of melted fudge, a welcome surprise.
I'm curious about the world and people around me (some might call this nosy) and happened to listen in to a couple of ladies checking out the range of teas for sale and asking questions to one of the staff. The knowledge of the tea on sale was personal and interesting with no hard sell. Time Out has a large range of teas from Teapigs. They have imaginative names like "Darjeeling First Flush" and unusual flavours including "Spiced Winter Red Tea". The helpful staff member even brought out sample jars of tea to smell. The tea is available to drink in or can be purchased to take home. The staff help create the relaxed ambience as does a couple of extra large sofas, wooden floors and dark wood tables.
Realising that I had got caught in the rain unprepared, I was offered a large golf umbrella to bring back next time I was in. Luckily it had dried up by the time I needed to head off, but I was tempted to take an umbrella to have an excuse to return soon. Next time I'll break from the tea tradition and try the hot chocolate. The different offerings of luxury, white or spiced hot chocolate would help ease another cold November day. Then again, with so many choices in tea I might have to keep visiting to decide what I like best.