I simply love tea, particularly the ritual of afternoon tea. The afternoon tea in Taart, on the corner of the Helmstraat, is all about good taste and the work of designers who have laid out a supremely elegant, yet fairy-like interior. Customers are served with pinkish tea cups, porcelain plates and huge colourful teapots. Choosing one of the whimsical tea tables, you could be forgiven for thinking you were attending a tea party thrown by Alice in Wonderland. The service is self-assured and seamless, although you do see the occasional breadcrumb on the table – perhaps inevitable when the friendly staff serve many customers each day. The waitress brought us two glasses of prosecco to start with. Given that it was 13:00 on a Sunday it seemed quite early to start drinking, and while I definitely liked this special touch, I’d recommend switching the order – serving the prosecco at the end instead of at the beginning.
My boyfriend and I were served a selection of finger sandwiches with smoked salmon, prosciutto and egg salad. The white bread was nicely cut in triangles and flower shapes, but a bit too dry. We had barely finished the sandwiches when we were served with a classic high tea étagère, full of delicious surprises and a big pot of Darjeeling tea (black tea from India). The high tea selection included both sweet and salty snacks. From the salty selection, I tried a leek and ham quiche and curry slices of pastry topped with sesame seeds. And then, with our waistbands uncomfortably tight, we started on the cakes. There were the traditional British scones, warm and light as a feather, with butter and strawberry marmalade. There was a meringue kiss with a raspberry cream, light and not too sweet, next to the lime cream with pear puree pieces. And then came the carrot pie – after the first bite, I wanted more! With my partner asking if he could finish mine, I refused to give up the beautifully decorated cake with its little sugar carrot on top. By the time we’d topped it all off with another two litres of tea (the tea is unlimited), we’d had our fill and were ready to head home. If you’ve ever wondered about afternoon tea at Taart, my verdict is Money. Well. Spent.
-> Taart, Helmstraat 2A, www.taartzaak.nl