Pretty Old Welwyn village is a lovely place to explore, and is full of interesting, independent food businesses. I am sure I will feature many more in the next few months, but I am starting with Laura Kate Cake Boutique and Tea Parlour – I am always drawn to the cake shops!
Laura Moyes opened her tea shop on the High Street nearly four years ago, and it has proved very popular with villagers and anyone exploring the area. It is in a lovely old building and beautifully decorated, with silver wallpaper and fresh flowers, and is a refreshing change from all the identikit chain coffee shops that have popped up all over the place.
I have been a few times now, and the cakes and bakes are excellent and are all home-made by Laura and her small team. They are perfectly happy if you just pop in for a coffee too. The small counter area has a lovely display of cupcakes, slices and bakes, at very reasonable prices. We shared a large chocolate brownie on one visit, and it was delicious and I loved the gold glitter and slab of white chocolate on top. The cupcakes are particularly good, and the flavours change all the time – you can buy them to take away as well.
Laura is well-known locally for her amazing celebration cakes, mostly wedding cakes, which she makes herself – the cake business was originally called Hundreds and Thousands, and the tea shop has one or two wedding cakes in the window so you can see the sort of designs she can create for you. If you have your own ideas and themes, she is very happy to help with that too, and you can go for a cake tasting to try before you buy.
Laura lives in the area and had always wanted to open a tea shop so as the celebration cake business grew she was able to open in the village. Laura also has plans to open another shop in the future, so watch this space.
The tea shop has a good loose tea menu, and our tea was served in pretty vintage-style pots and cups; my roobois was lovely, and you can get Earl Grey, Darjeeling, white tea and decaf as well as classic English breakfast.
The tea shop is table service, rather than American-style queue-up, which creates a relaxed feel. You can order toasted crumpets, English muffins and cheese scones which are lovely traditional choices, as well as more substantial paninis. The afternoon tea is amazing value at 16.95 – a great alternative to a hotel afternoon tea. Laura explained that it is best to book for afternoon tea especially for a special occasion as they make everything fresh themselves to order. Because of this Laura can help with any dietary requirements, including gluten-free and dairy-free, which many of the big hotels just can’t manage. Just ring on 07530 513466 to book a table. Laura also offers private hire in the tea room, and I can imagine this would make a lovely venue for a hen party or special family birthday.
I can see why Laura Kate’s Tea Parlour has been nominated for a Hertfordshire Life Food & Drink Award for Best Independent Cafe/Tea Room; Laura has created a beautiful, unusual cafe which is also affordable.
There is plenty of free parking around the village, so it is easy to get to Laura Kate’s. It is open Tuesday to Saturday 9.30-5.30, and you can now get afternoon tea every day rather than previously just on weekends – just remember to call ahead.