After lunch, the sun went in, which was a shame because I had wanted some shots of autumn colour and what is scarlet and gold in sunlight is just shades of brown when overcast.
After buying our selection from the shop we decided that the cafe, despite some excellent reviews on Tripadvisor, looked a bit busy and cramped so we decided to give it a miss.
At that point I decided to chance my arm and mentioned in a casual manner that the refreshments at the Brierlow Bar bookshop were always acceptable.
“We aren’t buying any books.”
“Nothing, my dear,” I said, “could be further from my thoughts.”
As a salesman I was always told that sincerity was the hardest thing to fake, but I like to think I’m pretty good at it.
Half an hour later we stepped into the shop, turned to the toilets (it’s my age, you know) and…
…they have built a whole new cafe.
My jaw dropped.
Change, I find, is not the same thing as improvement. However, in this case the change does seem to be an improvement.
We had prize-winning Novus tea, served in a pot, with extra hot water, tea strainers and milk in one of those little bottles that looks like an old-style school milk bottle. The tea is bright and golden when poured and tastes very pleasant. I’m afraid I don’t have a wide vocabulary of tea terms.
Being (a) surprised and (b) thirsty, I didn’t really take in much else about the place. The tables have good chunky tops and varied ironwork supports and the chairs are a mixed bag of second hand items (or an eclectic mix as we bloggers call them). However, the important things to note are that you can browse the cookery book titles whilst seated, no important books have been lost to the cafe and after two large cups of tea we still couldn’t see the bottom of the pot. I like that. Quality is good in tea, but quantity is even better.
In the end I was allowed to buy four books – two for me and two for Julia, so I’m still wondering who did best out of this visit.