My first visit to the tearoom was both a delight and a disappointment. The building is festooned with bits of decoration and witty sayings. There is a cozy, comfortable feel although the lighting is a bit too low for my taste and it was difficult to see the historic building behind the décor.
The food was ok, not spectacular but fair with appropriate portion sizing. The house-made cheesecake was smooth and tasty but I expected the raspberry white chocolate cheese cake would actually have fruit and chocolate baked in the batter not plain cheesecake bathed in a raspberry sauce and a white chocolate coating sauce. Perhaps my confusion could have been alleviated had the staff described the dessert as plain cheesecake with flavoring syrups poured over it. The chicken pecan quiche was an unpalatable brick well past its microwave-warmed prime. With a thick, slightly sweet walnut dressing, the combination of pear, walnut, white cheddar and greens was interesting and satisfying.
But the big question for me - how can you call yourself a tea room and only have a couple teas to available and they in tea bags? I was looking forward to a properly brewed pot of leaf tea at a historic, quaint tea room. Not so. Should I be invited to lunch at the Garden Gate by a friend or colleague, I’ll have a better idea what to expect and stick to sandwich and a Coke.