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A Tale Of Two Teashops

A Tale of Two Teashops

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

It was a doubly sad day. Following the third Great Fire of Stony Stratford, one of my favourite teashops closed. Mangetout was at 75 High Street, next to the historic building which burned to the ground on 2nd May 2017. It was a tragedy which shocked the town. Mangetout had smoke damage and/ or was deemed to be structurally unsound. Although the original building is being rebuilt, the tea shop never re-opened. One couldn’t blame Alfred for the burned cakes on that occasion.

At that time Mangetout did the best home-made cakes in town (and I should know because I sampled them with the dedication and regularity of a true connoisseur….)

When you’re looking for a good place to stay away from home you like to know that the town knows its Lemon Drizzle from its Cherry Madeira. Fortunately Stony Stratford doesn’t have all its cakes in one teashop, so there is very reasonable choice.

Purely in the interests of research and sparing no thought for our personal preference for low calorie lettuce leaves, my husband and I went on a cake crawl (in his case it was a carrot cake crawl, I am more catholic in my cake tastes). As Charles Dickens didn’t quite say: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better tea that I go to than I have ever known.”

After intensive research (and several Rennies later) we are able to announce a comprehensive list of Stony Stratford tea shops. The Magnificent Seven* Tea Shops.

  • Muffins Coffee Shop – Swinfens Yard
  • Macintyre Coffee Shop – 7 High Street
  • Twenty 3 C – 42-44 High Street
  • Out of Office – 45b High Street
  • The Bull Hotel does afternoon tea – 64 High Street
  • The Coffee Bean – 75 High Street
  • Miss Havishams – Timor Court
  • Woodstocks – is a bakers shop but does coffee and cake – High Street

These are all a very short walk from the Butterfly Loft.

As to the best tea, that’s a really tough one. After careful deliberation – and several repeat visits – we got them down to two: Miss Havishams in Timor Court and The Coffee Bean at 75 High Street.

After much deliberation by the judges the tea shop crown went Miss Havishams. They serve tea in proper cups and saucers (flowery bone china, like your grandma used to use). Drinking tea from cups really does make a difference to the flavour; it’s to do with where it lands on your tongue. They use good quality tea leaves, which arrive in a proper tea pot and accompanied by a tea strainers. None of yer narsty tea bags here missus. Fragrant tea, coupled with delicious fresh cream scones got my final vote.

But it was a close call and I urge you to come and try out the whole magnificent seven, even if it does take a few visits.

Booking accommodation in Milton Keynes is a wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal with seriously good tea and cake. Don’t leave it to chance. Stay at the Butterfly Loft and enjoy the whole Stratford experience. Just make sure you come hungry!

* There is a Costa. Nothing wrong with it, but frankly when you’ve got this sort of independent excellence which offers style, flavour and lower cost too why go for a chain?

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