Review: Val’s tea room is a dream come true

When I was a little girl I loved taking a tea break (or three) while shopping with my nana.

In fact, our trips into town were strategically planned around the next cuppa.

Very often our pot of tea for two would be accompanied by a home made sandwich or slice of cake - and of course a good old fashioned natter!

I was transported back to these happy memories by a recent trip to Valerie’s Tea Room in Worksop.

For those who aren’t yet acquainted with it, I urge you to go along. It is inside the Aurora Wellbeing Centre (the old library) on Memorial Avenue.

What better setting for a hot drink, a bite to eat and a catch-up with friends - or just to rest those shopping-weary feet.

It was a scorching summer afternoon when a colleague and I decided to go for lunch.

Walking through the beautiful Memorial Avenua Gardens, with neat lawns and blooming flower beds, it was tempting to sit outside.

But once in the fold of Valerie’s Tea Room, it would have been rude to leave.

It was opened in February in memory of Valerie Lepedat who founded the Aurora cancer charity which now occupies much of the building.

Val always dreamed of opening a cafe - somewhere people could come and chat over coffee and cake.

And that is what they have created. The tearoom is decked out in art deco style and it is stylish and comfortable.

Sitting under the astonishingly beautiful 1930s glass ceiling, you are momentarily transported to another age.

There are vintage teapots, china and crockery displayed on shelves - available to buy, and you’ll find leaflets about the charity on each table.

There was quite a lunchtime rush on when we arrived at 12.45pm. The two volunteer women were working ever so hard in the kitchen.

They gave us a friendly welcome and asked what we would like.

On the modest food menu was a selection of freshly made sandwiches (£3.00) featuring a choice of fillings - cheese, tuna mayonnaise, egg mayonnaise or ham.

You can upgrade to a baguette for an extra 20p, although when I asked they didn’t have any.

Toasties (cheese, cheese and tomato or cheese and onion) were £2.75.

And jacket potatoes, with butter, tuna mayonnaise, beans or cheese, ranged from £3 - £3.50.

There was also soup of the day with a roll for £2.25. But it was too hot for that.

Toast, teacakes, scones and cakes were also on the menu for early risers and sweet-toothed folk.

For me it had to be a tuna mayonnaise sandwich - simple, comfort food. And a cappuccino (£1.70).

My colleague just ordered a green tea. And there was a funny moment when one of the volunteers tried to find the right tea bag.

We took our drinks to a table, sat down and started chatting. And before we knew it my food had arrived.

The sandwich bread was thickly sliced, white and yummy, while the tuna filling was cold, creamy and refreshing.

The side salad was a little on the modest side but i wasn’t bothered.

My cappuccino - made using the cafe’s proper fancy coffee machine, was a frothy delight.

Then the women told me their cakes were all made by another volunteer - who just happened to be sitting right there in the cafe. So I had to try one... Treacle tart which just melted in the mouth, and hot custard.

Capuccino aside, nana would have been proud.

By Hayley Gallimore