Christmas at Afternoon Tease (and our festive opening hours)…

Christmas has well and truly arrived at Afternoon Tease!

Our decorations are up…

We’ve made our Christmas cakes, which involved the biggest and heaviest bowl of cake mix I’ve ever encountered…

photo 5

Please excuse the messiness…it was quite an ordeal man handling that amount of cake mix into the tins 🙂 …

photo 4 (2)

We’re feeding them with a variety of liquors…two are fed on Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum, two on Brandy and two of them are teetotal and fed only on Earl grey tea.

We made our own marzipan, much to the delight of my Mother, who is a serious addict!

photo 4 (3)

and got down to decorating them…

photo 2 (2)

photo 3 (2)

photo 4

photo 1

photo (93)

This year we’ve even made our own mincemeat, which we’re using in these gorgeous little mincemeat Bakewell puddings…

photo 1 (2)

and my Mum has been sharing her Polish paper star making skills…

photo 1 (4)

photo 2 (3)

Although we love this time of year and all of the festive baking and goodwill it entails, the Afternoon Tease Team also need a little break to be with our families and to eat and drink ourselves silly!

So, below are our Christmas and New Year opening times for you to see when we’ll be here for you, as a little respite from your Christmas/sale shopping or a little haven of tranquility if you just need to get out of the house…come and say hi over the festive season!

Christmas / New Year opening times…

Monday 22 Dec- 8am – 6pm
Tuesday 23 Dec – 8am – 6pm
Wednesday 24 Dec – CLOSED
Thursday 25 Dec – CLOSED
Friday 26 Dec – CLOSED
Saturday 27 Dec – CLOSED
Sunday 28 Dec – 10am – 5pm

Monday 29 Dec –  9am – 5pm
Tuesday 30 Dec – 9am – 5pm
Wednesday 31 Dec – 9am – 5pm
Thursday 1 Jan – CLOSED
Friday 2 January – 9am – 5pm
Saturday 3 January – 9am – 5pm
Sunday 4 January – 10am – 5pm

Now, last but not least…if you’re looking for a gift idea for that coffee/cake fiend in your life…look no further! We do treat vouchers

photo 5 (2)

There are 2 options for you to choose from…

The drink and cake Treat Voucher at £5.50, perfect as a stocking filler or secret Santa!…it entitles the lucky recipient to a hot drink and slice of cake of their choice.

Or you can purchase a Treat Voucher to the value of £5, £10, £15 or £20, which can be used as currency in the cafe for anything the recipient desires 🙂

We aren’t able to give change for the Treat Vouchers but if you/the recipient would like to spend more than the value of the voucher, the balance can be paid in cash.

To buy treat vouchers just pop into the cafe and talk to one of the team!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

We are 1!

The reason for this blog post, as the title suggests, is a very important milestone in the life of Afternoon Tease…on Saturday 25th October we celebrated our 1st Birthday! When asked whether it felt like a year, I had to admit I wasn’t entirely sure. I definitely feel exhausted enough for it to have been a year and in a (good) way it actually feels longer, like we’ve become part of the King Street furniture :).

photo 3 (2)

On reflection (which has happened a lot recently), we’ve come such a long way in that year, especially when I think back to our opening day, where we bumbled around cluelessly behind a barely held together facade of professionalism. We’ve established a day to day routine and put a lot of processes in place to make sure that all of the jobs get done…cakes made, cleaning completed and most importantly…customers served, however every day is different and we are still always kept on our toes! A year has always sounded like an unfathomably long time & although I’d been celebrating every single month of the business since opening, I was somehow surprised when the year came around!

To celebrate our Birthday we decorated the cafe…

photo 2 (3)

and I made a ginormous, two tiered chocolate stout cake using Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast, an oatmeal stout brewed with coffee!

photo 1 (2)

I also added a few shots of our espresso (Caravan‘s Market Blend). It seemed a fitting cake for the celebration as the chocolate Guinness cake has to be our most popular cake and I wanted to make this one bigger and better than ever!…

photo 1 (6)

photo 1 (3)

Here’s the finished article…

photo 5

It didn’t take long for it to start disappearing…

photo 1 (5)

going…

photo 2 (5)

going…

photo 3 (3)

going…

photo 4 (3)

gone…

photo 5 (2)

Our Birthday turned out to be our busiest day on record, which felt amazing! Many of our regulars, who we have now also come to call friends, dropped in to wish us Happy Birthday and we received some amazing cards, some even homemade nonetheless…

photo 4 (4)

photo 3 (4)

photo 5 (3)

and a very special ode, written by wonderful customer and author, Menna Van Praag, which has now taken pride of place in our toilet (if you’ve seen how cool our toilet is you’ll know this is a good thing)…

Ode

A couple of particularly dedicated cake fiends, Kaylan & Dawn gave us a very touching gift, which finally brought the tear to my eye that I’d held at bay all day. They presented me with a sliver cake slice, which had belonged to Dawn’s Grandmother. They’d had it engraved with ‘Saturday is Cake Day’ a tradition that they withhold stringently every week 🙂

photo 2 (6)

Good friend and important member of the opening team, Ivana (Miss Igs), came back for a guest shift and was reunited with Francesco, our beautiful La Marzocco coffee machine…

photo 1 (4)

I’d decided that it’s be nice to have a little shindig at the cafe in the evening for some of the people (I couldn’t fit you all!) who had been important to our first year. I found it very hard to keep my invite list manageable but the ‘bijou’ proportions of the cafe helped me reign it in. Saying that, at one point it did feel like we were having some kind of competition to see just how many people we could get in…

photo 2

photo 3

Unfortunately for me (and everyone else) I was heckled into saying a few words. After a terrible fumbly start, where no actual words escaped my mouth, I managed to string a few together…firstly to thank my team. As a very independent and stubborn person, it’s a source of frustration to me that I physically can’t run the cafe on my own 🙂 …however, I’ve got (and have had throughout the year) an amazing team, who work so hard and make the Afternoon Tease experience what it is. I read a review recently that said that it was nice to find a place where the staff looked like they genuinely enjoyed being there…it made my day!

photo 1

The current dream team enjoying a pre-party tipple!

I also thanked my Electrician, Richard, who has had to respond to a few crazed early morning phone calls, my family who support me on a daily basis in so many ways and my friends who have stuck by me despite the fact that I’ve pretty much gone AWOL socially for the last year, have declined most invitations and haven’t made it out past 9pm…they’ve stuck by me and are still persevering 🙂

The biggest thanks has to go to my customers, without whom, Afternoon Tease just wouldn’t exist! I’ve met some amazing people in the last year and absolutely love the eclectic mix of people who pass though our door! One year is only a short period of time in the grand scale of things and I hope to be around for many more!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Independent’s Day…#loyaltycardamnesty

Now, try not to fall off your chairs in shock, I know, an Afternoon Tease blog post really is a rare sighting nowadays! I hadn’t realised it had been 3 whole months since I last posted anything and to be honest it’d have to be something that I feel particularly passionate about to make me sit at my computer after a looong and very hot day in the cafe to write…today (4th July) however, is Independence Day, which also in the last few years has come to be known as Independent’s Day…a celebration of independent retail businesses. Without these businesses I believe that the world would be a very dull and boring place, full of identikit cities. Independent businesses add character, interest and uniqueness to our streets!

Afternoon Tease has now been open for 8 months (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) and the support we have received has been phenomenal, it’s become obvious that people really want to shop local and support new and independent business and not just to resort to the chains. However, I think in some cases, where the chains flood the market, there seems little choice!

The main thing that has struck me, is the loyalty of our customers. I’m under no false illusion that our customers are only visiting us, I see the wads of loyalty cards in their wallets (much like my own) and I’m really glad that they’re sharing the love around other local establishments. I’m sure, some are even still venturing into the odd chain here and there but hey, us indie’s have got a long way to go before we can rival those big boys! 🙂 We get a lot of repeat custom at the cafe and that makes me very happy indeed…it means that we must be getting something right. We reward our returning customers with a stamp on our loyalty cards for every hot drink that they buy and after just 6 months our collection of full loyalty cards completely obliterated the lovely glass doors of my 1950’s sideboard…

Loyalty cards

So we started again…

Loyalty cards 3

and it won’t be long before we have to do the same again! 🙂

Being an independent business is difficult for many reasons although it mainly comes down to finance. Rents are high, ingredients are expensive and if you want to offer a good product, you have to pay the price. But, luckily, nowadays, people are looking for quality produce and really care about what they are eating and drinking.

I’ve always thought that Cambridge was lagging behind London with it’s food and drink offering, but over the last few years it’s really picked up pace. The independent food scene in Cambridge is thriving, with our own coffee roastery, selection of street food traders, supper clubs and diverse range of cafes and restaurants, all with their own unique twist. What’s particularly great, is the camaraderie between the independents…we all frequent each others establishments on our days/evenings off and support each other. At the cafe we’re always borrowing and lending stuff from/to other King Street traders (blue roll, takeaway bags and most recently a tray of eggs) in those moments of need and calling others for advice or just a chat. It feels like we’re all on the same team!

I also love the relationship you can have with independent, local suppliers…I look forward to my weekly chats with Chris at Dovecote Bakery. He’s the hardest working baker I have ever known but will always make time to answer my questions and try out new things for me. Being able to call on experts in their field like Gary at Mill Road Butchers, Jon at The Art of Meat,  Gail at Kandula Tea, Simon at Hot Numbers or Mike at Caravan for advice is fantastic.

Well that’s enough gushing for now, basically what I’m trying to say with this blog post is…thankyou for supporting us as an independent business. Without you, our loyal customer we wouldn’t be able to exist.

You can find out more about Independent’s Day on their Facebook page here or follow their twitter feed @IndieDayUK (#IndieDay) but more importantly, for just one day, why not turn your back on the chains and step through the door of a lovely independent shop instead?

Today, if you come into the cafe and offer up a loyalty card from one of the large chains and let us rip it up…we’ll reward you with the same number of stamps that you’ve relinquished, but on our card! #loyaltycardamnesty

Loyalty cards 2

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Next #SundaySession 13 April w/ Emily Fraser…

It’s time for the next Sunday Session at Afternoon Tease on 13th April (just 1 week away!)

The Sunday Session - Emily Fraser
Our aim is to banish the Sunday night blues by bringing you good food & booze, music and company.
If you fancy a bit of all of the above, then look no further!

We usually close at 5pm on Sundays but on 13th April we are going to be staying open until 9pm. We’ll be cooking up a delicious meal (think along the lines of steaming bowls of macaroni cheese or veggie chilli with a big chunk of bread) and we’ll have a selection of affordable wines and beers on sale. Not only that but we will also be in the company of the very talented Emily Fraser!

Emily Fraser is a singer/songwriter from Cambridge who began her journey at the age of 15 putting the poetry of a friend to her self-taught guitar and naive vocals, feeling the urge to share her voice with others she immediately began gigging at multiple venues around the region.

She plays in a bluesy soulful style with a rhythmic folk edge. Take a listen to some of her amazing tunes on soundcloud here…

https://soundcloud.com/emily-fraser-music

to understand why we’re so excited to have her playing at our next Sunday Session!

We will also have sets from our very own multi-talented team member, Robbie Cornell & Tom Kruczynski of The Hot Lights!

So here it is, an open invitation to come down to the cafe on Sunday 13th April between 5pm and 9pm (feel free to drop in and drop out as and when you like). Think of us like an extension to your living room come and banish those Sunday Night Blues at Afternoon Tease!

Why not pop over to our Facebook event page (here) and let us know you’re coming?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

10 things you may not know about Afternoon Tease…

So, I thought I’d share some lesser known facts about Afternoon Tease. Even those of you who think you know us very well may learn something 🙂

1. We bake all of our cakes from scratch. We’re very much into good old traditional cakes and are proud not to have had a cupcake on the counter as yet (never say never though ;). We are expanding our gluten free repertoire and aim to have at least 1 gluten free item on the counter at any one time.

The cake counter...

The cake counter

2. We have an outside seating area, which may seem a little irrelevant at the moment but some the warmer months we will have quite a few tables set up outside the cafe, undercover in case of inclement weather. On the few occasions recently when there have been a few rays of sunshine, I’ve been very excited to see that they hit the front of the cafe first thing in the morning and mid afternoon.

Tom Milton Photography (TMPY)

Outside seating

IMG_8670[1]

Sunshine in the cafe...

3. We love music! The cafe soundtrack is a collaborative effort made up of eclectic playlists compiled by staff, customers, friends and family. A few of our current faves are ‘Elenore’ by The Turtles, ‘Mr Blue Sky’ by Electric Light Orchestra, ‘Hotel California’ by The Gipsy Kings, ‘Biscuits for Breakfast’ by Fink and ‘Come Pick me Up’ by Ryan Adams. If you’d like to contribute/make us a playlist please get in touch 🙂

4. We have a very special bathroom! If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth a visit for that alone 🙂

5. We try to use local produce wherever possible and our suppliers include local fruit & veg legend Mr Neil B of the Cambridge Fruit Company, crumpet maker extraordinaire…Chris of Dovecote Bakery, cheese afficionados Cheese + and meat lovers Burtons and Barker Bros, Hot Numbers who supply our delicious decaf espresso and ever changing filter & and last but not least…my Mum who keeps us in constant supply of delicious homemade jam and marmalade…we’re currently offering her gooseberry jelly & Seville orange marmalade as an accompaniment to crumpets or sourdough toast…

Mum's jam

6. Despite being called ‘Afternoon Tease’ we don’t actually serve afternoon tea, however we do serve breakfast from 8am Tuesday to Friday…

Breakfast menu

Crumpets

and delicious coffee from Caravan made on our beloved La Marzocco Linea, which we’ve named Francesco!

afternoontease-20

and a reguarly changing lunch menu consisting of lovingly prepared sandwiches and a homemade soup from 12-3pm

Lunch menu

Chorizo, spinach & manchego on a toasted brioche bun

Roasted veg & homemade hummus on sourdough toast

Smoked salmon & cream cheese in a homemade soda bread scone

IMG_8413[1]

7. We do takeaway…all of our drinks, cakes and food can be packed up to go!

IMG_7433

8. We are a totally independent cafe…set up by me, Jo Kruczynska…you can read about the journey I took to fulfill my dream, from the very beginning and the fit out here, here, here, here, here, and as we got closer to opening day here right through to the other side here.

9. Every Friday is ‘Bacon Bap Friday’ when we serve thick, juicy rashers of smoked bacon in a soft white bap, delivered to us that morning with your choice or red or brown sauce…

Bacon bap Friday

IMG_7773[1]

A great intro to our weekend brunch menus, which change every week…

Brunch menuEgg & Bacon StottieBrunchShakshukaHomemade baked beansCroque Madame

10. We have a booze licence…watch this space for the launch of our very own bloody Mary and more…

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Sunday Sessions at Afternoon Tease…be gone Sunday night blues!

Are you, like me, one of those unfortunate souls who suffers from ‘The Sunday Night Blues’? The black cloud of gloom that hovers on your periphery from around midday on a Sunday (or if you’ve got a very bad case, plagues you from the minute you open your eyes on Sunday morning); that niggling ‘don’t want to go to work tomorrow’ feeling that, if not dealt with correctly, can ruin the latter part of your weekend!?

Through years of experimentation, I have found the best way to deal with ‘TSNB’ is to gather a group of friends and hole yourself up in an establishment with an ‘extension to your living room’ style atmosphere and which will serve you a nice bit of grub and a few alcoholic beverages but then will very nicely turf you out at 9pm so that you can go home and get a good nights sleep and be bright eyed and bushy tailed for work on Monday morning!

If you are a sufferer look no further, Afternoon Tease is here to help you out in the form of our Sunday Session. We usually close at 5pm on Sundays but once a month we are going to be staying open until 9pm. We’ll be cooking up a hearty one pot meal (think steaming bowls of macaroni cheese or veggie chilli with a big chunk of bread) and will have a selection of affordable wines and beers on sale. Not only that but we will also be in the company of the very talented Will Robert!

The Sunday Session - Will Robert 2

You may have seen Will perform at one of Cambridge’s live music venues but he can most often be found busking around town…one things for sure…if you haven’t heard him, you’ve been missing out!

To quote his website…’over the years he developed his own brand of infectious, guitar focussed acoustic music. Experimenting with open tunings, unusual guitar techniques and percussive elements, Will creates an exciting dynamic connecting melody and rhythm through the body of his acoustic guitars.’

Why not have a sneaky listen to some of his tunes in advance, here.

So here it is, an open invitation to come down to the cafe on Sunday 2nd February between 5pm and 9pm (feel free to drop in and drop out as and when you like), come and enjoy some good food & booze, music and company and banish those Sunday Night Blues at Afternoon Tease!

Visit our Facebook event page here to let us know you’re coming…see you on the 2nd.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Christmas in the cafe…and our festive opening hours…

How is it possible that Christmas has snuck up and were only just a week away from the big day!?

The cafe is looking and feeling very festive, with Polish star decorations made by my Mum and a shower of stars around the neon…

Our Christmas cakes are made, have been lovingly decorated by Marth, Ivana and I and are adorning the counter…

photo (44)

We’ve been unashamedly banging out the Christmas tunes every now and again to get into the spirit and have been sharing the treat of opening the cafe advent calendar with our customers :)…

We will be open over the Christmas / New Year period…a haven for you busy last minute shoppers or sale bargain hunters to take a well earned rest and have a restorative sandwich or bowl of homemade soup and a cuppa or pop in simply to treat yourselves to some peace, quiet and coffee during your Christmas holidays!

Our opening hours for the next couple of weeks are below, but…before you scroll down, I’d just like to take this opportunity to wish you, our new regulars, who brighten our days and fill up our loyalty cards and those of you who we are yet to meet, a very Merry Christmas from the Afternoon Tease Team!

x

PS. It’s not too late to buy Treat Voucher‘s 🙂

Christmas / New Year opening times…

Monday 23 Dec- 9am – 5pm
Tuesday 24 Dec – 9am – 4pm
Wednesday 25 Dec – CLOSED
Thursday 26 Dec – CLOSED
Friday 27 Dec – 9am – 5pm
Saturday 28 Dec – 9am – 5pm
Sunday 29 Dec – 10am – 5pm

Monday 30 Dec –  9am – 5pm
Tuesday 31 Dec – 9am – 4pm
Wednesday 1 January – CLOSED
Thursday 2 January – 8am – 6pm
Friday 3 January – 8am – 6pm
Saturday 4 January – 9am – 5pm
Sunday 5 January – 10am – 5pm

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized