Eating out Lloyds Tea House offers more than 63 varieties of tea and some coffee and food too

Timers make me nervous...and there’s one on our table. It’s got three minutes to go. Somehow brings back memories of school and battling against time to finish exam papers. But thankfully all that is well past us.

The sand in the timer is steadily slipping away...two minutes...one minute...half a minute and time up...my tea is brewed and ready. I do feel very English right now as I gingerly sip on a cup of Franconian Peppermint tea and flip through a menu that lists out about 63 varieties of tea.

At Lloyds Tea House they take their chai very seriously. Which is why after a couple of sips of my steaming hot tea when I add a spoon of sugar one of the “tea experts” literally pounces on me for committing the unthinkable crime. “We encourage our customers not to add sugar,” he says. But I continue with the sweetened golden yellow tea which has a strong aroma of peppermint and is soothingly refreshing.

The menu lists dishes that mostly pair well with tea. Coffee drinkers don’t have a reason to fret for the Tea House serves that too, but the choice is limited. My dinner accomplice isn’t a fan of tea. He is more of a coffee drinking, meat eating and dessert-loving foodie. So he orders a BBQ chicken and a pasta Tuscany and goes back to scanning the tastefully done up menu. Their all-day breakfast sounds tempting, so do the smoked ham toasties, chicken mince burger, rosti platter but I order the Thai basil cottage cheese.

Service is remarkably quick. The spicy chunks of tender chicken in BBQ sauce are addictive although a little too fiery for our palates. The pasta with its shredded chicken has a subtle and appetising flavour of basil but seems a little underdone and dry. The cottage cheese disappoints too. Spicy, soft white chunks flanked by slices of juicy zucchini, mushroom and a portion of rice lack character. We are full but we aren’t leaving without desserts especially when they have macaroons, éclairs, Sachertorte...

While we wait for our desserts we notice that the interiors have been done up in colonial style. Wooden floor, white walls, blue shelves holding lamps, photo frames, tea pots and other shelves are neatly stacked with containers of tea. There’s a book shelf too, just in case you have the time to look up from your menu. There’s something home-like about this place and probably that’s why when the telephone at the counter rings, chances are that you might just budge to answer it.

Soon, a hunk of a tiramisu arrives on our table, heralded by a wall of biscuit sticks coated in chocolate, much like a rockstar surrounded by fan girls. Truly delicious. The red velvet cheese cake looks like a character out of a Shakespearean play garbed in a red and white corseted robe. Layered with cream cheese this hefty chunk leaves us bereft of words to describe it. Sometimes silence is the best way to describe the extraordinary.

For connoisseurs of tea and those in the mood to experiment, Lloyds Tea House is located at Gopalapuram (Tel: 4552 4231).