I've been doing some travelling around the UK since moving to London, and for every city I visit within the UK, I try to go to their tea room and enjoy some afternoon tea while I people watch. That's exactly what I did here at Aunties Tea Shop.
The tea room is small, but the staff are lovely and try to accommodate you (ie if you look like you're a tourist, they're going to try to sit you by the window).
I ordered the Aunties afternoon tea special, it comes with egg and crest sandwich and two scones with jam and whipped cream, plus a pot of tea for £7.95, sounded like an awesome deal to me. When it came, I think I should have really convinced my friend to share that with me because, come on, two scones and a full sandwich is too much for one person (and I can honestly eat a lot). So if you are thinking about the special, consider to share with someone and have them get an extra pot of tea.
The sandwich was really fresh, and as was the scones. I didn't touch the scones until I was half done my sandwich and it was still warm. My friend ordered her own sandwich and was really impressed as well.
As we sat there enjoying the view and each other's company, we did notice a few things... The serving staff for the table next to us repeatedly returned to their table because they had run out of most of the items on their menu. This was at 2pm on a Sunday, like come on.
Anyway, it's definitely worth a visit, and should I find myself in Cambridge again, I'll be coming back.
Auntie's was my go-to place for tea and scones. Their clotted cream really makes the scone go. Their scones aren't spectacular, and I give them a lot less credit now because I know how to bake them myself. The Auntie's Special which features a teapot, 2 scones, and sandwiches is filling to even the biggest eaters. The vast variety of tea available is nice, but my experience suggests that most people will order English Breakfast or Earl Grey anyway.
But here is my big pet peeve: I can't stand how they charge 35 pence for an extra cup if you want to share your big pot of tea. Drives me crazy. Why, what is the justification? What am I paying for, the right to use your cup? It is clearly a move to punish people who want to share a pot rather than purchase one for themselves, and it is a cheap ass move on their part.
Perfect location in Cambridge for resting your feet and catching up with friends/relatives over afternoon tea. The scones are great, as are the potato waffles and salads.
I was craving a cream tea during my stay in Cambridge and everyone recommended Aunties. Though they did all warn me that this was not the right part of the country for clotted cream scones so I was prepared. Aunties has a full tea service for £8 that includes cream tea, egg salad sandwich and two scones. It's a good amount of food for the price, I had to share it since I had a full lunch.
The tea was okay. The egg salad sandwich was very plain - soft bread and egg salad like you could make at home. It was a full sandwich though and not a finger sandwich. The scones were not like what I think of as English scones. They were very large and triangular. Despite what other reviewers said, they did NOT come with clotted cream. Just normal whipped cream and jam. I would say the tea service was okay. If you really want a full afternoon tea then this is the only place in Cambridge, however you could put together something similar at home.
However, I would not recommend any other food there. We also ordered a carrot cake and it was dry and crumbly. After one bite I was done. It was hard to believe it was home made. Maybe last week and then cut and left out since.
Service was disinterested and a bit surly.
This was my favorite tea place while I was studying abroad in Cambridge. We'd come here every day after class (and sometimes in between classes). Their scones with jam and clotted cream were the best I'd had while in England (and since) and always hit the spot. The service was always very good, and their outdoor dining area was always enjoyable.
I can't recommend this place enough. I still dream of the scones. :)
Aunties is probably the best tea shop in Cambridge. Forget all those chain café's with mock 'home made' cakes. Aunties really is like a home from home. The tea is served in beautiful tea pots, the cakes are straight from the oven, and generous slices ensure you wont be leaving hungry.
The quaint décor and table cloths make it a wonderful place to visit if you are looking for something a bit special. And the prices are very reasonable - paying no more than you would anywhere else, but getting far superior food and drink, and warm and friendly service. It is very close to all the shops, which makes it a handy stop off. However, at peak times it does get busy, and it is only small, so arrive a bit before the peak times to ensure you get a seat.
If you are only in Cambridge for the day, this has to be the place you have your coffee break. And you will definitely want to return!
I had the best - and I don't say this lightly - the best jam and cream scones at Aunties Tea Shop.
They were earthy and starchy and a perfect balance of sweet and savoury.
I know I shouldn't complain about the cramped eating quarters because I was in the company of three others, but we were squashed against a wall and quite uncomfortable because of it. I was a good 30 cm from the table at any one time! Maybe some variance is needed in the seating arrangements at Aunties.
Coffee was decent and if I lived in Cambridge I would go once a every month to read a book and eat confectioneries all day.
This is a lovely place to start the day. I'll admit I've only come here twice, both times for breakfast, and both times have been genuinely delighted with the service, food, and experience. Both times I ordered the English Breakfast, and both times (visits over a year apart) the food has been excellent. Somehow, they just get it right... the eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, beans, tomatoes, and potatoes all done perfectly like my own auntie or gran might do. I will happily return each time I am in Cambridge, and highly recommend to anyone.
Aunties is a breath of yesterday, with the best of today's scones: waitresses uniformed in black and white duck between tables decked with dark green tablecloths and white false-lace overcloths. The floors are wooden; the walls are a very pale green, providing a restful backdrop to a busy cafe, over which a large vase of red tulips watches at the counter.
Gaze through the front-room windows at one of the most imposing vistas in Cambridge: Senate House, Great St Mary's, and a corner of Caius. It's a scene that won't have changed much at all in the past century.
On the evidence of this visit, the food is wonderful: I had a perfectly-brewed pot of Earl Grey for £2.10, which yielded three small cups, and a fruit scone with raspberry jam and cream for £2.65. Hot from the oven, the scone was moist, tender, and almost-but-not-quite crumbling. Note that the salads are fairly expensive (upwards of £8), and that, sneakily, a 10% service charge is added to your bill.
Busy restaurant and a nice treat after a long day of walking around Cambridge. I ordered the special auntie combo that came with an egg salad sandwich (your choice of brown or white) a pot of creamed tea (by default English Breakfast, but I substituted that for earl grey which comes nicely steeped but nothing special) + 2 scones....and possibly a salad of some sort. It lacked any flavour, was bitter and I felt like a rabbit. Perhaps it was garnish/plate filler/ random decoration however my companion also had it on his plate as a "salad". Perhaps some dressing would be nice to differentiate exactly what it was meant to be.
The scones were lovely. Massive plain one and raisain one. It was buttery and moist inside but soooo filling. It came with strawberry jam and whipped cream. Very tasty.
In terms of service the waitresses had black and white uniforms but we were served by 2 people. The first one wasn't exactly friendly.... But the second one was pleasant. Overall I think service could be improved but everyone has bad days right? Anyway, service is included in the bill...possibly explain the attitude?
Tip of the day- careful down the stairs to the toilet it's quite steep and if ur tall, mind ur head getting into the washroom or down those stairs.
The good: the warm scones (to die for), the sandwiches (because really, why would we Americans come to England if not for tea sandwiches + tea).
The bad: the tea itself, in ordinary British fashion ... is just ordinary. Your garden variety blacks and herbals, with nothing distinctive to write home about. Also, service is hit-or-miss. On one of my visits, they seated me only to grumble immediately that it was too-close (half an hour) to their closing time of 5 PM, so most of the menu was unavailable, and they pointedly started closing up around me and the other late diners. It was stressful enough to be unwelcoming, and I ended up wishing that they just hadn't seated me. I'd much rather have come back on a different day, rather than have been made to feel that I had unintentionally inconvenienced them. (And indeed, I did go back on a second occasion and the service was fine.)
I used to work here! And whenever I'm back in Cambridge I go in for a toasted sandwich and a scone. The inside is comfortingly like an elderly relative's living room complete with florals, lace and black and white photos. But nothing beats sitting outside opposite Great St. Mary's and watching the market on the corner. Really sweet place.
I have to admit, I expected more when I looked at the charmingly archaic exterior of Aunties Tea Shop. The waitresses are dressed in charming black and white Victorian style uniforms and the cakes looked lovely but there was something lacking in the whole atmosphere of the shop and my sandwich was not the best I have tasted. I expected more of a comforting, fireside tea service but instead it seemed too much like every other tea shop.
Good location, weak coffee.
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