FOOD REVIEW: Justin time for afternoon tea!

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There are a few things you would never expect to hear uttered from the lips of a teenager.

Now there may be some variations depending on the heart throb of the day but, if you happen to live with a true ‘Belieber’ then you will understand how shocked I was to hear the following statement: “I’d rather marry this cafe than Justin Bieber.”

Don’t get me wrong, Dustin Beaver, as the younger members of the family like to call him, is often the butt of family jokes.

But this came unprompted straight from the mouth of somebody who readily admits she would most likely faint if she ever found herself in the same room as her idol.

So I was quite taken aback - and the chefs at the Millennium Gallery cafe should be very honoured indeed.

In terms of high praise for their skills it was a superlative.

What food was behind such a statement? It was afternoon tea.

That had been the first surprise of a late lunch filled with delightful, sorry Justin, surprises.

Afternoon tea is available between 2pm and 4pm. We arrived just after 2pm so, while my youngest bemoaned the fact they were no longer serving breakfast, my eldest decided to show a touch of sophistication in her choices.

For £7.50 she was delighted at the three layers of sandwiches, home made cakes and a large scone with generous helpings of jam and clotted cream.

The tea is included in the price of course and the quality of the food can only be judged by the Bieber comment above.

Don’t get too distracted by the afternoon tea though because the rest of the menu is equally impressive and really good value.

There aren’t too many options on the children’s menu – just what you would expect, pizza, nuggets etc.

But it does state on the menu that they can make smaller portions of many of the dishes on the menu for children and I’m a great fan of that. Why should children have to eat differently and less deliciously just because they eat less?

However, there was something about the children’s menu which was hard to resist for a seven-year-old.

“What is novelty ice cream?” I was asked.

I had to confess I had no idea but the suspense was enough to make the children’s menu a real draw.

I needn’t have worried about my youngsters being given frozen rubbish.

This is a cafe where everything is home made and sourced locally wherever possible.

The chips were full of taste, cooked with their skins on and yummy. I was told the chicken nuggets were equally good but there was no chance of anybody being allowed a taste of them except their rightful owner.

The £4.50 cost includes a box of either orange or apple juice as well as the meal and all important frozen dessert. Another satisfying deal.

I ordered the soup of the day – roasted tomato – which was served with warm crusty bread and cost £4.25.

It was wholesome, warming and extremely tasty.

We also couldn’t resist sharing a plate of nachos (£4.75). Yes they too were home made to our delight and literally smothered in cheese.

Served with dips of salsa, soured cream and guacamole they quickly disappeared.

I rounded off, ahem, with a mixed berry tartlet.

Now that was a hard choice as all the cakes are freshly baked and look amazing. As well as the usual cake cabinet suspects, such as carrot cake and lemon meringue, there were others such as Yorkshire Curd Tart which made a refreshing change.

Remarkably for this spring, the sun streamed in through the large glass windows as we enjoyed our lunch.

As you would expect as a child-friendly gallery, families are made to feel very welcome in this cafe and the staff are lovely. Add in the great food - there are lots of innovative dishes that we didn’t get to try - and what more can you ask for?

Ah, and the novelty ice cream comes served in a penguin – you have to see it to believe it.

He’s since been washed, refilled and is living happily in our freezer.

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