Monday, 20 April 2015

Bellini's, Chester

As you know, more and more my blog features tea shop/cafe/restaurant reviews under the banner "this weekend we went to...." this one is no different but unfortunately due to my disorganisation it's been more than week so I can't legitimately claim we went this weekend. Oops. 

I DO have exciting tea related news from last weekend to share later this week. BUT before that, allow me to introduce Bellini's. I may ruin my review by telling you I loved it so much I actually visited twice in a week and have been raving about it to everyone since. But please do read on to find out why.

Bellini's is hidden away on the end of Bridge Street Rows opposite the three arches and cafe Nero. You probably wouldn't know it was there, but I hope you go and visit now. It describes itself as a champagne and coffee bar. Now, I'm not a coffee lover but I am a lover of champagne and the glamour of champagne bars. So we headed in for lunch on Saturday (and then I went again for lunch on the Thursday!) but for the sake of this review lets assume I only went the once.

You are greeted at the front by a very smartly dressed waitress who shows you to your leather chairs and brings a menu which my friend described as "just enough choice without confusing you". Bellini's is definitely the upper end of afternoon tea/cafes.. which I guess comes with the name and the "champagne and coffee bar" description. I got a bit of blogger stage fright and didn't want to take too many pictures so I've borrowed a couple from their website. As you can see it's quite girly, very simple and elegant. It would make for a lovely (small) hen party. It does suffer the problem a lot of the Chester tea shops suffer, especially those on the rows that everything is space limited. However, they have an upstairs which I presume can be used for small groups/a private party. 

Trying to be good before what proved to be an alcohol fueled Saturday night catch up with some of Andy's Contiki tour friends (you can catch up on some of that action on my instagram); I opted for an iced green tea and a smoked salmon salad and Andy went for the cream tea with an americano (I know, I can hear the purists gasping.. I'm marrying a man who doesn't drink tea!)

green tea

I'm not a huge green tea fan but the weather was so nice and I was hoping it would start some super quick detox! Iced with a slice of cucumber and a lemon it was really nice and not as bitter as normal (until I unwittingly took a final gulp much later on). I think it might become my drink of choice throughout the summer, like a mocktail. Andy's americano came in the cutesy, patterned tea cup, much to my amusement (but seriously, how lovely is this china?) I asked for his review and he tells me it was on par with Starbucks, which I guess is exactly what you want from an independent. 


The salad came out, with my favourite balsamic dressing and I instantly fell back in love with salads- In about February time I ate too many and got bored but this was fresh, full of flavour and colour and there was just enough there. It also came with the MOST amazing bread with sundried tomatoes and other loveliness in there. Whilst it probably wasn't slimming world friendly I couldn't resist eating it all up.

smoked salmon salad


Andy had  a cream two made up of: two freshly baked scones with lots of jam and cream and let me have a bit (what a gent) - I think a good cream tea will always remind me of serving cream teas to my nan and Grandad in our garden and this was no different, the scone was warm and buttery, Andy's only complaint was they were a bit small (he actually has a really small appetite so that surprises me).

cream tea

I still had a little bit of room in my pudding stomach following my salad so I opted for the raspberry and white chocolate meringue (so many of my favourites in one) and again, it didn't disappoint. Beautiful, soft centered meringue, lovely fresh raspberries and cream and the nicest, posh square of white chocolate (i'm not talking milkybar here.. put it that way!)

raspberry and white chocolate meringue

All in all, a very lovely visit and as I said.. i visited again (when we sampled their white hot chocolates- always a winner for me) and a mojito (cocktails are 2 for £10 and I'll definitely go back for a happy hour when I'm less conscious of weigh in!) All in all, well worth a visit if you are looking for lunch or afternoon tea in Chester. 

Whats your favourite place to go for lunch? How do you like your salads?

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