UPDATE: March 2019 – see bottom of post
I heard on the grapevine that the Boston Tea Party were opening a place in Chichester, I quickly followed them on Facebook so I could check their progress and was lucky enough to get hold of some tickets to one of their pre-opening days, which was for training purposes.
Boston Tea Party is in Baffins lane, around the back of East Street. I always get those streets muddled up, I can never remember which street has the M&S women’s clothing store and which is their food store. A friend told me to think of this… East street begins with the letter E and F for food is the next letter in the alphabet…. hmm, it sounds rather..err.. confusing, a bit like my way of ‘remembering’ things funnily enough. However, I tried it out on this particular day and oddly enough it worked, or perhaps it was just pure luck.
Anyway, in the end there were only three of us instead of four but as each ticket was for two people we had a spare, the lady on the door managing the tickets suggested we order four meals…so we did.
There really is something for everyone on the menu. I generally prefer to support independent places (of which Boston Tea Party is not quite – although read this – they have several dotted around the country) but I must admit that I do find it difficult in Chichester to find dishes that I like, for instance smashed avo, halloumi or really nice salads – apart from Luckes in North Street of course, which is normally my first go to (after a coffee and brownie fix at Coffee Lab), although I do find their salads a little bland and the menu choice rather small, I’m sorry! – The Boston Tea Party has these things and more.
The entire menu is served all day – which is great – and they make the food in each of their cafes fresh every day “using fresh ingredients using raw ingredients, that need peeling, chopping and seasoning”. There’s lots of GF, vegan and vegetarian dishes/options available.
There’s plenty of cakes to choose from too if it’s just coffee and cake you’re wanting.
Inside is nicely decorated (Boston Tea Party decorate the interior of each of their restaurants differently) lots of tables and chairs with a few booths to sit in and at the far end, some comfy sofas.
You have to make a note of your table number first and then head up to the counter to order and pay. That’s what we had to do on this particular training day so I presume it’s the same all the time.
Geoff had scrambled egg on toast with chorizo as an extra. We’d come back from Spain only the day before and we’d came across no chorizo whatsoever over there, much to his disappointment, so he was really pleased to have it with his scrambled eggs which he said were lovely, the best he’s had for a while.
I had the flatbread with crispy halloumi (you could either have halloumi or spiced lamb. It wasn’t really crispy – which I was glad of to be honest – it was cut into cubes and fried and was still nice and squidgy. I really enjoyed the dish, it was delicious with lots of flavours and plenty of halloumi, I would definitely order it again. It consisted of za’atar flatbread, date chutney, harissa, herb salad, Greek yoghurt, toasted sesame seeds, pickled red onion and sumac. I couldn’t fault it.
Helens’ Super salad was equally as good, again with lots of flavour. Everything appeared lovely and fresh. Avocado, mango, radish, sprouting seeds, sugar snap peas, leaves, carrots, nuts & seeds.
We shared the Grain bowl with smoked mackerel which was very tasty, the other option was with pork belly. Buckwheat, black quinoa, avocado, lime, pickled beetroot, orange, harissa, Greek yoghurt, nuts & seeds – I think the fried egg shouldn’t have been there though 😉
Afterwards we each had a cake. Geoff’s Bakewell tart was lovely, just the right amount of almond. Lovely pastry too.
Helens raspberry cheesecake was very good too.
My lemon polenta was delicious, wonderfully fresh and crumbly.
The tea came with an egg timer to show the length of time it needed brewing but the young chap who carried it over to Geoff kept dropping it onto the floor, on the tray and on the table so who knows how long it was brewing for in the end, it was quite funny. He then proceeded to pick the teapot up without using the handle, something I don’t think he’ll be doing again. My flat white was nice, served in a glass – which I’m not so keen on, it was a little hot to pick up, I prefer my flat white in a proper sized flat white cup, again Coffee Lab know how it’s done properly. Helen didn’t enjoy her espresso or the black Americano, she didn’t like the taste. Normally if we don’t like an establishments black Americano/espresso we’d order a cappuccino/flat white instead but this time weirdly, it was better the other way around.
Boston Tea Party are doing their bit for the World too, you can read about it here. They’re not your usual ‘chain’.
We all enjoyed our meals and couldn’t fault any of them, they were all well presented with fresh ingredients and very tasty. The staff were very friendly and helpful. I’m looking forward to returning.
Living life, loving Boston Tea Party
UPDATE: April 2019
After our last visit I thought I’d get in touch with BTP and tell them about our recent experiences as it was disappointing that we may not return.
Annie the store manager replied straight away to my email and apologised and very kindly sent us a token for a free meal.
I didn’t return with Helen but with my husband Geoff. We were very well looked after by Annie and enjoyed our meals. I had the veggie burger which may now be my new ‘go-to’ dish at BTP.
So, will we return? Yes, we shall indeed. (Although there were lots of old chips and stuff under my seat which hadn’t been swept up… 🙂 )
UPDATE: March 2019
Oh dear, sadly there seems to have been a steady decline in service and quality. On past visits we’ve had:
- to get up and get our coffees which have been waiting on the side for quite a while
- overcooked halloumi
- incredibly salty halloumi – verging on almost inedible
- the same dish different each time. Consistency is important!
- today we waited over 10 minutes for our dish when we could see it waiting to be brought to us from the kitchen’s serving hatch. One server passed it many times, she even stood right next to them whilst returning sauces etc., and others completely ignored ittoo. Eventually I got up to collect them along with some cutlery
Needless to say, that may be the last time we eat there. We left without having another coffee and cake!