A real taste of home at Harriet’s English Tea Rooms
A delicious new arrival in Los Cristianos.
Think of your favourite cake. Perhaps it’s a slice of a lovely Victoria sponge or a chocolate brownie or caramel shortbread? Or how about lemon drizzle, carrot cake or a fruit scone with jam and real cream?
Now turn your attention to pancakes. Black cherries or maple syrup take your fancy? Or what about a good old-fahioned knickerbocker glory or a banana split?
Perhaps you want to go out for breakfast, lunch or tea and could just devour a sausage sandwich, jacket potato with baked beans, a home-made burger, ploughman’s or pasty with real Bisto gravy!
If your mouth is starting to water, just wait until you physically arrive at Harriet’s English Tea Rooms in either Fanabe or their latest restaurant in the heart of Los Cristianos.
Just because you are in Tenerife, it doesn’t mean you don’t crave the taste of home. Owners Stuart and Diane and their team are waiting to serve you just that (and you will even get your choice of tea in a traditional tea-pot with cup and saucer as the icing on the cake!)
When this enterprising couple first came to the island, their idea was to open a little tea room, bake a few cakes and enjoy a more leisurely way of life. Wrong! Little did they anticipate that on the morning they opened their Fanabe tea room, they would find a long queue of people waiting outside. It hasn’t stopped since.
Today, four years on, they still have a tea room at Fanabe and the new one at Los Cristianos and employ 40 members of staff, constituting a real Tenerife success story. Even Stuart, who used to work in the car business, has become an expert cake-maker, with lemon meringue pie his speciality as we found out on our review evening. A slice arrived in front of me looking more like an iceberg (or Mount Teide as someone joked!) and it was utterly delicious.
The Los Cristianos restaurant is at the San Marino building by the bus station ie. just walk to the bottom end of the bus station, turn left and Harriet’s is about 50 yards on your left, set back from the road.
The premises used to house the Heritage bar but thanks to a massive refurbishment, the property has been totally transformed, modernised and beautifully redecorated with a great deal of care and thought under a top architect. Even the ceiling was specially imported. I was advised that the ladies’ bathroom was pretty spectacular and it is!
There is a very large sunny terrace in front of the tea rooms or you can sit inside at tables which have real table-cloths and napkins and even proper doilies for your drinks.
For a certain generation, it will remind you of your younger days. Mum baking in the kitchen, traditional puds such as spotted dick with real Ambrosia Devon custard, buttered crumpets, Cadbury’s hot chocolate. We dare you not to reminisce!
For others, it is simply a case of finding somewhere fantastic to eat, with great British cooking and virtually every dish you could hope to enjoy.
Another massive bonus is that there are options for those who have a gluten intolerance or are diabetic.
From the specials, I chose pitta bread with salad and pieces of chicken breast in a sweet chilli sauce served with chips and coleslaw (6.5 euros). I decided to go gluten-free because I wanted to see if I could taste the difference with the pitta bread. I wouldn’t have known otherwise.
This was delicious, a verdict echoed by my partner who had one of the evening meals served from 6pm, namely a huge slice of freshly-baked steak and onion pie (8.70 euros) served with creamy mash and a selection of fresh vegetables.The gravy came in its own jug.
These evening meals are in addition to the full menu which starts with everything you could possibly want for breakfast (all day) such as full English (4.50 euros), boiled eggs with soldiers (yes really! 3.40 euros), Quaker porridge oats (2.20 euros) or beans on toast (3.20 euros) to name just a few.
You can then have an English jacket potato with a choice of nearly 30 fillings, omelettes, salads, savouries, 20 or so different pancakes, ice-creams, rolls, baguettes or sandwiches with numerous fillings (including cheese and marmite, fish fingers or ham and Branston pickle), a huge selection of cakes (again with gluten-free options), every coffee you could think of, all brands of tea and specialist varieties and infusions.
Drinks are very reasonably priced too. As soon as I saw the milkshakes made with fresh fruit and ice cream, I just had to have a strawberry one (3.80 euros) and it was heavenly.
The staff here are lovely and Stuart and Diane are very hands-on. You can tell from their food, the presentation and the surroundings that they care about everything, even down to super little salt and pepper pots.
We loved our food and there are so many temptations on the menu that you can see why people return time and time again. One English couple sitting near us on review night had been every evening during their holiday. However, this is a place for all nationalities and children are very welcome with their own menu.
There was a constant stream of people coming in and we have no doubt that once you discover this new location, you will become a regular. I’ve got a coffee and walnut cake with Yorkshire tea lined up for my next visit which ticks off another one from the 200-plus options!
Los Cristianos, San Marino building, open daily 9am to 11pm.
Playa Fanabe, 56 Central Commercial, 9am to 10pm, closes 5pm Saturday and Sunday
For any reservations, call 922 712 791