Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: Central Perk, Liverpool


Laura: Could we BEEE anymore excited to be visiting Central Perk?! Smelly Cat mugs, chalk boards with New York themed beverages, neon signs and of course, the famous orange sofa - Central Perk has most definitely landed in Liverpool. Replicas of various props and furnishings housed amongst the brickwork interior, create this miniature snapshot of our favourite fictional coffee shop. It is very small and there aren't many seats which, given how busy it was for a Thursday afternoon, could become a bit of a problem. But it's what most of us have dreamed of for the majority of our teenage years, so it's hard to complain!

Caroline: It's Central Perk Baby - the home of New York Cheesecake, filter coffee and FRIENDS. An almost perfect replica of the iconic television set, Central Perk Liverpool is perhaps one of the most exciting places in the UK at the moment, and is an absolute 'must' if you're in the Liverpool area. Equipped with facsimile furniture and it's very own Gunther, this tea shop has a host of Friends memorabilia, including a signed script and stylised wall prints, encapsulating teenage dreams and bringing them to life. Size-wise, as Laura said, it's very small and perhaps a little cramped, which although a compliment their instant success, make the place feel slightly hectic, but this aside, it really is an excellent environment to spend an afternoon in.


The menu boasts coffee shop favourites that have appeared in the show and also a huge range of imported American snacks and beverages. I chose a slice of caramel cheesecake, which I was overjoyed to realise came topped with my current favourite chocolates - Caramel Nibbles! I also took advantage of their range of speciality American drinks and chose Pepsi Cherry - Yum! The cake was just gorgeous, really creamy and plenty of hidden chocolates in the middle. I cannot wait to go get another.

I felt the prices at Central Perk were very reasonable. A large slice of cake and a drink cost under £4, which is less than my usual Starbucks order. I was very impressed!

When I walked in and saw their selection of treats, I got quite excited. Their menu includes everything from Cupcakes to Cheesecake, also offering a good selection of All-American sweet treats, such as fluff and Hershey's bars, which looked particularly yummy. Similarly their selection of drinks is also of American influence with selections including minute maid. Entering into the full spirit of the Cafe's American-ness, I decided to try a slice of their Victoria Sandwich(!) which although not strictly American (well not American at all) was really very nice. The sponge was moist and the cream was fresh - exactly the way it should be! To drink I had a can of Minute Maid Lemonade and a Latte, both of which were very nice, especially the latte! (they really know how to make coffee at Central Perk, which is very commendable considering its newness)

Price-wise it's very much like any other coffee shop in the area with my total bill coming in at £6.25, which I thought very reasonable, especially when considering the lovely surroundings!


The service was great with very friendly staff who were more than happy to make suggestions and explain cake options. Particular applause should go to the gentleman serving our table who was extra pleasant and seemed keen to jump in on our photographs! I can't compliment the staff enough for their hard work as the shop was super busy and showed no signs of getting any quieter - Looks like everyone wants a piece of Central Perk!

: I always commend the service at the cafe's we visit, unless particularly unhappy, because I know how hard people work and what a stressful job it can be, but I really must say that the service at Central Perk was excellent. On the whole we were served promptly, with slight problems we had being rectified quickly. Particular kudos must go to the manager (or the man who I presumed to be the manager) who had excellent manner about him, being particularly hospitable and chatty, and really entering into the spirit of the place, which I found to be quite refreshing!

Overall Thoughts:

Laura: I had prepared myself for disappointment on this occassion. Being a Friends fan throughout most of my life I could have only dreamt of spending an afternoon in Central Perk - but Liverpool's mini version, made those dreams a reality! Lovely food, a great atmosphere and an amazing similarity to the real deal. The only real negative point about our experience was the initial finding of the shop. At the moment, there is a lot of building work going on around it, meaning that the lack of exacting directions on the website made it all that more difficult to spot. But, stick a postcode on the site and the problem would be solved! I highly recommend visiting!

Caroline: I really loved this place and if I lived in Liverpool, I could easily see it becoming one of my regular haunts. However, there is a slight grumble (only a little one) and it's this... Location. Due to its slightly off-centre positioning, Central Perk Liverpool is fairly hidden away, because of which I feel it would benefit greatly from having an address on the website - it took us over an hour to find, after walking down alomst every street in the area.
It's only a small thing and can be easily changed, but I feel that if we hadn't been intent upon visiting then we'd have probably given up long before this time, which I fear may happen with other visitors!
Otherwise - Very, very good - Do Visit!

Cupcake Rating:


Friday, 4 May 2012

The Afternoon Tea Club Reviews: The Footage, Oxford Road, Manchester


Footage isn't strictly a tea room or coffee shop, it's more of a pub/bar, but being one of our regular haunts, we couldn't resist giving it a sneaky little review. For sentimental reasons I'll always love Footage and for cheap pub grub you can't really go wrong. Environment-wise, Footage possesses a nice atmosphere, with comfy seats and a pool table making it the perfect place to hang if you're a student on a budget, or just a general lover of nice pubs. It's quite dark inside, but this only adds to it's ambiance, although be warned you'll probably be blinded when you step out of the door!

Laura: Oh Footage, the place we frequent when we pretend we're off to the library! It's not your typical cutesy tea room set-up but rather a pub that just happens to serve very nice cake. The converted picture house interior is used to its full potential with balcony seating and a large screen above the bar. Although it is rather dark inside, the blue fairy lights help to create a relaxing pub atmosphere but be careful as you may forget what time it is during your visit and it will evening before you know it and time for cocktails - actually that's not such a bad thing!


Caroline: The food at Footage is very reasonably priced, and you can generally get a whole meal for less that £10. On this visit I opted for a filter coffee (99p) and a piece of their Chocolate Cake and Ice Cream (which I'm sorry to say I can't remember the price of - but it was very cheap!) The Cake, for the price, was very nice and the portion size was exceptional. However, because of the large portions it did become rather sickley after a while - but the beauty of large portions is you don't need to eat it all!

Laura: Don't let the super cheap prices fool you as the desserts at Footage rival some of the much more up-market eateries in the city. I chose a belgian waffle with ice cream and chocolate sauce and dear me, they've become my latest obsession! Absolutely gorgeous and a generous size too. As if that wasn't enough, the desserts are all 2 for the price of 1, meaning coffee and cake for you and a friend will only cost around £5 overall - Bonus!


Caroline: The staff are friendly and service is prompt - exactly what I'd expect - well done!

Laura: The service is always great at Footage. The wait time is always extremely good and the staff are really pleasant.

Overall Thoughts

I love Footage. It's studenty, but super affordable and lacking in pretentions - It does what it says on the can. If you're in the Oxford Road area, pay them a visit!

Laura: Footage has always been a firm favourite of ours and although it may not fall into the sugar coated coffee shop category, its casual and welcoming atmosphere makes it a great place with good food. Plus, as it's so cheap, there's no reason why you shouldn't use the 2 for 1 offer on your own!

Cupcake Rating

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