Victoria Restaurant had been recommended to me as a “traditional-style” venue; and that part didn’t disappoint. After finding my way up (staircase between a jewellers and a clothes shop) I found myself in a gallery/store selling decorative serverware and shiny memorabilia, which led the way to the café, to its left. Upon entering I was greeted by a glass display-trolley filled with a variety of cakes – a pleasant start, I had to admit. Next, I took in the surroundings: it was an open-space room in a simple vintage décor, partly occupied by elderly couples, but feeling mostly empty. It was only 3pm on a Friday… which is, however, the right time for an Afternoon Tea, I guess? Some of the customers did enjoy three-level platters overflowing with finger sandwitches, dainty pastries and scones, accompanied by an Elizabethan tea set.
I was attended shortly after taking my seat, and presented with the cake trolley when expressed my interest in the day’s bakes. There was an impressive variety of scones available, and I opted for the one I considered least naughty – apple and cinnamon, lured by its healthy “bran” colour (which was in fact, of course, the cinnamon). They did not serve mochas, so I had to choose between their filter, caffetiere or “strong continental style” cappuccino. I decided strong coffee was what I needed… but that’s where I was in for an unpleasant surprise.
The cappuccino was definitely not strong – mild, at its best. It was also too hot and milk was not as frothy and smooth as it should be. I did like the presentation – but nothing else. It only worked fairly well to wash down the scone – which was also very nicely presented with a little pot of jam and some slices of butter on the side.
I suppose Victoria has some vintage charm about it for its target clientele, who, I assume, is the older generation. As I think about it, it reminds me a bit Valvona & Crolla, although I’d say the latter had slightly more style and warmth to it. Although Victoria’s staff was pleasant enough, they did not create a welcoming atmosphere, I regret to say. Then again, most of the customers around me seemed only interested in their own business and not really keen on a chat with a stranger…
And I have to say, that Afternoon Tea did look rather tempting…
Verdict justification: The theme seems to complement their impressive looking Afternoon Tea, yet the place feels a bit cold and soulless – and the coffee, albeit its temperature, does not make it any better