Afternoon tea at Bel & the Dragon

Bel & the Dragon

Bel & the Dragon

Godalming cries out for an old fashioned tea shop or a coffee shop, but lacks either.

It does have two Costa Coffee shops, a Caffe Nero, not good news.

It has a bread shop with a dingy seating area, more like a dingy transport cafe. Not good either.

Then there is Bel & the Dragon, a former church.

Last year it was closed for major renovation work, now it is open.

I thought I would pop in and take a look and take afternoon tea, scones with jam and clotted cream.

I asked the price. The girl did not know and had to check on a till. £7-50! I said forget it. But it is freshly made, you get two scones.

Hmm. Disgusting coffee and a factory made cake at Costa leaves little change from a fiver. Overpriced.

Were Bel & the Dragon to offer afternoon tea at a fiver with freshly made scones, then they would be offering a good deal. But at £7-50 they are taking the piss.

I did not think to ask tea and coffee Fair Trade? I saw nothing to indicate it was, therefore I can only assume not.

I asked could I have a look around. I was told go ahead.

The church has been gutted, then restored. An excellent job has been done. Quality wooden flooring, secluded seating areas, a veranda around the back wall, a large bar, another large counter with a few cakes, behind which I assumed the kitchen.

Looking down at the large counter the impression was that of looking down at an altar. Some would consider it to be sacrilegious and offensive.

Outside a very small and cramped seating area. Not very attractive. And the obscenity of outside heaters. Have these people not heard of global warming? If it is too cold to sit outside, then don’t sit outside, but do not engage in the crass stupidity of heating outside air.

For the size of the place, the money already spend and the limited seating, I cannot see how it can ever make any money. When I looked around, only one table with people taking afternoon tea.

If designed differently, without the large counter and instead a raised platform, it would have made an excellent music venue.

But even this sadly is a chain, with others at Reading, Cookham and Windsor.

Top Story in The Digital Mission Daily (Wednesday 29 August 2012).

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