There once was a time when Boston Tea Party (often referred to as “BTP”) was just a little caff on the top of Park Street. Now, there are 19 BTP branches which span as far as Plymouth and more are opening every year. What was it that made this one independent British cafe so special? Why does BTP continue to grow and flourish in the face of fierce competition? I went to the Boston Tea Party on Whiteladies following their latest summer menu launch to figure out their secret and of course, try out their new toastie, shakes and smoothies range.
On a beautifully sunny Saturday, my Mum and I took a seat upstairs as droopy-eyed customers started to make an appearance for breakfast, our little table for two beside the balcony looking out over the ground floor. All the front windows were pushed back so customers could sit on stools with their morning paper in the warmth of the sun whilst the large bar behind them when buzzing with activity as baristas worked on coffee orders and poured out glasses of freshly made iced tea.
Boston Tea Party’s menu is pretty extensive for a cafe. Primarily, the menu options available are tailored to brunch but there is also a lunch section which boasts sandwiches, salads and a regularly changing soup. BTP also serve the most incredible sweet potato fritters (£2.75) which I can certainly vouch for based on previous experience. The “mains” section of the menu did leave us somewhat bemused, including burgers and Teriyaki salmon which seemed a bit off-piste but hey, it’s good to have variety right?
To quench our thirst, we opted for some of BTP’s cooler options – an iced coffee (£3.30) and one of their new fruit & veg smoothies – the red one (£3.35). Both surprised us when it came to their ingredients list but the menu (and our waiter) asked us to trust them, so we did.
Avocado in the iced coffee was probably the most unexpected ingredient but it tasted so good! The avo added a whole new level of creaminess to the coffee and with the maple syrup, there was an extra touch of sweetness. My red one was chocked full of fruit and veg including beetroot, carrot, apple, cucumber, orange juice, ginger, mint and parsley. Unlike other smoothies, it wasn’t very sweet but with so many fruits and veggies in it – it did feel super healthy. Sadly, my healthy streak was quickly broken when I spied BTP’s epic scones on the counter.
The size of my outstretched hand, I simply couldn’t say no to BTP’s offer of a fruit scone served with clotted cream, jam and a cup of English breakfast tea (£5). Full of dried fruit and perfectly fluffy inside, BTP’s scones really hit the spot – so much so Mum was nearly full after finishing her half which is testament to how big they were.
Up next was Sweetcorn Hash topped with halloumi, poached eggs, avocado & tomato salsa (£7.75) for me and a veggie breakfast (£7.50) which included roasted new potatoes, mushroom, baked beans, roasted tomatoes, scrambled eggs and buttered toast for Mum. Neither of us are vegetarians but on this occasion, the veggie options (of which BTP serve many), were the winning choice.
Served beautifully on a rustic, speckled plate my sweetcorn hash was original in composition and flawless in flavour. After piercing the poached eggs so the yoke flowed out onto sweetcorn hash below, every mouthful was a delight and I loved the contrasting textures; the crispy sweetcorn based fritters, the soft poached eggs and avocado with a slight twang provided by the salsa to bring it all together – it was very good.
Mum’s veggie breakfast was also a hit, though she couldn’t quite finish it after the scone – amateur! We were both impressed by the creamy scrambled eggs which had chopped up tomatoes and chives in it. The roasted new potatoes were also perfectly golden on the outside with warm and fluffy inners, just how we like them.
In recent months, BTP has become a reliable go-to for a good breakfast. With a varied menu, there’s something to suit everyone and with several branches spread across Bristol, there’s usually a BTP pretty close by to wherever you happen to be.
This summer I heartily recommend you drop by and check out their new smoothie range or one of their iced coffees (they do takeout) you will not be disappointed. I’m definitely going to start popping avo into my iced coffees from now on. Is there anything ago can’t improve?
97 Whiteladies Rd, Bristol BS8 2NT
Please note: Whilst I was invited to review Boston Tea Party and our meal were complimentary, this in no way impacted upon my opinions given. The photography is also mine.