It was three o'clock in the afternoon, and, like almost every day of my trip, I still hadn't had lunch. I'd filled up on the hotel's full English breakfast, spent the morning touring Windsor Castle, and then embarked on what turned out to be a long, chilly walk through horse pastures in search of the elusive Dorney House. When I didn't find either the house or any sign of it within half an hour, I detoured back towards Windsor along the river, only to learn at the visitor information booth that I'd been on the right path after all. Dejected, cold, and weary, I gave up on the house, which closed at four, and squeezed into a back table at the bustling Chocolate Theatre Cafe.
If the name alone hadn't been enough to cheer me up, the display of cakes and chocolates should have done the job. I ordered a cream tea - a big mug of tea that came with the gorgeous scones, jam, and clotted cream in the picture at the top. Supposedly this is "Windsor's Best Cream Tea," though I'm not sure how much weight ought to be given to a blackboard sign outside a shop. Not having tried any other teas in Windsor, I can't judge, but I do know that this cream tea was excellent. The scones were light and sweet with raisins, the place was humming with customers, and I had a nice view from my little table into the kitchen, where a harried chef was making sandwiches and slicing cakes. It was so restorative that I decided to make another attempt at Dorney House, and even though I never did find it, I spent a very pleasant afternoon strolling by the river, watching the swans and boats, instead - all fueled by the power of scones.
Chocolate Theatre Cafe
57 Thames Street
Windsor SL4 1QW