Sunday 13 July 2014

Tea & Cake at Fancy, Bedford

This weekend I am back in Bedford visiting my family. We had planned to go fruit picking at a Pick Your Own farm, but the wet weather put a kibosh on that idea. By the afternoon it had brightened up and my Mum and I decided to venture out for a walk around Bedford Park.

This is a quiet, very green park with a good circular walk with lots of open space and lush green trees. There are free tennis courts at the front and plenty of open space for playing football, rounders or having a picnic if you wish. We spent an hour enjoy the stroll and chatting before heading to a nearby café for a slice of cake and cup of tea at Fancy.

Fancy is situated on Roff Avenue and is quite understated from the outside but walk inside and you discover a lovely gem of a place. The counter is lined with cake stands each displaying some delicious and slightly different types of cakes. The reason I love this café so much is that they also offer cakes for a variety of diets, gluten free, egg free etc. All the cakes are handmade on site which is another lovely touch.

When we ventured inside we were greeted with a wonderful display of tempting cakes. I was delighted to discover they had three gluten free cakes on offer that day. Very impressive for such a small café. I had a choice between Lemon & Polenta, Coconut & Lime or Fig, Almond & Dark Choc Chunk.

My Mum and I decided to share a slice as they were serving very generous portions and we settled on the Fig, Almond & Dark Choc Chunk cake. What a great choice this turned out to be! It was a very moist light cake that I suspect was made with ground almonds, it had pieces of dried fig and dark chocolate chunks stirred in. It was finished with a scattering of flaked almonds on top.

The little nuggets of dried fig added a little pop and crunch from the seeds while the dark chocolate chunks meant you had a sudden burst of intense rich chocolate every few bites. The almonds kept it light and deliciously soft and moist. It was the best gluten free cake I’ve ever had out of home. It looks quite dark round the edges, but this wasn’t burnt, instead it tasted slightly chewy and caramelised which only added to the flavour. We both loved it and I’m longing to try and bake something similar myself. It was fantastic to have such a tasty and unusual cake when out and about, a real treat.

Fancy’s tea selection is also very impressive. While my Mum chose a pot of traditional tea I selected Lemongrass. This had a lovely fresh citrus aroma and a mellow well-rounded lemon flavour. Not as sharp as fresh lemon, definitely more aromatic and like lemongrass. Again we both loved how the tea was serving in individual teapots with assorted floral china teacups and saucers. Just like a dainty cup of afternoon tea should be.

The café seating is an assortment of mismatched wooden tables and chairs which gave it a charming homely feel. They had a small lunch menu printed on brown paper bags attached to clipboards which was another nice touch. The owner did make it clear to me when we visited that they can’t completely guarantee the cakes are free from certain allergens as they do also bake ‘normal’ wheat cakes on site. I’m very sensitive but have never had any problems in the twice I have eaten their gluten free cakes, so I think they are quite clued up about keeping things separate and cross contamination. All in all it made for a lovely afternoon and I highly recommend you stop by Fancy for a cup of tea and delicious slice of cake if you are ever in the area.


The Caked Crusader said...

What a lovely place!

Kim said...

What a lovely afternoon you and your mum had. Cake looks delicious x

Elle said...

It's impressive that such a small place has a wonderful assortment of all kinds of cakes. What a treasure. My favorite tea place doesn't have anything like this assortment, although they do serve individual pots of tea and have dainty tea cups, too. Wish I could have you over for a cup of tea at my house!

Gluten Free Alchemist said...

What a fantastic little tea and cake shop. It's such a treat to find such a gem of a place that you feel you can trust. The cakes sound unusual and the slice you chose looks yum!

Johanna GGG said...

What a delicious sounding cake - I would have chosen that one too.

And I suspect that the people who actually realise that there might be cross contamination are more likely to try and avoid it than those who will airily claim everything to be gluten free (and I really don't like it as I experienced recently at a cafe when they don't know the ingredients because the cakes are made elsewhere!)

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

I love fancy! I used to go there all the time the summer I stayed in Ampthill! They have such a great selection of homemade cakes and I like the rustic feel inside - they also do milkshakes too which always gets a thumbs up from me, although they weren't as thick as I like but still nice to get a milkshake and a cake since I don't drink tea or coffee!

Emily said...

Oh my goodness, the cake sounds fantastic. I love fig anything! Especially combined with chocolate.