Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Rosie's Bistro and Patisserie, Gosforth Shopping Centre, High Street

Who is Rosie, I wonder?  A Cooksonesque heroine?  'Brought up in grinding poverty by her mother, Rosie Halloran is the illegitimate daughter of the fabulously wealthy pit-owning Ritz family.  They own everything in the area, but fiery Rosie cannot be bought and determines to make herself a better life as a bistro owner.  Her business success brings her into direct confrontation with Sir Tetley Ritz - her father!'  Bit too caps and clogs?  Maybe she's more chick-lit?   'Rosie Whittard-Claridges lives a life of luxury where afternoon tea is served every day on tables laid with snowy white tablecloths, delicate bone china, silver cutlery and the finest teas, cakes and sandwiches.  When a misunderstanding with a Premier league footballer in a trendy London nightspot leaves her under the superest super-injunction ever, she flees to the north east to hide.  A chance encounter with a Rington's tea van decides her destiny.  Can Rosie, with only the help of her gay antique-dealer neighbour and her grandmother's cheese scone recipe, make the bistro work, find a footballer more interested in home games, and meet loveable characters who will rescue the reputation of the whole area? 
But enough of this - what about the cafe?
It's not often I venture into the wilds of Gosforth, let alone the shopping centre, but I'd seen Rosie's advertised and thought I'd check it out.  I suspect in a previous incarnation the unit was home to something a little less grand, but Rosie (or her representatives on earth) have transformed it into something fashionably dark. NO sofas that I could spot, only tables and chairs that appear to have been salvaged from an old chapel somewhere.  How do I know that?  They all have a ledge at the back to stow your hymn book and Bible.
If you sit right at the back as I did, you have a nice view over the park. I ordered tea and a scone, boringly choosing the English Breakfast tea from the extensive list offered.  The waitress (clad in black as all good waitresses should be) said 'two scones'.  I agreed and was pleasantly surprised when a dainty plate with a doily and two dainty cheese scones arrived with a tiny plate with real butter.  The tea was leaf tea in a little pot with a tea strainer and of course a dinky little milk jug.  I don't know who Rosie is, but she sure knows how to do afternoon tea!

1 comment:

  1. You undersell Rosie (who is, I think, the short dark-haired young lady at the till). She (or a designer) has shown flair in respect to colour, interior, menu (which outclasses anything in Newcastle bar the Café 21)and that view over the park. And that's not all. She sells Japanese sencha from Pumphreys, has the best-decorated large cakes outside York, has heaps of excellent photographs by a local artist to sell, and displays under the counter some very good-looking little cakes. Finally, but perhaps most importantly, she has banned musak. What a delight to sit in a café talking with a friend without straining to hear through the howling of Beyoncé or the latest X-Factor one-night wonder. Not a stottie in sight, not a caramel slice anywhere, in fact, none of the dreadful mistakes most Newcastle eateries make. They could all learn from someone as talented as Rosie.