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!