espite only being a five-minute drive away, it was only recently that I discovered the café run by Malpas Court Social Enterprise.
The Malpas Court Mansion offer a range of freshly cooked meals through the week. They are available as a venue for weddings and parties, and offer afternoon tea for both children and grown-ups. They also hold a range of seasonal events, including Tea with Santa and a Halloween disco.
Last weekend, the family and I headed down to sample their Afternoon Tea, which is competitively priced at £14.99 for two.
On the drive up to Malpas Court there is a striking contrast between the Grade II listed building and the residential areas which surround it. The impressive architecture of the Tudor style mansion dates back to the 1830s. Every afternoon tea needs a bit of Victorian glamour.
Through the large doorway you are led into an open foyer. The café is situated to the right of this entrance hall, however our afternoon tea booking was accommodated in a private room at the back of the building, with views over the garden.
Having booked in advance, the table was laid ready for our arrival. The standard white linen and matching tea sets were present, as were tiered cake stands laden with treats.
Sandwiches on offer included cheese, tuna and chicken mayonnaise. This provided enough variety to satisfy everyone in our party and there was plenty available. The sandwiches were slightly larger than seen in other local Afternoon Tea venues, but this was not an issue for us. If anything, it made the experience more of a meal than a snack which suited our lunch time booking.
Cakes are the centre point of any afternoon tea, and the offering at Malpas Court did not disappoint. Victoria sponge, a range of cupcakes and fruit scones suited both adults and children within the group.
Personally, I am not a fan of petit fours and so was pleased they did not feature. If you are looking for somewhere that serves these miniature sweet treats there are other venues in Newport and Torfaen that offer them. Malpas Court however provides a heartier and less fussy spread with traditional favourites taking centre stage, decorated with fresh strawberries.
One of the most notable things about the venue was the noise levels. As we took our seats and awaited the arrival of the rest of our dining party, background noise was non-existent. This was a peaceful and unexpected find in the middle of a housing estate in Newport.
The staff at the venue were helpful but almost invisible for most of the visit. This is in no way meant as a criticism, but acknowledgement that they left us to enjoy our food. The waitress checked intermittendly that all was ok and whether drink top ups were needed.
Overall this was a positive experience and I am keen to return to the venue in the future. A key selling point is how well suited it is for families. Some Afternoon Tea venues have a formality that is off putting to those with exuberant young children, but Malpas Court provides a relaxed atmosphere that both young and old can enjoy together.
We have already booked our next visit to Malpas Court, where we will be served afternoon tea by Santa’s helpers and hopefully get a visit from the big man himself.
If you want to find out more about what’s on offer from Malpas Court Social Enterprise, visit them on Facebook.