Cupán Tae, Galway City
It’s a dark, dreary, miserable January afternoon in Galway City. The fog is already beginning to descend but the Christmas lights above Quay Street are twinkling down on us. Ali wants to go to Cupán Tae for lunch, a late lunch – it’s just gone 3.30. We get to the door and as I open it, Ali whispers “oh, it’s a little girly by the way.” It is girly – very girly and I quickly notice that I’m the only male present, apart from a little boy playing at one of the tables.
Cupán Tae is a traditional Irish tea shop located on Quay Lane in Galway City. Stepping inside, you take a step back in time – beautifully set tables and decor, fine china and and an abundance of doilies are the order of the day. The menu is small but has more savoury options than I expected. We both decide to go for soup – Butternut Squash, Carrot and Paprika. Ali orders a plain tea but I’m feeling slightly more adventurous and go for a Sri Lankan black tea. My tea arrives with a timer and I’m advised to let it sit for four minutes to infuse properly. The flavour is gorgeous yet I prefer my next cup, which has been infusing for ten minutes or more.
The soup arrives with thickly cut homemade brown bread. It’s delicious if a little under seasoned, although I notice Ali isn’t reaching for the salt shaker – maybe it’s just me. The extra salt really brings the soup to life. I tend to dislike the sweetness of squash based soups but the paprika is the perfect foil and it’s perfectly balanced and wholesome – perfect on this gloomy January day.
We couldn’t possibly visit Cupán Tae without having one of their delicious cakes. We share a slice of the most delicious Carrot Cake I’ve ever tasted. Moist, not overly sweet and surprisingly light, it’s simply perfect.