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New Sudbury cafe The Strawberry Teapot caters for vegetarians and gluten-free diners

PUBLISHED: 11:22 12 July 2017

The Strawberry Teapot has just opened in Sudbury.

The Strawberry Teapot has just opened in Sudbury.

Archant

Amanda Richardson is living her childhood 
dream after opening The Strawberry Teapot 
tearoom in Sudbury

The Strawberry Teapot has just opened in Sudbury.The Strawberry Teapot has just opened in Sudbury.

Sudbury is fast becoming the veggie capital of Suffolk. Not only are there two vegan cafes (yes two) but a number of other vegetarian and vegan-friendly businesses can be found in and around the town.

The latest to join the flock is The Strawberry Teapot.

Formerly The Rude Strawberry, the new tearoom has been given a lick of paint and more than a touch of vintage by new owner Amanda Richardson. Put on your finest smock and get your victory rolls ready for your visit, where 1940s music plays softly in the background, pastel-coloured bunting hangs from the ceiling, and flowers, oversized tea cups and suitcases adorn the nooks and crannies.

The café is open from 9am daily, and really is a childhood dream come true for the passionate vegetarian cook and baker (formerly a charity events manager) who admits she’s a bit of a feeder.

The Strawberry Teapot has just opened in Sudbury.The Strawberry Teapot has just opened in Sudbury.

“I took over the café on June 9 and it’s taken a few weeks of 12 to 14 hour days to get it to how it is now,” Amanda said. “It’s been my dream since I was 17 when vintage wasn’t even ‘in’! I wanted to open a vintage tearoom very much heavy on the 1940s, maybe early 50s style. To be honest, I got to 44 and thought, if I don’t do it now I’ll never do it, and as I thought that this place came up and I fell in love with the building and everything about it.”

As you walk into the tearoom, a dresser bursts with homemade cakes and scones – all gluten-free (with non gluten-free treats kept separately at the counter by the kitchen).

Having a daughter with a gluten allergy, Amanda is acutely aware of the trials facing those in a similar situation, and wanted to make sure people with special diets, be that a wheat or dairy intolerance or vegan or vegetarianism, are catered for.

“I’ve always loved baking, but I got into baking gluten-free because of my daughter and because, it’s not that there’s not a place for buying gluten-free products, but it’s just they don’t have that home baked flavour. So I scoured the internet for recipes and I got some really good ones and changed them a bit.

“I can do gluten-free sandwiches as well. And the only thing I don’t have is gluten-free teacakes, but I do have gluten-free crumpets in.”

Open for breakfasts, elevenses, lunch and afternoon tea, meals at The Strawberry Teapot are made with locally sourced ingredients where possible, including produce from Cleveleys and eggs from Ranger Eggs.

In the mornings Amanda begins with thick cut toast, dry cured bacon rolls and even a tasty sounding vegetarian option of toast with hummus, sliced avocado, sautéed mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and poached egg.

At lunch tuck into a jacket potato or a sandwich of brie with fig jam and red onion.

Or sample a snack of one of Amanda’s freshly made scones – her speciality. As well as fruit flavoured, there are Suffolk cheese and herb and even stilton and walnut varieties to choose from.

But what Amanda is especially proud of is her afternoon teas. “You get sandwiches, freshly made scones and I don’t make small cakes. I’d rather people had a selection of cakes they can choose from, so they can take their pick. I’ve always made afternoon tea and they’re something I really like putting together. I really love seeing people enjoy them.”

In this hot weather, Amanda is excited about serving her huge ice cream sundaes, including Eton mess, Nutella and cookie varieties, made with local ice cream.

And tea and coffee lovers are well looked after too, with the highest quality loose leaf tea (think organic gunpowder green tea and Earl Grey with orange blossom) and cafetiere single estate coffee being served alongside Sudbury’s own Marimba hot chocolate.

Find the café on Friars Street.

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