Elizabeth's Bakery and Tea Shop closed a few weeks ago. Even though I had a love-hate relationship with it, I have been in mourning ever since.---
I was not a frequent visitor to the spin-off from next door's London Market on 700 East, opposite Trolley Square. But it was nice to know it was there. I'd occasionally have lunch there with a friend and indulge in a restrained exercise in nostalgia and gluttony. Restrained because Elizabeth's was simply too pricey.
While it lacked the cosy intimacy of The Beehive Tea Room, for Anglophiles and exiled Brits like myself standing in front of the display section and drooling over the sausage rolls and the bread-and-butter pudding was a curiously masochistic pleasure. I could never afford half of the things I wanted to devour, but it was so delightful to simply stand there and remember being a child in a high street bakery in small town England, experiencing the same overwhelming appetite.
Elizabeth's Welsh chef had an admirable touch with the steak and kidney pies, but it's the ploughman's lunch that I will miss the most. While the atmosphere of Elizabeth's was a tad sterile, tucking into freshly baked bread, a couple of chunks of cheese, pickled onions, branston pickle, a tomato or two - as I write this I drool - was heavenly. It cast me back to so many wonderful pub lunches in the English countryside with friends and family.
So Elizabeth's, thank you. You gave me some good memories and some even better meals. Warts and all, you are missed.