Leaf on Bold Street was the first place I ever visited in Liverpool. It was over two years ago, and with the first sip of my tea I fell completely in love with Leaf, and with the city. It's one of the first places I recommend to those visiting for the first time, especially on a weekend when they have an amazing brunch menu, so I couldn't believe when I checked recently that I'd never actually blogged about it before. Last month for my birthday, following our new tradition of cafe trips for all occasions, Dave and I recently attended Leaf's popular Pudding Club, and it seemed like the perfect time to correct that oversight.
If the name isn't enough of an explanation, Pudding Club is a series of special events where guests can enjoy 5 courses of dessert tasters, all paired with one of their loose leaf teas. Also known as the dinner of my dreams.
I felt like my whole life had been leading up to this moment.
Leaf has to be one of the most instagrammable places I've ever been too. Their home is a magnificent old building on Bold Street, and the tea shop has filled both the large floors with kitschy details. It's got that Pinterest-grandma thing going on and I love it. They have an impressively large range of loose leaf teas, from the regular black and green teas to a variety of fruit infusions. All the teas are available to buy from the shop (or from their website if you live far away like me) and there's also some adorable kitchenware, including my personal favourite - the 'where there is tea, there is hope' glass teapot.
We weren't too sure what to expect from the night, as the menu isn't available in advance (I'm guessing it changes every time) so when the Leaf team stood up to introduce the first course and welcome us all to the venue, they described the desserts as 'tasters' I did get a little panicked. When the first slice of cake arrived though, I realised I really shouldn't have worried. The slice of sticky toffee cake (pictured at the top of the post) topped with raspberries and dried bananas was heavenly and a perfect sized portion. I loved it so much I wanted to get a photo to capture our special moment together so I could treasure it forever (see below).
This was paired with a small glass of Caramello tea. Caramello is a green tea with hints of caramel that I wasn't expecting to like at all but it was surprisingly nice. You could definitely tell it was a green tea, but the flavours weren't too strong and the slightly sweet taste of the caramel made it a little less intense.
Next up was roasted peaches with basil mascarpone and goji-peach oolong. I've never had roast peaches before and I definitely wouldn't have thought of using basil in cream for a dessert but this was fantastic. It was refreshing and the small savoury notes were a perfect treat after the rich toffee from course one. The peach tea was really light and summery, and a perfect match.
Course four was scones with clotted cream and jam. All the components were nice, but there's nothing too special or mind blowing about scones and jam really. I actually skipped the tea from this course because it was a darjeeling, which I'm not a big fan of anyway but definitely couldn't drink black so I gave my tea to Dave and he gave it a positive review.
The final dessert of the night was probably my least favourite, a chocolate and orange mousse. The mousse was nice enough but the orange layer wasn't what I expected. It was a very thin syrup rather than a mousse or jelly, and I really didn't enjoy the flavour of it at all, which was a shame since this was the final pudding and all the others had been pretty good. Our final tea was passionfruit and orange, and I did enjoy this quite a lot.
*We paid for our pudding club tickets ourselves and Leaf did not know I'd be reviewing them.