Anywhere is good when there's a gale blowing outside, the road floods within ten minutes, it's gone four and you haven't eaten since breakfast. As an advance warning, Rumpus Cosy isn't particularly cosy when you first walk in: not unless 'gentrified multistorey' is your choice of comfort. That said, as soon as you find yourself a table (ours was an old leather covered chest with brass corners) and sit in one of the fantastically comfortable mismatched patchwork armchairs, the room shrinks around you. I totally forgot the minor building work happening on the other side of the partition and went down the menu, looking for caffeine and calories. This is where I imagine it's very different experience if you go alone: I was with two others and so we had the option to share things and split the menu. Not that this is impossible without company - it just needs more disdain of other people's horror or a finer appreciation of their envy as you demolish a high tea by yourself.
Had I been alone, I would've gone for homemade 'jaffa cake' and a cortado, made, as they do here, with condensed milk. However, as there were three of us, all curious and hungry, we went for an afternoon tea and tried a banana & honey milkshake as they had no 'chocolate mix' left for chocolate and cinnamon. I would've had a cortado as well, but they ran out of condensed milk and had far too many teas to excuse a backup coffee.
Sandwiches - excellent. Coronation turkey had proper hunks of tender and actually tasty turkey that weren't overpowered by a fruity, feisty dressing. I usually avoid egg sandwiches but these were absolutely fine: mayo and egg together being uniform, moreish and not at all gloopy or rubbery. The bread used is resistant enough to stand up to these quite wet fillings without collapsing soggily around your fingers, but there's enough crust to get your teeth into. This is not a delicate afternoon tea with wafer-thin, crustless slivers of cucumber sandwich. The word 'sarnie' doesn't actually appear on their menu, but it wouldn't be out of place.
I can't think about the cake selection without going back to the salted caramel flapjack. Actually, just the salted caramel. It was easily as thick as the base that supports it and yes, it was impressive. The base was nothing outstanding but it didn't need to be when playing good second fiddle. The other cakes were perfectly acceptable; fresh and moist but nothing to shout or feel guilty about. RC's scones are the right size, density and crumbliness to support shedloads of clotted and jam, which made it a right shame when both arrived in minute flowerpots. I get using old chests as tables, vintage look cups and saucers and chairs upholstered by textile lunatics, but the flowerpots are just pointless. Given that the people behind Rumpus Cosy claim to support young artists, surely at least one of them dabbles in ceramics and can make a pot without a hole in the bottom? Just a thought.
So, go to Rumpus Cosy if you're after a nice afternoon tea. Or, spend the same money (or maybe slightly less) on the same sort of thing in a country house hotel somewhere where you can walk up an appetite first or burn the calories off afterwards. Rumpus Cosy feels more like somewhere for marketing types to hold meetings in brand emobidied and consciously fashionable people check out the youth art next door (which promises to be well worth a look). You might think it's horribly fake and utterly, totally pretentious. Walk past the window - if you like the originality and feel in need of a boost, get inside.