I love going to Alderley Edge; a place full of sunshine, pretty boutiques and sausage dogs. I'm convinced it never rains here, and that flowers are in bloom all year round. Don't burst my bubble. Tomfoolery at 34 is on the main street in the heart of the village, sitting on a corner like a beautiful multicoloured beacon amongst the other 'standard' shops.
We were greeted by a cheery chap who sat us at a table with Mortal Kombat 3 already set up and ready to play... Unfortunately, I didn't get chance to whip Sub-Zero's ass à la 1995 as we were whisked off upstairs to meet Head Chef, Brice. The decor is as mad as a dog in a bungalow. Look around and you'll see traditional paintings adorned with anachronisms such as a little Gene Simmons going to war, or Wally in classical Rome.
Guns n' Roses: this was a one of the soft drinks on the specials menu. Pineapple juice with rose syrup and coconut, scattered with dried buds and floral straws. The prettiest drink you ever did see.
Chocolate milkshake: This was Paddy's choice. Topped with whipped cream (not the squirty kind from a can) and chocolate covered popping candy, this was a slightly different take on a classic. The only amendment I would make here is to make it thicker by using more ice cream. I'm a milkshake purest...
Lemon-Thyme Lemonade: The best soft drink I have ever drunk, ever. This was seriously good. Imagine that lovely zingy crunch you get on top of a lemon drizzle cake - that. I'm pretty sure there was enough sugar in it to give me diabetes, but hey, it did the trick.
And so to the food...
Chargrilled baby gem lettuce with cheesy bites and Hollandaise sauce: Everything I know tells me this is wrong. Dipping bits of warm lettuce into chopped up egg sauce. Seriously, it worked a treat!
Swayze Burger - steak patty, beef bacon, Emmental cheese, dill pickle, onion, lettuce and tomato with parmesan and truffle fries: Paddy does not do salad or sauce. Personally I see this as an utter travesty, but it's what he likes. This simple request often causes carnage in the kitchen, and the burger appears with some sort of confused half attempt at 'plain'. This was perfect and got devoured within just a few minutes.
Black Sheep burger - pulled lamb shoulder, BBQ ketchup, halloumi, pickles, lettuce and tomato with fries: There is nothing about this combination that I didn't absolutely love. The homemade brioche bun, that deliciously sticky BBQ lamb (wonderful change from pork), the salty halloumi and those crispy chips! I adored this.
Lucky road: That's right, rocky road made with Lucky Charms. This was surprisingly light and snaffled by Paddy in about two minutes flat. That's some good going from someone who was full.
Cherry frangipane: Christ alive, this was one of the best things I have ever eaten. Those who know me will be well aware of my penchant for all things related to a Bakewell tart. This was just wonderful. 'I won't eat it all' I said. 'I don't want to overdo it' I bleated. I scoffed the lot like a big greedy pig.
Macchiato - coffee crème brûlée, milk foam and cinnamon doughnuts: This is more Paddy's bag than mine, but yes, of course I whipped two of those doughnuts. Again, very light despite having a big kick of flavour from the coffee and cinnamon. Those doughnuts were warm too...
Berry messy - mixed berries, cheesecake custard, meringues and mint: I'm good at grazing (some have said 'world class'), but I'm rubbish at eating a lot in one go, yet here I was, devouring my second dessert in ten minutes. This was utterly gorgeous; a perfect balance between sweet and tart. Lovely to see the use of gooseberries too. Every scrap - gone.
Tomfoolery at 34 got a massive seal of approval from us. Faux-chintzy tea shops are ten-a-penny these days, but they seem to have a bit of a unique edge. In all honesty, I can't quite put my finger on what that is yet. The menu isn't massive, but this helps them to concentrate on doing a few things really well. Cakes downstairs change on a daily basis, so there'll always be something new to try too. I urge you to go here; beautiful location and a feast for both eyes and belly.
Disclaimer: I was invited for some Tomfoolery but was under no obligation to say nice things about them, get excited by a plastic shark, find Wally or consider lifting their T-Rex cut out.