When it comes to welcoming visitors with open arms, Manderley’s sinister and manipulative housekeeper might not be the first choice of character to name one’s cafe after. But Mrs Danvers, the anti-hero of Daphne Du Maurier’s brilliant novel Rebecca, has served Maria Panayiotis well.
She opened her tearoom in the beautiful Port of Liverpool building five years ago to pursue a perfectionist passion for tea, cake and all the most delicious things in the kitchen.
Her gorgeous vintage tearoom is decorated with comfortable armchairs and sofas, and on the walls there are photographs from the film of Rebecca. In pride of place there’s a painting of Mrs danvers, who watches over the room with a steely glare – her eyes follow troublesome diners around the tearoom.
With the air of a bygone age, customers sip their tea from dainty china cups to the nostalgic strains of 1930s dance band music.
There’s a good range of teas and coffees to choose from, all carefully selected and the coffee is blended in-house.
Breakfasts are a thing of beauty at Mrs Danvers’, whether it’s a Full English or fluffy pancakes, with crispy streaky bacon drizzled with maple syrup, sliced strawberries, banana and a cup of coffee or pot of tea. For breakfast on the go, try the teacakes, each the size of a side plate, which will easily keep you full until lunch.
Mrs Danvers does amazingly good home baking, too.
The quiche is so addictive it should really come with some sort of warning. The vintage cheddar and onion and broccoli and stilton sell out early, so go in and get a great hunk of it while you can.
The sandwiches too are a real treat, packed with excellent quality cheeses, meats and other tasty treats, they take what could be fairly ordinary and make it something really special.
For a sweet treat, don’t miss the old-fashioned Victoria sponge or deliciously gooey brownie, or choose from an extensive menu of scones – some even have edible glitter.
As you might expect, afternoon tea is really something very special. Mrs Danvers’ Deco afternoon teas are a real treat – and a great deal at £25 for a standard tea and £35 for the super luxe, with complimentary fizz.
It takes some planning – and should be booked at least 24 hours ahead. It’s perfectly suited to birthday parties, baby showers and catch ups with the very best of friends. They even do weddings, where they are served on Deco platters and offer a delivery service.
There’s an impressive attention to detail in everything Mrs Danvers serves up – from the tastiest side salads, with a drizzle of homemade Greek or French dressing – to the coffee, which is worth the trip on its own.
They’re open from Monday to Friday 8-2:30pm for breakfasts, lunches, cream teas, afternoon teas, and that amazing coffee.
Head inside the stunning Port of Liverpool Building, the prettiest of the three graces, and step back into a bygone age.
As the unnamed narrator in Rebecca says, “If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.”
In their little tearoom, Maria and her team have created that bottle. We just need pop the cork.
Mrs Danvers’ Cafe – 0151 227 2533
Port of Liverpool Building, Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1BY