A NEW patisserie officially opened its doors on Saturday by serving tea and cake to the Lord Mayor of Chester, Councillor Eleanor Johnson.

Patisserie Valerie on Bridge Street is the latest in a string of up-market lunch spots hoping to tempt weary shoppers through their doors.

And, according to deputy manager, Emma Birrell, the plush, cavernous eaterie has had a “really great” first week,

She said: “The window display is the main thing that draws people in.

“It’s been a really great start. We doubled our estimated takings for the first week.”

Cllr Johnson and her husband, Derek, enjoyed a cup of tea after admiring the gateaux and cake that the Birmingham-based chain is famous for.

Although aware of the stiff competition from nearby coffee shops, including Olio&Farina, Cafe Rouge and Carluccios, Emma is convinced Patisserie Valerie has what it takes to survive.

She said: “We are ‘the cake people’ whereas the others serve mainly savoury food.