Tea Rooms have been popular in the uk for hundreds of years, with Thomas Twinning opening the first one on the Strand, in 1706. In the 18th century they provided a meeting place for well to do ladies (and men) as tea was expensive and seen as a luxury. In many places, London especially, they remained a little uptight and stuffy for many years and were places to take you great Aunt Maude for ‘high tea’ as they call it in Scotland. I love getting dressed up and drinking tea from a silver teapot on a special occasion, but equally love hanging out with my friends at our local tea room for a casual catch up on a Saturday afternoon.
The tea Rooms run by the new generation of cake lovers are a whole new experience. They are no longer somewhere to just drink tea and eat cake, they are at the heart of the community and blend old fashioned values with modern technology. You can book online, become a friend of Facebook, follow their up and coming events on Twitter and then enjoy a face to face conversation over afternoon tea, served in vintage china, on an embroidered table cloth.
The Tea Rooms in Stoke Newington is one of these local gems and gets so packed at weekends, if there are a few of you planning to meet, it’s best to book. A lovely big space with an outside terrace in the summer, The Tea Rooms offer craft and exercise classes, children’s workshops and a venue for community events and special occasions, as well as tea and delicious home made cakes.
They also sell their own produce, hampers and vintage crockery and baking equipment and are holding a bar boot sale on Thursday to celebrate their new licence.
If you are a tea room lover, you should also check out Jane Brocket’s, capital cake reviews, on one of my favourite blogs.
Oh I just love Afternoon Tea! I have three grown up daughters and we always head to Claridges for Tea when we have something to celebrate – it is just so genteel!!! Petersham Nurseries is also a lovely place for great coffee and cake and such a fabulous venue – especially at this time of year – twinkly lights, the wonderful perfume of pine and paper whites.