As a followup to the recent post about the London Eye offering afternoon tea, this is a guide to more quirky places to sip on this British delicacy, and most aren’t in London.
Afternoon tea is supposed to be a relaxing time and not really all about posh hotels & restaurants serving highly expensive cucumber & salmon sandwiches, such as the Dorchester, Harrods or Fortnum and Mason. So where do you go if you want to get back to the roots of this great British tradition?
1) Time for Tea in London offers possibly the most relaxing experience of them all, with a combination of afternoon tea or actually tea anytime with swing music swaying around the tearoom. Travel back to the hay day of afternoon tea in the 1940s for some real chillout moments, especially good in London. You really can’t miss the shop as it’s bright green on Shoreditch High Street.
2) Leaf Tea Bar in Liverpool is another music plus afternoon tea venue, but for a whole different taste. This cool Liverpool based tea room offers a vast array of tea and other accompaniments, but in the evenings this is combined with DJs and live bands. Situated right in the heart of Liverpool, this is possibly the best example of Cool Britannia around today.
3) Eteaket in Edinburgh is another tea room that is trying to change the image of tea from something that you parents drink, to a cool hip and trendy drink. Their tea boutique offers over 40 loose teas along with light snacks and of course classic cream teas…remember, the diet starts tomorrow.
4) Tchai-Ovna in Glasgow is very much what I think the students from nearby Glasgow University would call a Grunge Tearoom. Built in a slightly haphazard way, the tearoom offers over 80 kinds of tea and shishas along with vegetarian food. To prove its student type credentials, they even have a MySpace page and regular alternative music events.
5) Tea Cosy in Brighton is decked out as if the royal wedding is happening every blooming day with an extremely royalist view on the world of afternoon tea. To prove this, they offer a William and Harry Tea. The shop is also a godsend for anyone with nut allergies and gluten or dairy free diet as all groups are catered for. Naturally they also offer cream teas, cakes, scones, high teas and finger sandwiches.