Babington’s Tea Room

Isabel Cargill’s husband, Giuseppe da Pozzo, painted this portrait of her. / Image Courtesy of Babington’s

Isabel’s second trip to the altar had much happier results than the first. She married artist Giuseppe da Pozzo, who painted the portraits of Isabel and Anna Maria that still hang in the tearoom. He and Isabel had a daughter, Dorothy. While Isabel focused on family life, her sister, Annie renovated the tearoom, making it once again a fashionable place for people to gather. Dorothy eventually joined her aunt in managing the popular venue.

Isabel’s second trip to the altar had much happier results than the first. She married artist Giuseppe da Pozzo, who painted the portraits of Isabel and Anna Maria that still hang in the tearoom. He and Isabel had a daughter, Dorothy. While Isabel focused on family life, her sister, Annie renovated the tearoom, making it once again a fashionable place for people to gather. Dorothy eventually joined her aunt in managing the popular venue.

The threats of another world war hit the tearoom again in the 1930s. However, Babington’s found a way to persevere. While many non-Italian businesses left Rome with the rise of fascism, Babington’s was still a popular establishment for not only the high-ranking members of the regime but for the opposition as well. Government officials would have their tea and scones in the front of the tearoom, and the anti-fascists would meet in the back with a designated escape door through the kitchen.

During the conflict, Dorothy moved her mother and her own children to northern Italy, where Isabel died in 1944. Not knowing how Babington’s would fare during the war, Dorothy was astounded to find upon her return to Rome that the tearoom had been kept alive by three staff members.

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