Babington’s Tea Room

(Below, left to right) Cousins Rory Bruce and Chiara Bedini are co-owners and managers of the tearoom their great-grandmother Isabel Cargill founded in 1894. Image Courtesy of Babington’s

Dorothy soon took to managing the tearoom again and expanded the menu to include breakfast and lunch offerings. Her children took part in creating new items, and her son, Valerio, designed the Babington’s cat logo. (There had always been a resident cat by the name of Mascherino in the tearoom.) Still family-run, Babington’s is now managed by Isabel’s great-grandchildren, Chiara and Rory.

The main room in Babington’s is comfortable elegance. Paneled wainscoting of the cream-colored walls frames black-and-white pictures of Rome. The room is anchored by a wood floor laid out in a herringbone pattern. Dark wooden tables are set with chocolate-colored place mats with burgundy napkins peeking out of turquoise teacups. Fresh flowers and crystal glasses also feature in the tablescape.

With light green walls and striped and flowered cushions on the chairs and benches, the back rooms of Babington’s are more whimsical. It’s in this area where the guest book lies with its pages that read like headlines from Variety, featuring notes and autographs from stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Tony Curtis. Not surprisingly, it is still a special attraction for royalty and celebrities, as the tearoom will not preannounce any of their visits to the press.  

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