Teatime with a Theme

Text by Jane Pettigrew • Photograph by Jane Hope

Five favourite UK tearooms

As afternoon tea has become more and more popular all over Britain, hotel lounges and restaurants regularly introduce creative and colourful themes to their tea menus. These sometimes feature seasonal occasions so that savouries and sweet treats are designed to celebrate such festive events as Mother’s Day, Easter, or Hallowe’en; or they coincide with famous films like Harry Potter or Sherlock Holmes; or perhaps they highlight West End productions so that teatime becomes a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or A Midsummer Night’s Dream indulgence. But it is much more of a challenge to find tearooms around the UK that have their own truly unique identity and where the theme is carried though all aspects of the experience—the tearoom name, décor, table settings, background music, witty titles for items on the menu and style of service. The following five tearooms prove that with a clever idea real passion thorough research and persistent hard work it is possible to create a tearoom that offers such a theatrical, witty, fun experience that visitors stop in their tracks as they walk through the door and gasp with amazement and joy.