This England’s Finest Tea Rooms
is the season when you can’t beat settling down by an open fire with a cup of tea and this is something that you can certainly look forward to at our first award winner in this issue. Teapots, 31 High Street, Olney, Buckinghamshire has been nominated by local residents Barrie and Barbara Trinder. They tell us: “We are fortunate enough to live just a five-minute walk away from this quaint, oldfashioned tea room so we are able to visit often. The decor oozes nostalgia from shelves displaying vintage tea cups, and, of course, teapots to an array of antique cameras, historic photographs of Olney....while a real coal fire is a welcome sight for visitors on frosty days in winter.”
Open throughout the week, the menu has a superb selection of savouries, tempting cakes and the traditional afternoon tea. Among the delicacies highlighted by Barrie and Barbara are the pancakes, with a variety of fillings, which is very fitting as the annual Olney Pancake Race passes the tea room window on Shrove Tuesday. In addition, individual customers’ needs, including gluten free, are always catered for.
With all this on offer, and such a warm welcome, we take great pleasure in awarding Teapots one of our certificates.
Our second winner is a “first” on our tea-room trail, as it takes us to Northern Ireland. Nannabelle’s Vintage Tea Room, 24b Railway Street, Antrim was discovered by Patricia Owen from Perth, Western Australia, when she was on a recent visit to attend a family wedding. Describing it as “a little gem of a tea room,” Patricia praises “The wonderfully friendly staff and the sumptuous cakes, scones and tray bakes.” She admits that her favourite was the wheaten bread, served with butter, cheese and relish and says that her visit there was “a delightful experience.”
Patricia loved the way the tea was poured from silver teapots into pretty china cups and the fact that the staff uniform “made you feel as if you had stepped back in time”. But, looking to the future, she tells us: “This is a definite ‘to do’ next time I visit Northern Ireland.”
Travelling much further afield, Jim Willis, who lives in Barrie, Ontario, contacted us to nominate two Canadian establishments, which he considers worthy recipients of our award. The first is James Bay Tea Room, 332 Menzies Street, Victoria, British Columbia and the second, Campbell’s British Foods, 274 Burton Avenue, Barrie, Ontario, is a wonderful combination of a very British cafe, offering a fine and patriotic menu, together with a shop which is stocked with all sorts of delicious food, drink and condiments that offer you a real taste of home.
And home is somewhere we return to with our final award for 2017. Maddalena’s, 6 Bank Buildings, 159 High Street, Cranleigh, Surrey is, according to Marion May from Guildford, a “superb tea room”. She praises its “Scrumptious light lunches and afternoon teas, which can be enjoyed while surrounded by pretty pink and grey decor.” For those who find the generous portions, too much, there is “a doggy bag set on a golden tray” to take any left-over treats back home to enjoy. Marion continues, “Maddalena and her friendly and helpful staff make the occasion something special. A perfect place for a memorable event.”
Congratulations to all these tea rooms, your certificates are on their way. We will be serving up more winners throughout 2018. In the meantime if you would like to recommend your favourite, send details to: This England’s Favourite Tea Rooms, The Lypiatts, Lansdown Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 2JA, email: editor@ thisengland.co.uk .