This Eng­land’s Finest Tea Rooms

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Win­ter

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 .

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