This Eng­land’s Finest Tea Rooms

This England - - Post Box - If you have a favourite tea room that you would like to nom­i­nate for our award, then send de­tails to: This Eng­land’s Finest Tea Rooms, DC Thom­son, 185 Fleet Street, Lon­don, EC4A 2HS, or email: ed­i­tor@thisen­g­land.co.uk

Here at “This Eng­land” we love to cel­e­brate those who go above and be­yond and know that you, our per­cep­tive read­ers, do too. So this au­tumn our “Finest Tea Room” awards go out not only to those es­tab­lish­ments that have their ser­vice and scones down to a T, but where there’s also a touch of un­ex­pected magic to be found, be it in­te­ri­ors, tea-ware or lo­ca­tion.

“A tea shop with a dif­fer­ence” is how one reader has com­mended the Good Old Days Tea Room, 8 Sta­tion Road, Irth­ling­bor­ough, Northamp­ton­shire and what an apt description! For along with the usual fare (“ex­cel­lent”) and cream teas sam­pled (“gen­er­ous”), the tea room is filled with wartime mem­o­ra­bilia, while the staff are dressed as Land Girls!

Revel in the wel­come shaped by the wartime at­mos­phere and tuck into fine cakes along with a glo­ri­ous slice of nos­tal­gia. With part of the tea room func­tion­ing as a quirky an­tiques shop, you might just find a unique gift to take home, too. Thank you to Mr Gor­don Wit­ting­ton from Bed­ford for your nom­i­na­tion.

For our next win­ner, an­other reader, Mrs Phyl­lis Wheeler, takes us to the North York­shire dales with her rec­om­men­da­tion for the Old School Tea Room, Heb­den, which fur­thers the county’s fame for the best in cake and tea.

“Too beau­ti­ful with divine food and the most won­der­ful ser­vice”, the tea room also ben­e­fits from its lovely set­ting in this idyl­lic vil­lage near Grass­ing­ton boast­ing ver­dant views of the dales. The home-made dishes and tasty cakes are made us­ing lo­cally sourced in­gre­di­ents and the af­ter­noon tea is served on vin­tage china. It’s an all-fam­ily team with Mag­gie and her daugh­ter Emma, plus Emma’s hus­band Mar­tyn, run­ning the show. In short, “a de­light­ful English treat”. Well done!

And fi­nally we travel from Heb­den to Hey­don (don’t get con­fused, now!), be­stow­ing our fi­nal award on Hey­don Vil­lage Tea Shop, Nor­folk af­ter re­ceiv­ing a let­ter of rec­om­men­da­tion from Janet Roy­all, who has been a vis­i­tor of the tea room since it opened in 2011.

“Cof­fee is sub­lime as are the very de­li­cious scones and cakes” while Hey­don it­self is a very pretty vil­lage with green and church. So much so it has been used as a lo­ca­tion for films and TV dra­mas. Plus, there’s the added bonus of “a brac­ing walk on Hey­don Hall Es­tate – visi­tors are al­lowed to do this free of charge” be­fore tuck­ing into af­ter­noon tea – “noth­ing bet­ter”, Janet tells us. Win­ner of Nor­folk’s Best Tea Rooms 2017, Hey­don Vil­lage Tea Shop is no stranger to ac­co­lades, but now [pro­pri­etors] Cindy and Karl can add a “This Eng­land’s Finest Tea Rooms” cer­tifi­cate to their walls and be­come a na­tional tea room trea­sure. We’re sure they’ll be de­lighted.

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