Tag Archives: loose leaf

To a Tea, Farringdon Street

To a Tea, Farringdon Road
Monkey-picked Oolong
To a Tea
Standing at busy Ludgate Circus, with St Paul’s Cathedral behind you, it would be hard to imagine that you are just steps away from a pot of Monkey-picked Oolong plus a choice of some thirty-odd types of tea.

However behind a somewhat faceless office block facade, a few steps to your right is To A Tea.

Pushing open the doors, one expects to step into the lobby of some faceless company.

It is a pleasant surprise therefore to find this rather nice tea room, with an excellent choice of brews.

The interior is fresh and clean, (more…)

Posted in City, In London | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Restaurant St Paul’s Cathedral

Restaurant St Pauls cathedral
Darjeeling
St Pauls Cathedral
Wandering through the City after seeing the Cheapside Hoard at the Museum of London, I thought I saw an emerald on the pavement. It was just a bit of broken glass, but such is the effect of the treasures on show.

I recommend the exhibition to anyone interested in London – layers of history are peeled away to a magical place just beneath our feet. Magnifying glasses are provided, and I particularly enjoyed studying the amazing detail in the accompanying paintings.

I later came to St Paul’s Cathedral and decided to stop for tea.
The crypt has a self-service cafe, where (more…)

Posted in CENTRAL, LONDON, St Paul's | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Kusmi Tea, Marylebone High Street

White Tea Kusmi Tea Marylebone High Street
White Tea
Kusmi Tea
Marylebone High Street
Tea makes a wonderful gift, and Kusmi Teas exotic and colourful packaging means you don’t even need wrapping paper.

With its fashionable Gallic style and visual flair, I had assumed that Kusmi was originally a Parisian company.

But as I discovered on their website, Kusmi was started 140 years ago by a P.M. Kousmichoff, the son of a Russian peasant. There is a London connection as his son came here in 1907 to hone his tea blending skills.

After a long history involving escaping from the Reds and surviving being run by arty-types, Kusmi now have a branch on Marylebone High Street. (more…)

Posted in In London, Marylebone | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Afternoon Tea, Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane

Afternoon Tea Mayfair
Afternoon Tea
Grosvenor House Hotel
Park Lane
I confess I am not a huge cake-lover; my idea of a tea-time snack is a nice bit of Marmite on toast – or that is what I tell myself.

I do enjoy a tea party however, and myself and good friend Ms P traditionally have a posh tea in London as a birthday treat.

So when I was invited* by the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane to sample their afternoon tea I gladly accepted.

On arrival at the Park Rooms, we were warmly greeted and shown to a table by a picture window, overlooking Park Lane (especially enjoyable towards evening when people were getting out of limos (more…)

Posted in CENTRAL, LONDON, Mayfair | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

HR Higgins, Duke Street, Mayfair

HR Higgins Tea Mayfair London
Chamomile Tea
HR Higgins
Mayfair
Someone should make a film about HR Higgins Coffee Man esq.. The tale of how he started his coffee roasting enterprise in wartime London is heroic stuff.

Evading incendiary bombs, showing cunning in getting a licence to trade; featuring characters with one leg, and help along the way from Misses Fox and Jenkins of South Moulton Street – whose cake kitchen saved the day – makes for a fascinating and jaunty read.

I imagine Trevor Howard in the leading role…but I’m getting carried away. (more…)

Posted in In London, LONDON, Mayfair, WHERE TO BUY TEA | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gail’s Bakery, Wardour Street

Gails Tea in London
Jasmine Silver Needle
Gails Bakery
With the weekend upon us, a quick mention for Gail’s Bakery, Soho in appreciation of them opening till 10pm in the evening and 7pm on Sunday.

Most cafés close at 6pm, so this is a great if you are in the West End in the evening and, instead of a crowded pub, what you really fancy is a nice cup of tea.

Gail’s has a smart, clean urban interior. White-washed brick work, herringbone parquet floor, white lacquer counter-top contrast with pillar-box red stools and teapots. Set on a corner, there is seating around a large table at the rear and adjacent to the high windows.

There is a really good range of (more…)

Posted in CENTRAL, LONDON, Soho | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Urban Tea Rooms, Kingley Street

Urban Tea Rooms Kingley Street London
Cornish Peppermint Tea
Urban Tea Rooms
Kingley Street

“Hot town summer in the city back if my neck feeling dirty and gritty…” Lovin’ Spoonful

Summertime in central London. It’s full of folk, it’s noisy, it’s sweaty, it’s chaotic and you can’t breath…but it is a great time of year for walking.
The sunshine, clear light and blue sky enhances the simple pleasure of looking up at buildings – now in vivid colour instead of the more usual monochrome.
Summer is also the perfect time for tea. For us Brits it is also when we traditionally ponder the eternal conundrum ‘does tea cool you down as much as a cold drink?’. (more…)

Posted in CENTRAL, Soho, West Soho | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tate Britain Café, Millbank

Tate Britain cafe London
Darjeeling
Tate Britain Café
The café at Tate Britain is having a refit. Meanwhile, there are two temporary tea places, each an improvement on the former facilities.

I entered the gallery from Atterbury Street, which is interesting as you can still see damage to the side of the Tate’s wall from WW2 bombing raids.

I was excited to find David Tremlett’s Drawing for Free Thinking on the staircase. I had first seen his work in July while enjoying green tea at Fernandez and Wells splendid rooms in Somerset House.

The Manton Café is a light-filled space at the rear of the Duveen Gallery. Large windows, (more…)

Posted in LONDON, Pimlico | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where to Buy Tea in London: Whittard of Chelsea

Whittard of Chelsea
Whittard of Chelsea
Walter Whittard started selling tea from his Fleet Street shop in 1886. It became Whittard of Chelsea in the 1940’s when the company relocated after losing premises in the Blitz.

There are branches of Whittard dotted around the West End which I confess, I rarely visit, assuming they mainly sold souvenir tea.

Also, I once looked at a teapot on their website, and it followed me around for days – a bit annoying.

The Piazza at Covent Garden is another place I tend not to venture, so avoiding the fire-eaters and (more…)

Posted in Covent Garden, In London, LONDON, Online | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

National Dining Rooms, Trafalgar Square

National Gallery cafe, tea
Ceylon Orange Pekoe
National Dining Rooms
National Gallery
The National Gallery started modestly in 1824 when 38 paintings – the collection of banker John Julius Angerstein – were bought for the nation for £57,000.

Originally housed at Mr Angerstein’s home at 100 Pall Mall, it was considered an embarrassment when compared with other national collections. Particularly the Louvre in Paris.

Not wanting the French to get one over on us, Trafalgar Square was chosen as the site of a new building which opened in 1838*.

The National Gallery now has over 2300 paintings. It is without doubt one of the finest galleries on the planet, containing some of the highlights of western art (more…)

Posted in LONDON, MUSEUMS/GALLERIES, Trafalgar Square | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Notes Music & Coffee, St Martin’s Lane

Green Oolong, Notes Trafalgar Square
Green Oolong
Notes Music & Coffee
St Martin’s Lane
Notes Music & Coffee is one of those great places that you walk in and wonder why you have never been here before.

Except this case, I know why – I have tried to visit for tea a few times, but it’s always full.

This time I was with a friend, and even though it was busy, we managed to find seats at the back on long shared oak tables.

The space is pleasant with high ceilings and large arched mirrors, which make it feel larger than it is.

The tea is excellent. I had a green oolong, but was also impressed with (more…)

Posted in CENTRAL, LONDON, Trafalgar Square | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where to Buy Tea in London: Beijing Tong Ren Tang

Tong ren tang, Chinatown London
Flowering Tea
Beijing Tong Ren Tang
Walking along Shaftesbury Avenue, pondering where to get some nice tea, it suddenly occurred to me that I was near Chinatown – surely a good place to hunt down supplies.

At number 124 is Beijing Tong Ren Tang. I have gazed at the orange and gold facade many times from the excellent watch-the-world-go-by-window of the cafe of Curzon cinema on the opposite side of the street.

It never really occurred to me to think what they sold, (more…)

Posted in In London, WHERE TO BUY TEA | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Tinderbox Cafe, Angel Islington

Tinderbox Cafe The Angel
Green Sencha
Tinderbox
The Tinderbox cafe balcony floats above the entrance to the N1 shopping centre at Angel, Islington.

It’s easy to miss, but the entrance is just past the floating ‘halo’, that looks like a crown of thorns. Go up the stairs at the back of the take-away coffee booth.

The first floor opens into a long, boxy space with lots of different (more…)

Posted in Islington | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Where to Buy Tea in London: The Tea House

Tea Pots The Tea House, Covent Garden
Cast Iron Tea Pots
The Tea House
Covent Garden
The exterior of The Tea House Covent Garden is reminiscence of a Japanese screen.
Black lacquer window frames form a grid on four levels – each square containing a display of teapots, cups and tea. Vermilion lettering enhances the oriental feel.

The shop has been on the same spot in Neal Street since 1982. It is good to see an independent still trading amongst the larger stores.

What I like best about The Tea House is their range of unusual (more…)

Posted in Covent Garden, In London, WHERE TO BUY TEA | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment