Tag Archives: peaceful

W Café, Waterstones, Piccadilly

Waterstones Cafe Piccadilly
English Breakfast
W Cafe
Waterstones Piccadilly
After visiting the Royal Academy to see the (excellent) Daumier exhibition, I was naturally in need of tea.

The main restaurant at the RA is lovely, but a bit formal for a quick cuppa.

There is a smaller café, but it is squashed in a corridor by the lift. Also they serve tea in a paper cup – which is not what I was after.

So I stepped into Piccadilly to search for a nice cup of tea, preferably in a china cup.

A turn up for the books(hops) (sorry for weak pun), was the (more…)

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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…)

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Where to Buy Tea in London: Postcard Teas

Where to buy tea London, Postcard Teas
Postcard Teas
Postcards Teas travel extensively in Asia, working with small-scale producers to find the finest teas which you can buy from 9 Dering Street, a former 18th century grocers shop.
The lovely calm space has tea simply displayed and beautifully packaged in brushed metal canisters; each with a unique postcard and (more…)

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Les Deux Salons, William IV Street

Les Deux Salons, Brasserie
White Tea
Les Deux Salons

A couple of steps from Trafalgar Square you can enjoy a cup of tea in elegant surroundings evocative of 19th century Paris.

The interior of Brasserie Les Deux Salons is beautiful, with its dark wood panelling, long copper topped bar and black and white mosaic floor.

The bar area, where you can take tea, has a delightful mismatch of padded chairs and little sofas upholstered with carpet.

A choice of teas include Assam, Darjeeling and a green mulberry a ‘dark roasted hojicha from Mr Obayashi tea who makes tea for the emperor of Japan’. (more…)

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Tea at Three, Dr Johnson’s House

Dr Johnson's House, Gough Square
Tea in the Parlour
Dr Johnson’s House

Number 17 Gough Square is the charming 18th century townhouse where Samuel Johnson compiled his ‘Dictionary of the English Language’.
It is well worth a visit to this small museum.

The rooms are laid out as they would have been in Dr Johnson’s time.
Great care has been taken to restore the wood-panelling to the original muted paint colours.

The house is peaceful and atmospheric, the library is my favorite room with its soft yellow paintwork and light flooding in from high windows. You can also leaf over a facsimile of the famous dictionary. (more…)

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Foundling Museum Cafe, Brunswick Square

Twining's English Breakfast, Foundling Museum Cafe, Brunswick Square
Twining’s English Breakfast
Foundling Museum Cafe

The Foundling Museum tells the intriguing story of a sailor (Thomas Coram), a painter (William Hogarth), a musician (Handel) and their role in the foundation of Britain’s first home for abandoned children.

Eighteenth century London was a squalid and miserable place for much of the population. 75% of children died before the age of 5 years – 90% of those in the workhouse.
The Foundling Hospital was established in 1739 after a long campaign by philanthropist Coram.

George Frideric Handel conducted concerts to raise funds. Hogarth (more…)

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Patisserie Deux Amis, Bloomsbury

Patisserie Deux Amis, Judd Street, Kings Cross
Green Tea
Patisserie Deux Amis

This delightful French cafe on Judd Street is easy to miss, so I was pleased to come across it on a stroll through Bloomsbury on a summer Sunday afternoon.

Patisserie deux Amis is pretty in a French cafe style, with bistro chairs, white paper table cloths, plaster cherubs, etched glass mirrors and sage green paintwork.

I ordered tea and sat by an open window in the back room, overlooking a small garden. It was lovely and peaceful, with a gentle breeze, a Chopin nocturne on R3 in the background – it felt good to have (more…)

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Dining Hall, Keble College, Oxford

Green Tea, Keble College Dining Hall Oxford
Green Tea
Keble College Dining Hall
Oxford

This isn’t London either, but I must mention the wonderful Keble College, where we stayed on our short break to Oxford.

We weren’t sure what to expect from student rooms, at £65 a night, B & B in centre of Oxford. But it was fantastic, and one of the highlights of the trip.

Keble is very atmospheric and grand, with striking red and yellow brick-work and the chapel is home to Holman Hunt’s hauntingly beautiful Light of the World.

The rooms (we paid a bit extra to overlook the quad) are peaceful, comfortable and clean, with en-suite bathrooms (more…)

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First Class Lounge, Paddington Station

Paddington First Class Lounge
Green Tea
Paddington
First Class Lounge

While travelling to Oxford for a short break, I treated myself to a first class ticket with First Great Western railways. For a reasonable £30, the return journey included use of the First Class Lounge at Paddington Station.

Brunel’s majestic and beautiful station was opened in 1854 to serve the Great Western Railway and has been in use ever since.
If you have time before boarding your train, it is well worth exploring – at least walk to the end of the station to take in the incredible structure.

Paddington First Class Lounge is on platform one and is excellent (mind you, I usually use the one at Euston).
There are two areas, each with a different feel. (more…)

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