Tag Archives: quirky

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…)

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Comptoir Libanais, Broadwick Street

Le Comptoir Libanais, Soho
Fresh Mint Tea
Le Comptoir Libanais
Soho
Having enjoyed a pomegranate tea at Le Comptoir Libanais, Wigmore Street in September, I was pleased to discover they have a new branch at a more central location in Soho.

Broadwick Street is close to Carnaby Street, Regent Street and Oxford Street but tucked away off the beaten track so a good place to know to get away from the crowds.

This time I was looking forward to trying the fresh mint tea. Served in a traditional silver teapot and a pretty glass, it was perfect with my honey-sweetened pastries.

The same silver teapots, brightly coloured baskets and exotic (more…)

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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…)

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ICA Café, The Mall

Cafe ICA, Mall
English Breakfast Tea
ICA Cafe
Earl Grey was Prime Minister of the British Isles from 1830-34. Famous for having a type of tea named after him, he lived at number 13 Carlton House Terrace.

Next door, at number 12, the Institute of Contemporary Arts has a lovely café, that serves a good cup of tea all these years later.

The ICA was formed in the 1940’s by Surrealist Roland Penrose and anarchist Herbert Read as a meeting place for artists and intellectuals. It has been in the Mall since the sixties.
Today, there is an art house cinema, gallery space, and art bookshop. They stock an impressive range of art theory books with zippy titles (more…)

Posted in CENTRAL, MUSEUMS/GALLERIES, Trafalgar Square | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Choccywoccydoodah, Foubert’s Place

Choccywoccydoodah
Pot of Tea
Choccywoccydoodah
Newburgh St. is a pleasant cobbled side street running parallel to Carnaby street – a handy cut-through from Oxford Circus to Soho. I was doing just this, when I noticed a handsome shop on the corner of Foubert’s Place which seemed to be glowing red from inside.

“That’s very curious!” she thought. “But everything’s curious to-day. I think I may as well go in at once.” And in she went.

(Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
Lewis Carroll
)

Inside Choccywoccydoodah (more…)

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Comptoir Libanais, Wigmore Street

Tea in London, Comptoir Libanais
Pomegranate Tea
Comptoir Libanais
London has had a pretty good summer, with the Queen doing us proud, and the running thing.
We have even had rubbish weather – how else to make idle conversation? – rain to sunshine in a matter of minutes.
I experienced this when, walking along Wigmore street, I stepped into Comptoir Libanais to escape a shower and enjoy a cup of tea.
The interior was bright and joyous in contrast to the grey skies outside. A welcome bit of North African vibrancy. The shelves are packed to the ceiling with tins of harissa, huge jars of pickles, packets of tea, henna, olives, chillies, wine, rose-water and coffee.
You can buy colourful baskets and (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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Cabbie’s Shelter, Wellington Place, NW8

Tea the Cab Shelter, Wellington Place, St John's Wood
Tea
Cabman’s Shelter
Wellington Place
Tea at Test pt:1 (pt:2)

Lord’s Cricket Ground. England v South Africa 4th day; with play not starting for over an hour, I am in need of a cuppa.

I head to St John’s Wood High Street, figuring it will be the perfect place to locate a fragrant patisserie in whose window I can sit and watch the world go by with a nice pot of something.

Mmm…ordinarily, no doubt, but on the morning of a Test Match, everywhere is chockas (as Blowers would say).

But lo!..a lovely emerald green cabman’s shelter! I have always wanted to go in one of these, and this enterprising one is open on a Sunday (more…)

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Camera Cafe, Bloomsbury

Camera Cafe, Bloomsbury
Pot of Tea
Camera Cafe
Bloomsbury

Opposite the British Museum among the postcard shops and a few uninspiring looking cafes is Aperture Camera shop.
Glass cabinets display an amazing array of lenses and photographic paraphernalia.
Go to the back of the shop, and, as if walking through the looking-glass, it transmutes into a delightful little cafe!

Camera Cafe is small and cosy, with a laid-back, jazzy, bohemian feel. There are shelves of photography books, boards games and National Geographic Magazines.

(more…)

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Drink, Shop & Do, Caledonian Road

Drink Shop Do Kings Cross
Yorkshire Tea
Drink, Shop, Do

At the King Cross end of ‘the Cally’, you are invited to DRINK; from a choice of teas, wines and cocktails; SHOP for quirky retro treasures; and DO a range of crafty courses.

The cafe space is bright and airy – the former chill-out zone of a Victorian Turkish bathhouse – with a lovely skylight. The furnishings (all for sale) are a delightful and colourful hotch-potch of junk shop finds – 1950’s formica and grandma’s best china. The atmosphere is warm and informal. Girly but not prissy, art school-cool but not pretentious.

(more…)

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