Tag Archives: window seat

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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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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Tibits, Heddon Street

Tibits Heddon Street
Jasmine Tea Ball
Tibits
Heddon Street
In January at the same time as needing to ‘tighten our belts’, we may find our actual belts are quite tight after the Christmas feast.

For a reasonably priced, healthy lunch, dinner or to take tea, I really like Tibits, the Swiss-owned vegetarian restaurant on Heddon Street.

I enjoyed a delicious plate of fresh salads, bursting with colour and flavours; a welcome antidote to the holiday choc-fest.

Of the all the places to eat on Heddon St., Tibits is the most relaxed, with a take away as well as sit down service. The decor is clean and fresh, with blond wood and bold patterned (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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Fleet River Bakery, Holborn

Fleet River Bakery
Karma tea
Fleet River Bakery
The Fleet River is one of London’s lost rivers. Running underground from Hampstead via Kentish Town, Kings Cross and Clekenwell into the Thames at Blackfriars; it was once a major waterway with healing wells along it’s course.
With the industrial revolution, the once clear waters became polluted and the Fleet was gradually bricked over. There are some extraordinary photos and a brief history of the river here.

The Fleet River Bakery is in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, behind Holborn Station. A welcome independent cafe in this area of chains, they bake everything on site from scratch. Emphasis is on the (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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Fernandez & Wells, Somerset House

Fernandez and Wells, restaurant Somerset House
Kyoto Green Tea
Fernandez & Wells
Somerset House
Somerset House, originally a Tudor Palace, has been home to Elizabeth I, the Navy and the Royal Academy of Art. It has seen routs and masquerades, and has fallen into ruin – ‘…the haunt of spectres…magicians and murderers.’
The free tour gives an excellent overview of it’s extraordinary history.
It was fascinating to visit the lightwells – underground alleyways visible from the courtyard – and the ‘Dead Room’, with it’s Catholic gravestones.
Easy to see why Somerset House is used by film crews as an atmospheric London location.

The Courtyard is a fantastic space, unique in London. The East wing is home to an eatery, and very fine place for a cup of tea. (more…)

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Damson, St. Giles High Street

Damson Cafe, St. Giles High Street
Silver Tips
White Tea
Damson

Damson is perched on the corner of New Compton Street and St Giles High Street. The hand-painted sign and soft grey-green painted woodwork make a refreshing, almost defiant, contrast to the branding in the imposing Stickle Brick fortress of Central St Giles in whose shadow it sits.

I received a friendly welcome and chose a pot Silver Tips White Tea from a list that included Jasmine Pearls, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Chai and Rooibos. My pot of tea, which was brought to my table, was lovely, light and refreshing.

The pleasant interior is fresh and airy with high-shuttered windows. Recycled wood and stained-glass (more…)

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