“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?’.
Minutes from the urban crush of Oxford Circus, I decide to test the theory in the Urban Tea Rooms on Kingley St.. Situated on a pedestrianised street, it is a relative oasis of calm.
There are tables outside under an awning, and more seating inside. I perch on a stool at the rear – mainly due to its proximity to a fan. So far so good. The interior is functional and modern; tiled walls, reclaimed wood, wooden flooring. The music is pretty cool and laid back jazzy, so my temperature is already returning to normal.
There are a good range of teas including Cornish Earl Grey, Green/White tea, Jasmine Blossom, Chamomile, Manuka, Red bush and Darjeeling. All supplied by London’s very own Rare Tea Company
I chose Cornish Peppermint for its cooling properties. Served in a little purple tea-pot, it was made with loose leaf tea in one of those paper infusers, so you don’t need a strainer. It was wonderfully refreshing. Perfect for the warm weather.
The Urban Tea Rooms also serve some tasty looking food, details on the website.
And in answer to the conundrum – in this instance, yes, a cup of tea most definitely does cool you down – in a most agreeable way.
|Price of a Cuppa :||Most teas £2.60, second flush Darjeeling and jasmine blossom £3|
|Leaf or Bag :||Loose leaf in paper infuser|
|Crockery :||Little teapot and white china cup|
|Music :||jazzy, bluesy, laid back|
|Service :||A bit distracted, but friendly enough|
|Food :||All day menu – delicious sounding grub with emphasis on British produce|
|Kitty says:||Away from the traffic. Could do with more chairs, as stool not v.comfy – website says there is more space downstairs – maybe worth checking out|
|Address:||19 Kingly St