If you happened to read last week’s Tearoom of the Week post, you may recall that it was a tearoom within an antique shop. I don’t want you to think I’m resting on my laurels and just mooching about in antique shops when I should be doing serious tearoom research, but I’ve plumped for another antique shop-tearoom combo this week.
I realise that choosing such a similar type of tearoom again suggests I may be distinctly lacking in imagination, but the trouble is it was an excellent tearoom and my favourite tearoom experience of last week. (Incidentally, I really don’t know why the marriage of tearoom and antique shop should be such a perfect match, but it does seem to have something going for it.)
Here’s a shot of the front door and entrance area of the shop:
This antique shop and tearoom is only a few miles from where I live, and I’ve driven past it many times, observing the signs advertising tea and cakes, but never darkening its doors….until 2 days ago. As for why it’s taken me such an appallingly long time to visit, I really don’t know, it’s a puzzle. I think I had an idea that it might not be up to much, that the signs trying to lure me in were only empty promises. Why I should think this, goodness only knows, but I’m afraid I can’t offer any other explanation for my behaviour.
I was favourably impressed on entering the shop, not only because it had a very nice feel to it, but because such a warm welcome was extended to me and my glamorous assistant. I hadn’t been too sure if we’d actually get a cup of tea because the sign on the door said that the tearoom was only open until 3 pm and by this time it was about 2.45 pm. However, when I questioned the lady in the shop about this she exlaimed very merrily that the tearoom was certainly still open and they would be delighted to serve us with some refreshments.
In order to reach the tearoom we had to pass through another room that contained a grand piano, among many other interesting items:
There were several tempting looking cakes and traybakes on display, but I thought the plate full of dark brown cake modelling a bit of walnut on each slice looked particularly appealing. I wasn’t sure what it was, although whatever it was I was sure I would like it since I’m quite partial to a walnut. When I asked the waitress ‘What’s that cake with the walnut on it?’ and she replied, ‘Walnut cake’ I was completely convinced it was the cake for me:
It was extremely good – moist, flavoursome, sweet, cakey and absolutely stuffed with crushed up walnuts:
I washed it down with 2 cups of excellent decaf coffee, which came in a cafetiere. If an eatery in Scotland doesn’t have the sort of Italian-style coffee making apparatus popularised by places such as Starbucks and Costa, when you ask for a decaf coffee you do sometimes get granulated instant coffee from a jar. I have nothing against coffee out of a jar but I was very pleased that the decaf coffee in this tearoom was of a higher quality and exceptionally smooth in taste, just the way I like it. I don’t know what type of coffee it was but it reminded me of Taylor’s Lazy Sunday.
One unusual feature of this tearoom is that every table has its own unique hand bell, that can be rung if you want to alert a member of waiting staff, or perhaps just make a bit of a racket (I did ask the lady in the shop about the bells and she said people often picked them up out of curiosity and when she went to help them they explained that they hadn’t meant to ring them). The one on our table reminded me of a ship’s bell:
The bell on the table next to ours had a small pheasant perched on top of it:
But perhaps my favourite one was the little windmill:
After a most relaxing and enjoyable afternoon refreshment, we had a look round the antique shop, and were encouraged to pop across the courtyard outside to another part of the shop that was entered through a separate door. Inside, I was surprised to find one whole room laid out like a bedroom (but without a bed):
I didn’t purchase anything in the shop, although I was very tempted by a desk (in the first photo next to the front door). If I can gather up the cash for it I might just go back and see if it’s still there later on in the year, but I’m quite sure I’ll be back for the tearoom alone very soon.