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[London] Tea and tearooms...

I'm looking for somewhere cute / unusual / alternative to have a decent cup of tea and maybe a cake or something. Anywhere in London will do. (Have Oyster, will travel.)

I already know and love: Postcard Teas, Tea Palace, Chaiwalla, Yumchaa, Orange Pekoe, TeaSmith, High Tea of Highgate, Bea's Of Bloomsbury.

Not looking for: afternoon tea in hotels.

Any ideas, Chow-people?

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  1. the orangery in kensington gardens

    1. Royal Teas in Greenwich do a lovely coconut sponge and pot of tea - they also do some hot food, but I have to admit I'm a cake girl :)

      Also primrose bakery do a nice pot of tea and have a wide range of home made biscuits and cakes as well as their gorgeous cupcakes! They have two branches - one in Camden/Primrose Hill and a newly opened branch in Camden.

      Finally my favourite spot on a Sunday is Cake Hole (inside Vintage Heaven) on Columbia Road - they have really nice tea and cakes/cupcakes (which are fantastic!) and are really cheap as well! Its such a nice little cafe - one of my favourite places in London - its lovely at 9am on a Sunday sitting have a breakfast cupcake and cuppa, reading the latest Homes and Garden (its full of home magazines and nick naks)

      http://www.royalteascafe.co.uk/
      http://www.primrosebakery.org.uk/PAGE...
      http://columbiaroad.info/shops_4.html

      2 Replies
      1. re: iheartcupcakes

        Royal Teas looks lovely - just the sort of place I'm looking for.

        I'm ashamed to admit that I've never had a Primrose Bakery cupcake, despite having heard excellent things about them. I'll definitely pop in soon. Thanks for the recs :)

        1. re: DollyDagger

          I have. They're cupcakes. They're pretty. They taste like good cupcakes. But do you want a cupcake in London?

      2. Sotheby's has a nice tea... strange place for a small restaurant, but they have one. I seem to remember that the price was not too exorbitant at all. It's looked a bit 'stuffy' as I've passed it many times walking out, but I'm not sure if it really is or requires a posh getup.

        1. Remedy Green Tea in Bayswater/Westbourne Grove has a pleasant cafe setting with cakes etc. and serves a small selection of teas from China if that's what you're looking for. They make the first infusion for you at the table (a set up with a hot water flask, teapot, decanter etc.), and you get to do the rest of the infusions so that gives you more control over the brewing process.

          1. Maison Bertaux, Greek St in Soho has an adorable, unreconstructed retro tea room ...order your drinks and cakes at the counter then wind your way upstairs. There's also seating outside under a stripey awning, on the ground floor and a new tea room next door. It's historic (Charles de Gaulle drank thimbles of coffee here while organising the French resistance during WWII) and the cakes (esp the macaroons) are proper old skool patisserie baked on the premises. It is my favourite café in London.

            1. I like Tea Palace on Westbourne Grove.
              Casual, friendly and reasonably priced. I believe afternoon tea is £18, and champagne tea is £21. http://www.teapalace.co.uk/

              1 Reply
              1. re: dexters

                Tea Palace on Westbourne Grove is temporarily closed and relocating to somewhere in the city - just to warn you in case you try to head there.

                www.gourmet-chick.com

              2. Thanks for all your suggestions. I'm getting a nice little 'To Do' list together.

                Are there any more tea-related discoveries I should know about?

                1 Reply
                1. re: DollyDagger

                  I know Postcard Teas is already on your list, but just in case the lurkers reading along are not aware, they often have several teas there that are not on the menu, usually because they only have small amounts (and availability changes from time to time). Thus, it's always worthwhile to ask if they have anything else.

                  And in the case of pu-erhs,, they don't list the full range (on the menu it's just listed a a selection of pu-erhs or something to that effect). That's actually a part of the menu that is worth digging deeply into. Try the Golden Damo pu-erh (both raw and cooked versions available) for example - the cooked version has remarkable depth and balance, more remarkable that it's only a 3 year old.

                2. Discovered this place recently - http://www.wearetea.com/

                  It's near St Pauls so ideal for any Clerkenwell / City chowhounds. I haven't had a chance to pop in yet but the tea menu on their website looks pretty good! Will report back ASAP.

                  1. London Review of Books Cafe. (Close to Holborn.) GREAT cheesecake.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kristainlondon

                      LRB cafe has really good coffee too - if you can get a seat - its soo little! It took me several tries to find it emptyish!

                    2. Tea Pod in Shad Thames might be worth a visit as they have a nice selection of teas (black, green, oolong and white). It is laid back sort of place that plays Johnny Cash and has a stack of newspapers. I loved the colourful japanese teapots and the cakes and scones are well priced and decent. Very modern, no crochet in sight.

                      http://www.teapod.org/