Ok… ok… Look, I just have to say this. I just have to say it — I hope you understand. Ok? I just… I have to.
If you are going to open a tea room… If you’re going to open a tea room and make it as English as you can, and serve scones and clotted cream, and decorate it with as many things lacy and delicate and fine-china and polished-silver as you know how, then please, please, please learn how to make and serve tea.
That nifty letter-rack thing is actually a toast rack. And while it is a handy place to store and display all those little sachets of herbal teas, a tea room should never actually be a self-serve sort of place. And, as such, you should never bring out a beautiful teapot full of really-quite-hot-but-not-boiling water (plain water!) so that your customers have to then go ahead and make their own tea in their cups. That’s just not how it is done. A teapot… well, the clue is in the name: it should contain the tea.
And the cream should be brought to the table alongside the tea — no one should have to jump up from the table and run to catch you to ask if they could have some. And though I appreciate you asking, no, Splenda won’t do. Even though it’s good enough for a mug of tea at home, tea from a tea room deserves sugar. And, I have to say, the cinnomen scones were delicious but, just while I’m pointing things out, scones and clotted cream do deserve jam as well.
Still, the ambiance couldn’t be beat — it was sweet and delicate and very very earnest. The girls and my mum and I really had a lovely time. The lemonade for E1 served in her own pink teapot was a spot of brilliance — and she felt so grown up and talked about it for the rest of the day. We walked out feeling much more relaxed and refreshed than when we walked in and that, at the end of the day, is what a tea room is for.
So, ok, you got some of the fundamentals wrong… ok, you got the fundamental of a tea room wrong. But we did enjoy ourselves and… well, it’s easy to fix — you just need to get that water at a good hard boil and put the tea into the pot before you pour the water in. And don’t forget that cream. And jam.
At least you did better than the last tea room my mother tried. They, um, forgot to boil the water. At all. Oops!