Friday, October 12, 2012

The Art of the Tea Room

Cragg Sisiters, Aldburgh - Photograph by Tim Irving
Cragg Sisters tea room, Aldburgh Suffolk. Highly recommended for it's individual style and the quality of food, drink and service. Now it's not difficult to make a pot of tea and toast a crumpet, the Cragg Sisters have been doing it well since 1949, I can even do it myself. So why are there so few good tea rooms and cafe's?

Yesterday I had tea in a new tea room that opened close to my home in Clare, Suffolk, here's a mental list I made of the experience:

The place is empty
Too many tables and chairs, it feels cramped
Radio playing too loud
Waiter asks for order as soon as I sit down and before I look at the menu
Served in silence (except for the sound of the radio) and without a smile
Industrial white cups and saucers (made in China)
Small steel tea pot that pours tea on the table, in saucer and finally in the cup
Weak, cheap tea
Steel milk jug
Homemade raspberry sponge cake that is not homemade
Portion of cake too large
Cake is dry, filling tastes synthetic
It's cold in this tea room
My chair is uncomfortable
The bill: One pot of tea and one slice of cake £4.50 ($7.20)

In short my experience in Clare was negative and  miserable. If someone can mess up serving tea and cake should that person be doing something else? A good tea room is a wonderful place where the atmosphere is warm and you leave with a smile on your face. As I've said it's not difficult.


  1. Ugh! I hate feeling ripped off! A lot could have been overlooked if at least the tea had been a strong, quality blend. You could have consumed that in bliss and zoned out for the rest.

  2. Where's the joy? I've been thinking that there ought to be a law against a tea shop that can't make tea, or a coffee shop that can't make coffee. What is their purpose? Spreading disappointment? They should be made to announce that fact before you walk through the door.
    Ooh, I've ranted. That feels better.

  3. Tracey, you sum up my feelings exactly! A compulsory notice on the door "We spread disappointment".



Related Posts with Thumbnails

Google Plusone