Thank you for taking the time, to visit Joe Ellis' Tea Room Guide,
let me give you a poetic tour, of what you'll find inside.
My name is Joe, the founder of this site, and I love a cup of tea,
and this site focuses on English tea rooms, and what makes them special to me.
I give you my honest opinion, on the tea rooms that I consider great,
and those I feel should be avoided, as decor or service is second rate!
But first what is a tea room, how did they come about?
What makes them special, and what gives them clout?
It's a small room or restaurant, where tea, beverages and light meals are served,
an atmospheric place to relax, an English tradition that has been preserved.
The first one opened in London, on The Strand in 1706,
opened by Thomas Twining, and still going strong, if you want a historical tea fix!
In the 1950's English tea rooms, were really all the rage,
but sadly many have fallen victim to cafes, in the current cappuccino and latte drinking age.
However in many rural areas and villages, throughout the English countryside,
many beautiful, historic tea rooms, still serve delicious cream teas with pride!
Serving up an English tradition to ramblers, tourists or passionate tea drinkers like me,
an ornate teapot, cup and saucer, and lace napkin, creating the perfect cup of tea!
They often reside in listed buildings, with walls adorned with old photos and local history,
offering all those that visit a true taste, of how the surroundings used to be.
Some have large roaring fire places, with antiques taking you back to Victorian times,
other nestled within picturesque scenery or lush gardens with the gentle sound of wind chimes.
But what differentiates the good from the bad, what makes a tea room stand out from the rest?
How can you rely on my review, unless you know on what basis I test.
I expect a friendly warm welcome, a tea room that's cosy and clean,
polite, well mannered staff, to provide table service that's fit for the Queen.
I like the tea room to be traditional in look and feel, tidy, homely and quaint,
no self service, no dirty, chipped crockery and no damp or peeling paint.
If it's on the menu I expect them to have it, or inform me of anything unavailable straight away,
and don't call yourself a tea room, if you are really just a cafe!
I like the windows to be clean, so that I can admire the view,
nearby parking is always a bonus, but it won't cost a tea room a good review.
As mentioned decor should be traditional, no plastic table cloths or disposable plates,
and not replacing blown light bulbs, is another of my minor pet hates.
Music shouldn't be too loud, and if the kitchen is noisy, it will just make me want to go,
my biggest annoyance by far, is being ignored or left waiting, especially when business is slow.
So yes I can be fussy, but you my readers are relying on my impartial advice,
I need to assure you will have a lovely experience, and that the quality matches up to the price.
If I experience any of the above negatives, it simply won't be my cup of tea,
and I'm afraid to say the tea room, will get a bad review from me!
But even if I provide a good review, and a tea room is one of those highly recommended,
be assured I will be back at some point, to ensure that the service and atmosphere is still splendid!