St Mary Cray is an area of south east London, and is part of the London Borough of Bromley. It was an ancient parish in the county of Kent, that was absorbed by Orpington Urban District in 1934 and has formed part of Greater London since 1965. It is located 13 miles south east of Charing Cross.
I visit the Croft Tea Room regularly. This Eco friendly tea room is quite special and lovely and provides the local community a hub to take sandwiches, soups, home-made cakes and to get together in an extremely friendly, clean and immaculate environment.
The Croft Tea Room is a Community Interest Company which is aimed at community benefit.
It was a lovely surprise to see that the people from the local community were nice and friendly people who did not mind a chat. I spoke to several and they were all extremely nice and pleasant people, proud of their community.
The tea room has pastel green and cream walls, wooden floor, lovely small square tabled with white table cloths and white paper top covers. Painted pictures and lovely table vases containing real red carnations were supplied locally, as is the food, the gifts available and the fruit and veg on sale. Although savoury meals are restrictive, you can enjoy lovely sandwiches and the special board includes; Soup: Spicy Squash and Leak & Potato. Cake of the Day was a chocolate sponge and the Guest Tea of the Day was Oolong.
On my first visit I had e-mail communication with Carole Wells (now retired previous owner) who I met on my visit and had a discussion with. She is a very nice lady, calm and pleasant and I can see why this little tea room is calming and community friendly...a lovely owner who provided me with local history and old pictures of the old building that once stood on the same ground as the tea room. She had spoken to everyone that entered her tea room.
I had egg, cress and mayonnaise sandwiches on wholemeal bread. Very tasty, as was the white mug of tea. I had two mugs of tea! The prices are very low. My visit only cost £4.55 - far too cheap for this stunning little tea room. (Please note: pricing is slightly higher now, since my original visit).
There is not a licence for alcohol (to my pleasure!!!) and no music. This actually was a benefit to the Croft Tea Room as it encouraged everyone to interact with each other.
I had also noticed that the scones and cakes ordered by a mother and her son were served on an old style cake stack, not often seen in English tea rooms with the exception of posh, expensive London tea rooms.
The Croft Tea Room is an extremely nice place. Before I left, I went to the toilet and this too was immaculate.
I can Highly Recommend the Croft Tea Room and will be visiting again shortly. Parking is am little tricky near the Croft Tea Room, but plenty if you park a few minutes away, which is free, using the adjoining streets.
Contact Joe Ellis:
Joe Ellis' English Tea Room Guide PO Box 262, Herne Bay, Kent, England, CT6 9AW Telephone: 01227 376180