18-20 York St, Ramsgate, CT11 9DS Telephone: 01843 586078 www.corbystearooms.co.uk Corby's Tea Rooms sits in the middle of Ramsgate town centre opposite Wilkinson's. Ramsgate is a seaside town on the Isle of Thanet in East Kent. It was one of the great English seaside towns of the 19th century and is a member of the ancient confederation of Cinque Ports. It has a population of around 40,000.
Well, I have known the existence of Corby's in Ramsgate for nearly 15 years now as the owner, Pat Corby was the landlady of the local Elephant & Castle pub in Ramsgate, a pub my father (now passed over) regularly visited before being banned by Pat's husband! Pat sold the pub and later brought premises and opened Corby's Tea Room, although I must confess that I have never visited it before, as my father told me Pat opened a café and I would not mention the word café to Pat, as she does not like her tea rooms being described as a café and you are likely to be hit!
I visited Corby's Tea Rooms one Saturday early afternoon. I have been told over that the tea room is Thanet's best, so I decided to drive over after helping out in Sandra's karate class in Canterbury in the morning.
I wanted to sit in front of the tea room and people watch through the large glass windows. However, the place was very busy and the four tables available at the front were not cleared of used crockery, plates and cups from the previous customers, so the young waitress asked me to wait while she cleared a table and cleaned it. She returned five minutes later and asked what I wanted to order and I informed her that I had not been given a menu; one promptly arrived.
Corby's is a large tea room made up of wooden tables and chairs sat on a wooden floor. The walls were two-tone, top being cream and the bottom light pink divided by a wooden dado rail. It has a large counter with a large cake display in a glass cabinet displaying a large selection of cakes. The menu was full of items to choose from and I had a jacket potato and chicken curry filling. The potato was very large and the chicken was lovely and chunky and I had a pot of tea in a floral cup with saucer and the cup sat on a nicely presented paper mat. At the table next to me, two elderly ladies were discussing their lovely meal and drinks and were obviously happy.
There were a couple of annoying things though, two light bulbs were out which bugged me, but the most annoying was the chef, calling out 'TABLE 2' and 'TABLE 3' to the waitress loudly, which was an irritation, as was the loud noises of clattering crockery waiting to be washed up. The atmosphere was pleasant enough but the view looked straight at Wilkinson's side wall.
I can recommended Corby's Tea Room although parking is a nightmare at weekends in Ramsgate and my advice would be to park up half a mile away and walk, or pay for parking only seconds away from the tea room.
Contact Joe Ellis:
Joe Ellis' English Tea Room Guide PO Box 262, Herne Bay, Kent, England, CT6 9AW Telephone: 01227 376180