Whitstable Castle and Gardens, Tower Hill, Whitstable CT5 2BW Telephone: 01227 281726 www.whitstablecastle.co.uk Anyone who knows me well, knows I am not keen on seaside towns. However, if I had to pick one as a favourite, it would have to been Whitstable (pronounced witstabal) with a little sea front and small shops and lots of tea rooms and restaurants! Even the lovely two churches hosts weekdays tea room – well worth a visit and a chat to some of the senior Whitstable people..!
I visit The Orangery Tea Room frequently and decided to take lunch on my last visit. The views from the tea room were very nice.
The tea room is split up into two rooms. One traditional with wood panel walls and a lovely old fire place which has been sadly boarded up, with old style wood tables and wooden chairs. Lovely wooden beams make this side of the tea room traditional and I liked it. The other side of the tea room has a modern feel but lovely décor.
There was a pianist but this was too loud for a small tea room. I had originally sat down, but moved to the traditional side as the piano was loud and people were speaking loudly to hear each other.
There was a normal menu consisting of sandwiches, baked potatoes, scones, freshly made cakes etc. Speciality teas and cold beverages were also offered. A Whitstable Castle High Tea consisting of savoury sandwiches and cakes looked appealing. There was a daily special board and I chose a roast chicken meal which was very nice, although the roast potatoes were over cooked, which made them a little hard. The meal was supplemented by a pot of English tea.
I can recommend this lovely, warm tea room. I guess the tea room would look stunning in the summer months as the Castle is superb and in September of 2010 saw completion of a £3.1 million pounds restoration.
The Chief Executive, Darren Simpson showed me inside the impressive castle. Lovely place indeed.
Whitstable is a seaside town on the north coast of Kent in south-east, north of Canterbury and 2 miles west of Herne Bay. It has a population of about 32,000.
Whitstable is famous for oysters, which have been collected in the area since Roman times and are celebrated at the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival.
In 1830, one of the earliest passenger railway services was opened by the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway Company; in 1832, the company opened Whitstable harbour and extended the line to enable passage to London from the port. The railway has since closed but the harbour still plays an important role in the town's economy.
I visited the Tudor Tea Rooms some time back mid morning for breakfast. The Tudor Tea Rooms are located in the heart of Whitstable and is a 17th Century tea room and has been run as a family business for the last 35 years.
Visiting the Tudor Tea Rooms this time of the year is extremely pleasant and comfortable as you are welcomed by two open log/coal fires blaring away in the background providing loads of heat and atmosphere which is further embraced by light Christmas decorations. With the lovely black beams, old wooden floors, some exposed bricks and old plastered walls it is nice and warm. Also old ceiling lighting and old lighting on wooden beam posts add a touch of traditional England.
Tablecloths get my thumbs up. Tablecloths add to the old 17th Century tea room, as if you are drinking tea around granny's house. Sugar is 'wrapped in paper' type which is great for hygiene but does not reflect an old English tea room.
There was a lovely display of old plates, pictures and writings on old black shelving. Also a selection of tea was available to buy and take away.
I was ignored when I entered the tea room, so I made my way to a table myself. I noticed some minutes later that an elderly couple were verbally welcomed and taken to a table.
I made the point of saying 'hello' to one of the waitresses and she was pleasant enough, although my slight hint did not make my menu arrive any faster. In fact the elderly couple were given a menu first and I had to extend my arm out to get one from the young, polite waitress to attract attention. When I finally got served, I ordered a pot of tea, poached egg on baked beans on brown toast, and it was very nice, presented on white plates and very cleanly cooked. Added to my pleasure that the tea was leaves, with top up water, and the second tea room I have come across that offered this in this area. Also the jug contained plenty of milk, which I think is great.
I can recommend the Tudor Tea Rooms in Whitstable. Again, parking is troublesome, although cheap Council parking is offered from three car parks only minutes away, unless you park a quarter of a mile away and walk down, as I did. The saving of paying car parking fees pays for the toasted tea cake with jam..!
My wife reminds me it used to be a favourite tea room of the late actor Peter Cushing, who lived in Whitstable. He visited regularly, preferring to sit at the same table each visit.
Contact Joe Ellis:
Joe Ellis' English Tea Room Guide PO Box 262, Herne Bay, Kent, England, CT6 9AW Telephone: 01227 376180