5 of the best: alternative British tea rooms

Tuesday 08 March 2011

Tea, scones, cream and cake: British clichés right up there with endless weather chat and the stiff upper lip. That said, there’s not much better than a soothing cuppa. So if you like your tea trendy not chintzy have a slurp of these:

Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea, Sanctum Soho, London

There’s no sign of dainty china or girly cakes here. Sign up for the Gentlemen’s Tea at the Sanctum Soho and you'll be served rabbit, roast beef and poached oysters. Tea is included but you might prefer the tankard of Jack Daniels and the cigar that are served alongside this manly menu.

Tea Cosy, Brighton

A brew at this deliriously camp Brighton tea room where you can scoff a ‘William and Harry Tea’ while sitting next to a drag Camilla Parker Bowles is a fabulous experience. But beware, the management at Tea Cosy insists on no mobile phones, no dunking of biscuits and absolutely no elbows on the table.

Leaf Tea Bar, Liverpool

In an unlikely pairing, tea and turntables come together at this cool Liverpool tea room and bar. Stay into the evening as the Leaf Tea Bar transforms with DJs, live bands, films, art and more.

Tchai-Ovna, Glasgow

Glasgow’s ‘magic tea shop’ feels like a cross between an opium den and a hippy commune. Lounge on the leafy terrace with a shisha pipe and a bowl of Oolong Wu-long before snacking on some homemade baba ganoush.

Tchai Ovna (c) Kate Pugh

Eteaket, Edinburgh

With a mission to ‘make tea sexy again’ Eteaket serves 40 different loose-leaf teas from their ‘tea boutique’. And they do it with some style in hip but comfortable surroundings. You’ll also find a great range of top-notch snacks including a classic cream tea.

Eteaket (c) sometimesong

Images: Sam Martin, petercastleton, Kate Pugh, sometimesong.

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