Tea for two in Tealby
A family rendezvous in one of the Wolds’ most picturesque villages was on the cards for Sarah Eddy when she visited The Vintage Tearooms.
Although The Vintage Tearooms have been open on Front Street for over three years, this was my first visit. The village is in the heart of the Wolds, picture postcard photo opportunities are around every corner especially in summer and the proximity of cycling routes and the Viking Way make this a well-recognised refreshment stop. Nothing so energetic for us – I was here to enjoy a catch up with my mother and to experience the recently completed Tea Garden, which is now open at the rear of the premises.
We visited on a beautiful day when it was a pleasure to sit out in the open air but for when it is not so favourable owners, Jennie Fox and her husband, Steven, have created the most welcoming ground floor and first floor spaces, each with their own distinct vintage identity. There has been so much attention to detail right down to the period floral print staff uniforms. Downstairs has a 50s vibe with plenty of comfortable chairs and soft furnishings in the light and airy room while upstairs recreates the 1940s war period. There are more of the comfortable chairs, authentic pieces such as a typewriter, Bakelite radio and war years newspapers. Sit in any of the window seats and you can watch the world go by as you kick back and enjoy your food.
We took our table under a glorious beech tree which provides the shade and is an impressive backdrop to the garden. The interior pink and green colourways have been picked up in cushions, the bistro tables and chairs as well as the bunting decorating the fencing. Newly planted roses will soon festoon this with flowers and scent. I loved the chalkboard detailing daily specials and the wrought iron chandelier, complete with candles, hanging from the branches which completed the Tea Garden’s décor.
Jennie was an outside caterer specialising in afternoon teas and baking prior to opening in Tealby and her mix and match collections of bone china perfectly complement The Vintage Tearooms’ style.
Afternoon Tea is a distinctly British ritual and we were ready to indulge. Our three-tier cake stand was decked with sandwiches and sweet treats. We both opted for tea rather than coffee and tucked into the sandwiches. Choices included ham from Curtis of Lincoln, on brown, egg on white, smoked salmon on brown and grated cheese. When we had been asked about our food preferences we had asked for the chutney to be served on the side, which duly arrived in the small bowl. The sandwiches were fresh, tasty and attractively served with a salad garnish. We had already admired the display of Jennie’s freshly made cakes on the side board when we arrived and our choices included a slice of homemade Battenberg, coffee and walnut cake, chocolate and orange brownie and lemon and blueberry sponge. The Battenberg was a revelation for me. So far removed from the dry and flavourless processed version, Jennie uses delicious apricot jam by another well-known Jenny – from Jenny’s Jams of Lincoln. I must add that we couldn’t finish all our cake but were happy to take some home to enjoy with a cuppa later.
The plain scones were served warm with clotted cream and strawberry preserve. Delicious! Cakes and scones were decorated with mixed fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cherries.
We had taken our time to savour each element – every one fresh and generously served. We were not the only family enjoying this time out together. The Tearoom was now very busy with other cross-generational groups and ramblers.
Jennie has more plans to develop the outdoor spaces with a kitchen garden which will provide its own fresh ingredients for the business but meanwhile this summer should provide plenty of opportunity to admire the Tea Garden setting, its views of the village church and of course treat yourself to some of The Vintage Tearoom’s great food and service.