I recently traveled through Europe. While overseas, finding fabulous tea rooms became one of my goals. To my surprise, I found Babington’s Tea Rooms near the base of the Spanish Steps in Rome.
Venice boasts the oldest tea room in the world. If you sit outside in la Piazza and enjoy the live music, that cuppa will cost you about fifty dollars, US! If you’re on a budget, choose one of the tiny tables for two inside.
In Switzerland, our quaint hotel served a simple, yet satisfying tea (I noted they had enthusiastic British tour groups coming and going). The colorfully wrapped Swiss sugar cubes grabbed my attention, along with the charming view.
In Paris, I visited Angelina’s and Ladurée in the same day (time was limited)! Okay, I shared a pastry at each with my companion, but we ordered our own individual pots of tea. I’ll reveal my favorite tea room in a future blog.
However, the big shocker became the plethora of coffee houses in London! We found Starbucks, Café Nero, M&S Café, and Coffee Republic on numerous street corners. Where were the tea rooms?
True, I found lovely places to take tea in Bath and small villages. What the major museums served wasn’t too shabby either. But, what about the rest of London? On foot, we searched and finally settled for Café Concerto, near Trafalgar Square. This is actually an Italian restaurant that offers tea. I must say, they put on quite a spread and we left totally satisfied with our cream tea.
Things change. That’s a fact I rarely enjoy. The last time I stayed in London, about twenty years ago, coffee shops did not populate the streets! I have nothing against those little beans. In fact, I drink a cup every morning—lovingly prepared by my husband. It’s how I start my day. Still, that caffeine-laden drink doesn’t produce the same effect as a cup of tea. And I find little else nicer than partaking of a pot in the afternoon, or mid-morning for that matter.
So, go on trendy coffee shops packed with hipsters, try to take over the world. There will always be those of us who rely on that bastion of comfort and civility, nourishment and nicety, pampering and peace. Tea, please!
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