Earlier this week, my delightful girlfriend suggested we have an overnight stay in Warwick. I was given the fine task of looking up tea rooms in the area whilst Charlie did a bit of research on the sights of Warwick, Leamington Spa and Stratford-upon-Avon. Imagine my delight when I joined the dots to realise that we follow Thomas Oken Tea Rooms on twitter and they’re in Warwick. I made sure it took centre stage in our to-do list.
Arriving into Warwick after a pit stop at Bourton-on-the-Water – home of Brum don’t you know – we bobbed into the tea room. It looked cracking from the outside. A beautiful tudor house situated by the castle walls. I were gasping and in true rock n’ roll style, we arrived 1 hour early. So early in fact that there wasn’t a table available. Fearing we may have to wait an hour (which is an eternity when you’re thirsty for tea), a table became available. Just when I was about to say ‘happy days’, the manageress of the tea room recognised me as the chap from the #teaclub. Well at this point I had to just straighten my imaginary tie and introduce myself in person. I waved to the adorning crowds.
The menu was presented to us and we went straight to the page that mattered the most. Well, Charlie opted to drool over the cake menu whilst I debated over which tea to have. I had just about made up my mind to have a pot of Ceylon when I saw a page of speciality teas, which featured teas from places such as Malawi. Yes, Malawi! I’ve only experienced Malawi tea twice in life and find it incredibly hard to get hold of. I ordered a pot of the stuff whilst Charlie went for a Nilgiri based on my recommendation. Oh, and we had a couple of lovely cakes to go with our teas – mmm, Victoria Sponge. This was a time to take in the beautiful interior. To my left was the shop, where one can buy plenty of tea themed gifts. To my right were lots of people enjoying tea (and unfortunately coffee). In front of me was a wide selection of cakes. They look homemade, they taste homemade so therefore I’m going to say they are homemade.
The tea and cake arrived.
Oh my days. The floral designed teapots were huge! They weighed a ton too. A sign that you have been presented with a very generous amount of tea to enjoy. The vintage tea cups were smashing too. Everything here had already exceeded any expectations I may have had coming into this. Waiting impatiently a good 3 more minutes before pouring, I asked my girlfriend to distract me with conversation. We discussed Pythagoras Theorem There was silence shortly after as we enjoyed our teas. What a privilege it was to be sat in such a grand setting, with the woman I love and drinking tea from Malawi. Its taste was exceptional. A black tea for the Assam lovers. Tea from Africa in general is a hit with me; Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa are all brilliant tea growing countries. For those asking, the Malawi tea here is from the Balaka region.
The staff were all very friendly and we were well looked after. I was personally in tea heaven for the hour or so we had. Sometimes words alone don’t do places of interest justice. This is one of those places. There are so many generic tea rooms out there but this one has real character. From the historic building to the delicious food and drink, you will not be disappointed with the tea or cake here and I suspect this goes for the whole menu. Although we cannot comment on the coffee here.
A big thank you to all the staff for having us. We look forward to returning one day in the near future.
Follow on Twitter – @okentearooms
www.thomasokentearooms.co.uk – you can book a table & buy loose leaf tea online
Quote ‘#teaclub’ for no discount but a free plug for us.