Tea Rooms

Tea, whether it be from Ceylon, India, or Kenya has always been a keen favourite with the British, and much of the rest of the world.

Tea is one of the great British traditions; a ritual that is enjoyed by young and old alike. It gathers friends and families together, either for a gossip, or in a crisis, tea
refreshes and enhances our lives. Tea rooms are often a place we visit while on holiday, whether it be in the city, the countryside or the coastal resort.     

Tea shops can offer wide selection of teas: British afternoon tea, Darjeeling, the champagne of teas, Earl Grey with its delicate bergamont flavour, Green tea to help detox, with its mellow flavour and marvellous fragrance. Herbal teas also are becoming more popular. Camomile, mint, peppermint and also fruit teas are caffeine free and can help towards our well being.             

Full Afternoon Tea                 

A treat served during the afternoon in tea rooms. Menu of finger sandwiches, including favourite cucumber .Freshly made scones with lashes of cream and delicious preserve and slice of cake of your choice all served with lashes of hot tea, in a tea pot . An array of chintz cups and saucers and vintage cake stands all add to the charm of the visit to the tea room                       

Tea rooms are also becoming popular in baker shops, where the cakes and scones are baked on the premises with freshly baked bread for the sandwiches.     

History of the Tea Room

The history of the tea room takes us back to the 1800’s ....Catherine Cranston was one of the influential figures in the evolution of tea rooms into the social phenomenon that they are today. She was well ahead of her time, with her foresight and imagination. Her father was a pastry maker, and become the proprietor No 39 George Square, in Glasgow - this was where the Cranston empire began. Her older brother Stuart, became a tea dealer, opening up three tea rooms, pure and simple .Katie went on to create more luxurious surroundings for the more discerning taste.

It wasn't until the 1880’s that tea rooms became popular and fashionable.1878 saw the first tea room to be decorated in a contemporary Baronial style, while others offered a more basic tea room. Kate set the early standard in what we now know as retail design.

Ladies & Gents Tea Rooms

Kate had Ladies only and Gentlemen only tea  rooms  and Luncheon rooms where they could sit together. The tea room became a social centre for business men, much like today. Respectable ladies could get out and meet together, without male company, just as thousands of women do today in tea rooms all over the country.

In the late 1800’s tea rooms also served  as art galleries. They began to open up all over Briton and America. In 1880 Katie commissioned George Washington Brown, assisted by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, to design murals, stencilled friezes and door panels with rose design. He also introduced his famous high backed chair for comfort, establishing the importance of design in settings such as tea rooms.

Maintaining the standard in creative design, TK Retail Design puts at the disposal of its clients a huge bank of experience and creative know how in the design of tea rooms, coffee houses and food retail outlets.

If you are considering opening a tea room or coffee shop, please Contact TK Retail Design to discuss how we can help in the creative and practical design of your enterprise and contribute in many other ways such as landlords’ negotiation, building change of use and planning permission.

TK Retail Design - Related Articles

Please also see:
Tea Rooms
Retail in Edinburgh & Glasgow
Retail Design Sheffield
Retail Design in Leeds
Coffee Shop Retail Design
Food Retail Design


Tea Room Design, Coffee House Design, Landlords Change of Use, Planning Permission

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