Lavenham Blue Vintage Tea Rooms – Lavenham, Suffolk (UK)

Lavenham Blue Vintage Tea Rooms caught my eye as soon as we drove up the road to Lavenham’s market square on a late Friday afternoon. This charming 15th century timber-framed cottage, with its striking windows, white walls and blue signs, sits on the corner overlooking the square. The welcoming front door is on the side of the house and there’s even a garden. We felt as though we had stumbled upon a hidden gem.

Paulo and I, unsure of the closing time, couldn’t resist popping into the tea room to have a look. It turns out we arrived 15 minutes before closing but we were warmly greeted by owner Amanda Mortimer and not made to feel rushed in the least. Although we didn’t have to, we kept our order simple so we wouldn’t stay too long. We settled in comfortably at a table by the window and admired the surroundings.

The gramophone, tea pot collection, lace tablecloths, bunting, candy jars and old family photos added to the ambience. Everything about this delightful tea room softly stated vintage, from the name Lavenham Blue reminiscent of the 18th century nursery rhyme Lavender Blue (Dilly Dilly) to the white and blue colours bringing to mind blue patterns on antique white china.

It’s no wonder we felt so at home. We found out that Amanda converted the ground floor of her lovely cottage into this tea room. Every single customer is like a welcomed guest into her house.

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Cafe@abantu – Cambridge (UK)

Cafe@abantu moved to Cambridge in January 2018 and is a welcome addition to the independents in the city centre. When popular café Stickybeaks decided to close their doors, Cafe@abantu’s owner Wendy Slade saw an opportunity to take her business to the next level and moved the café from Bourn to Cambridge.

I’ve been following Abantu’s journey since I first started this blog, from their original location at Manor Farm in Bourn (here), their subsequent move to Wysing Arts Centre (here) to their new premises on Hobson Street, at the heart of Cambridge city centre.

It can be argued that Cafe@abantu’s prominent location means it can no longer be described as a hidden gem. It’s visible at the end of Sussex Street, a very pretty pedestrian area. However, Cafe@abantu is still a gem amongst the usual high street chains and retains all of its charm.

The interior hasn’t changed much from Stickybeaks but I’m happy that my favourite table, the tiled colourful one, has been given pride of place by the window. It’s also heartwarming to see that Abantu’s original wooden sign has been retained.

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The High Tea Club – Cambridge (UK)

The High Tea Club is a new addition to Cambridge’s vibrant Mill Road, tucked away just over the railway bridge. Created by sisters Danielle and Jessica Xiao, The High Tea Club is a beautiful space with a little something for everyone, serving breakfast, lunch, all day brunch, afternoon tea and cocktails/drinks with an evening nibbles menu. However tea is the focus, offering a staggering variety of imported teas that aren’t available anywhere else. It’s a veritable tea lover’s paradise.


The menus are extensive and quite varied… from English breakfast, through afternoon tea to exotic tea based cocktails and everything in between. It’s just crazy enough to work. After all, The High Tea Club is very much a reflection of Mill Road… lively, diverse and fun! I attended to the press launch on 29 October. I liked it so much, I couldn’t wait to go back and I did, a couple of weeks later.

Collage The High Tea Club

At the launch, I was offered a choice of tea. I had Jasmine Chai consisting of black tea, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, white pepper, jasmine petals, rose petals, lavender petals, clove and nutmeg. It was packed with flavour and served in a lovely cup and saucer.

Jasmine Chai tea

Some people at the launch ordered one of the spectacular flowering teas where the tea slowly opens into a flower once hot water is added. They are served in clear glass teapots so you can enjoy the show! When I went back to The High Tea Club a few weeks later, I made sure to get the Mountain Dream Flowering tea. It was not only gorgeous, it was a very enjoyable cup of tea.

Flowering Tea

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Cafe@abantu – Bourn, Cambridge (UK)

UPDATE: Cafe@abantu is no longer located at Manor Farm, Bourn. In July 2016, it moved to Wysing Arts Centre which is also located in Bourn. It’s run by the same owner who continues to provide their popular menu, as well as some new items. It is a beautiful setting that includes an outdoor terrace and free parking. I wrote an updated post so click on this link to read about the new cafe@Abantu.

UPDATE 2: In January 2018, Cafe@abantu moved from Bourn to Cambridge at a city centre location at 42 Hobson Street, CB1 1NL (where Stickybeaks used to be). Read my post on the new location here.

Cafe@abantu is a charming tearoom and shop located on Manor Farm in the village of Bourn.

Tucked away in converted stables with pedestrian access for locals “in the know”, it is literally a hidden gem.

For those driving in, turn into the path by the sign and A-board opposite the surgery then make a loop around to the car park in front of the café. You will be greeted by a lovely patio with ample seating, perfect for those sunny days.

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