As much as coffee has taken the city by storm, we think most Londoners still have a soft spot for a nice cup of tea and a sit down. And some cakes, perhaps a few sandwiches – and don’t forget the scones. Yet proper tea-focused cafés are few in their number – and that caff you go to for a mug of builders’ tea doesn’t count.
To a Tea is as quaint as it sounds. It’s a tea emporium and café that is incongruously located on a dull, grey stretch of Farringdon Street. It’s a much bigger space than you’d expect – with lofty ceilings and ample room for perusing the grand floor-to-ceiling display of the own-branded loose-leaf teas for purchase.
There are tall seats at counter tables for lone sippers; two long communal tables for chai chinwaggers; and along the wall goes velvety high-backed chairs for pairs.
The teas are keenly priced, starting at £1.95 for most teas and increasing only slightly for rarer and/or more interesting brews (dragon well, ‘monkey-picked’ tea, flowering teas). Iced varieties such as darjeeling with apple, simple jasmine, or Russian caravan (a blend that incorporates oolong, keemun and sometimes smoky lapsang souchong tea leaves) with ginger are refreshing thirst quenchers for a hot day.
Pots of tea are brewed by staff using timers to ensure you get the optimum flavour when they’re finally delivered to your table (goodbye bitter, overly tannic teas).
Cakes play a big role, and on our visit there were seven types on offer, along with scones, crumpets and cupcakes. A banoffee cake was supremely indulgent, as was a dark chocolate number rich with cocoa. Victoria sponge was oversweetened, but went well with Formosa oolong (a light-bodied tea with subtle floral notes and a cooling aftertaste).
Savouries such as sandwiches, salads (nothing fancy) and a hot daily soup (a soothing tomato, basil and Wensleydale cheese version on our visit) provides lunchtime sustenance for nearby office workers.
But it’s during a lazy afternoon that this place shines, when you can sit back with a pot of tea and a slice of cake to wile away the hours. It makes a lovely change to the frantic espresso-charged coffee culture of late.
|Venue name:||To A Tea||Contact:|
14 Farringdon St
|Opening hours:||6.30am-6.30pm Mon-Fri|
|Transport:||Tube: Farringdon tube/rail or 17, 45, 46, 63 bus|
|Price:||Light meal for two with tea: around £13|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.2 / 5
- 5 star:8
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:2
Really cute place, perfect for lunch specially for people that appreciate fresh food. impressive variation of salads ! a breath of fresh air in an area of town full of soulless chains. Would certainly recommend
Delicious meal for lunch, casual and excellent service. Great selection of healthy tasty food! very impressed
Great place and so different to all the generic souless chains that now litter our high streets. Vast selection of teas and the food is lovely too - but not as lovely as the dashing greek manager who caught my eye! I suspect i will deffo be going back.... xxx
Been going to the lovely little place for over a year now and i love it. I thought it was great when it jsut served teas and cakes but with the addition of lunches it stepped up even futher. The lunches are tasty and the cakes, especially the red velvet, to die for!
great lunch place! The best gnocci I've ever had, followed by a pot of "monkey-picked" tea. Staff friendly and helpful - tea perfectly done - all for only £8! I'm planning to go back for afternoon tea and bring a friend.
To a Tea is like a tea musuem, fabulous ambience and I love their Lampsung, Rose Bud and White Peony teas presented in glass teapots. Service is great and the staff are friendly. Salads and food are freshly made daily and great array of cakes and muffins to accompany your tea or coffee. A real treat and a great find in the City!
Service could be better my tea was over brewed and while I was sitting in there today someone within to a tea set the fire alarms off. not impressed at all.
If you like herbal tea that tastes good as well as smells good, you must try this place. Their apple and cinnamon tea is astonishingly good (and you can buy a packet of it to have at home, too).
Cannot fault this place, a vast array of tempting teas', mouthwateringly naughty cakes, friendly service and of particular note, they do the most amazing breakfast AND they take note of how you like your food cooked. I don't go often enough, probably a good idea given the food on offer!