Friday, 21 March 2014

Everything Stops for Tea (and Coffee, and Cake)

Do you remember back in the mists of time when I was made redundant? Actually, it was only last August, but it feels like forever ago. Anyhoo, when I got bored of sitting around doing nothing (actually, I got fed up of not having any money, I'm not sure I would ever get bored of sitting around) I managed to get myself two (very) part-time jobs, one in the village tea room working one day a week, the other in the village shop working one day a month (see, I said they were 'very' part-time.) 

Fast forward to mid-February this year and the lady who runs the tea room decided she wanted to move on to pastures new. Word on the street was that the tea room would be closing, cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth from various quarters; however, word inside the tea room itself was that the couple who own the building (it happens to be part of their house and was converted from what was formerly a Granny annexe) didn't want it to shut because they couldn't bear the thought of the space being empty and unused. As soon as I heard this (from the horse's mouth, as I happened to start chatting to the owner about the future plans for the space when I was in there working one Thursday), I texted hubby. We had already discussed 'what ifs?' and 'maybes' in relation to the tea room and it looked like this could be the very opportunity to put those 'what ifs?' and 'maybes' into practice. I also expressed an interest with the owner and left her to mull things over. By Saturday she had made her decision - if I was interested, then the tea room business was mine!
I won't own the building, but I shall own and run the business. Oh my goodness me! I've never done anything like this; I've never run my own business and when I started working there just a few months ago, it was the first time I had ever worked in the food/hospitality industry (or whatever you call it.) But here I am, about to become (as of 31st March) sole proprietor of a tea room!

As I'm sure you can imagine, my brain is fit to bursting with all of the things that have to be done, as well as all the plans I have for redecorating, changing the menu, selling gift items and cards alongside the food and drink.

My plan is to close for two weeks so that I can redecorate, move things around, have a good old tidy up and general titivate the entire space, and then re-open with a flourish (or perhaps a pathetic whimper) on Monday 14th April.

Currently the space looks like this, so there's definitely plenty of potential.

I'm also being given the opportunity to develop the room at the back, and the idea is to introduce comfy seating and possibly a children's corner. It might also be the ideal place for the secondhand books that are currently sold from the front of the tea room, so that space can be used instead for a range of gifts and cards.

I have so much to do and think about and paint and order and make and arrange and panic about before then; but I have at least decided what colour to paint the walls, what colour tablecloths to have, and which font to use on the menus (Maiandra, I think; or perhaps I'll change my mind...) A neighbour of mine has already made new aprons for me, so at least I'll look vaguely smart on the first day of trading, even if I don't get round to making any food...
And I've got a lot of baking practice to put in!


  1. Whoa! How exciting is that? The very best of luck Justine.

  2. I would love to do something like this! Can't wait to hear all about it and see the new look.

  3. This is so exciting!!!! Can't wait to see what you do with it all. Don't get too busy to blog about it all.

  4. OMG how exciting!!! This is probably a lot of people's dream opportunity. Can't wait to see what you do with it and if I'm ever that way I'll definitely be stopping in for cake!

  5. Wow this is more exciting than a free trip to Hawaii!!! I want to pop in for tea and cake - lots and lots of luck to you!

  6. Oooh, congratulations - how exciting. Can't wait to hear all about it and see the 'after' pics!

  7. Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog! This is very exciting, I'm going to keep checking back so please keep us updated with your new tea room adventure :) Good luck xx

  8. Wow this is such a wonderful opportunity to develop your ideas and express your good taste;-)

    I love the name, it's so Barbara Pym.


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