Fridays, to me, are synonomus with tea reviews and this one is no exception. I pootled off the Richmond in the afternoon, it was raining but that didn't dampen my spirits. Upon entering the shop I was greeted with charming sights and sounds. The sight of an impressive chandelier, old fashioned hats adorning the coat stand and the sounds of chatter and the old fashioned door bell jingling away. It was most welcoming.
The place has an oriental feel about it, like something from the victorian times where some intrepid explorer has brought home their finds from overseas and displayed them around the shop. I chose to sit at the back where it was quite dark and cosy and I could see most of the shop as it was on a split level. The table and two chairs were Moroccan in style - a very sweet spot.
I ordered a pot of Darjeeling 2nd flush from the Margaret Hope Estate and a slice of ginger cake. When my order arrived it came with something I have never come across before; a tea timer which can assist the drinker in obtaining the perfect cuppa (see the pics below). I thought this was a really thoughtful touch...I knew then that the owners were serious about their tea. The tea is loose leaf and served in a white tea pot. The cup and saucer are bone china and mismatched (which I love). The cake was the best ginger cake I've had in a long time. So good was it that I murmoured out loud as I savoured the first bite.
The Tea Box is more than just somewhere to go for tea and cake (there is a fantastic selection of both available). There are weekly events held here such as comedy nights, poetry jams, knitting (social knitwork) and live music. It's also a very kid friendly place where they can have afternoon tea's created especially for them. The owners have come up with a clever menu of snacks and nibbles and it is also licensed. There you can also indulge in 'tipsy teas' what a revelation! And champagne afternoon tea.
I met one of the owners (Gemma) and she kindly showed me their special selections of Earl Grey and Lapsang Souchong which they get directly from the suppliers in India and China. The smells from these teas were so evocative it transported me to another place for a moment. The staff here are very friendly and passionate about tea and cake, they are very easy to have a chat with and you'll probably learn something you didn't know before. Theyare also on hand to encourage you to blend your own tea depending on what you like. I'd probably have a blend of Earl Grey and Lapsang Souchong!