Wednesday, 30 March 2011

37 per cent pre-tax profit rise fuels global growth for sarnie chain

Pret a Manger.
Sandwich chain Pret a Manger, founded by Julian Metcalfe and Sinclair Beacham, has announced a rise in pre-tax profits of 37 per cent to £46.1 million. The company is now planning to expand globally with 30 new stores. Click here for more.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Last night a tea lady saved my life

Tea ladies – you never know when you're going to need one.

A Portsmouth pensioner's life was saved by a hospital tea lady. Click here for more.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Tea Zone and Camelia Lounge – Portland, Oregon

Portland's Tea Zone and Camelia Lounge. Photo: World Tea News.
We've had combined bike repair shops and caffs and now we've got a tearoom and bar combined, this time in Portland, Oregon's trendy Pearl District. Click here for more.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Schizoid café in Southsea

Lin's Thai Café in Southsea, run by a mother and daughter team, has a dual personality, according to a Portsmouth-based news website. Click here for more.

Lin's Thai Café in Southsea

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Caff in court for charity

Mold Crown Court in Wales
According to a report in the Flintshire Chronicle in Wales, a caff has been set up in Mold Crown Court to raise money for the Wales Air Ambulance. Click here for more.

Japanese tea growers are fine, but what about the retailers?

While Japan's tea growers are reported to be fine after the recent earthquake and tsunami, there are fears for the country's urban coastal regions. According to a report from the on-line World Tea News, reports suggest that many have been swept away. For more information, click here.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Tea room guide highlights the plight of our high streets

Tea room aficionado Joe Ellis' English Tea Room Tour Part 2 has revealed a startling trend for what is regarded as an English institution.

Joe Ellis, founder of Joe Ellis' Tea Room Guide and, toured 16 tea rooms around England but was only able to review 11 as five had been forced to shut down. 

Joe said: "It is heartbreaking to see these tea rooms either boarded up or replaced by fast food take away outlets. Sadly, this often happens due to circumstances outside the tea room owners’ control. It is endemic. English tea rooms up and down the country are struggling to survive, and yet each tea room is unique in its own way. 

"The High Streets of England are fast becoming mirror images of each other, with the same shops, restaurants and bars. The tea room is one of the last bastions which can give a town, village or city something different."

Harriett's Café and Tea Room, Peterborough
Photo from Upland Wolf Photostream.

On Joe's tour, he reviewed and awarded a recommendation status to each tea room he visited, with Harriett's Cafe and Tea Room in Peterborough being 'highly recommended,' nine other team rooms being awarded 'recommended' status and one picking up the Not My Cup of Tea (formerly 'moderate') ranking. 

Joe established to help and profile English tea rooms and what they provide to the community. He has visited been visiting tea rooms since the 1970's and a book entitled Joe Ellis' Tea Room Guide: A Guide to English Tea Rooms is soon to be published. 

Joe adds: "While there is a serious side to the plight that our tea rooms face, the idea of the website and the guide is also supposed to be a fun experience. We have a musical slide show of the tea rooms I visited appear on the website alongside full reviews with photographs. The site also offers short film clips of recommended and highly recommended tea rooms, including our first break into the 'movies' with Miss Mollett's High Class Tea Room in Appledore, Kent."

Joe's aim in 2011 is to make as many film clips as possible of English tea rooms, which will appear on and posted on YouTube. Joe hopes he will assist in their survival.

The next issue of Time for Tea magazine, (ISSN 2043-7161) is in full colour and free. It will feature tea rooms from tours one and two, tea features and many more interesting articles. 

For a free copy of Time for Tea, visit


For more information, contact:
 Joe Ellis’ Tea Room Guide
, PO Box 262, 
Herne Bay, 
 CT6 9AW. 
Telephone: 01227 376180 or 

Tea - the great soother of nerves

Location of Tchai-Ovna or 'house of tea' in Glasgow

Writing in the Herald Scotland, Tom Bruce-Gardyne argues that tea helps bring calm in a noisy world, whether it's PG Tips or Oolong. Click here for more details.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Trend towards combined bike and coffee shops

Rising oil prices mean that more and more people are getting on their bikes – and not necessarily to find a job! In the USA there has been a growing trend towards bike shops and caffs combined where cyclists can turn up, have their punctures fixed and enjoy a cup of coffee (or tea) while they wait. A lot of these kind of venues are springing up in bike-friendly US cities like Portland, Oregon; Seattle; and San Francisco.

Here's John Lehman fixing Diana Meyer's wheel in R & E Cycles
in Seattle. Photo courtesy of MSNBC.

For more information, click here.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Nick Clegg visits Headingley caff

The Hawkersgreen Café in Headingley near Leeds, run by Irene Tse, had a special visitor recently when Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister popped in for a chat.

The Cleggmeister – he likes an Americano

"After ordering an Americano, Nick Clegg was very courteous and sat chatting to members of the public, answering various questions, including concerns about the huge rise of university fees and the reforms of the NHS," said Irene.

Click here for more.

A cup of tea – still the UK's favourite brew

Nothing better than a teapot with a tea cosy!

While British pubs are closing, we are still drinking plenty of tea. In fact, we're consuming 165 million cups of the stuff every day – that's 60.2 billion per year. Click here for more details.