How do you make a top-class tea shop? Offering an excellent cup of tea – or coffee – is essential of course, and you must also tempt customers with a scrumptious selection of homemade cakes. Next, you’ll need to add a welcoming atmosphere, stylish décor and comfortable seating.
Lastly, but most importantly, mix in some thoughtful, quirky and smile-inducing little extras that will lift an ordinary tea shop into something very special indeed.
This is exactly what the creators of Totty Teas have done with great success. Located in the pretty village of Peakirk, near Peterborough, Totty Teas began modestly with just a couple of tables in a corner of an old granary that was being developed into a community arts and crafts centre. With a limited budget but plenty of creativity and help from willing volunteers, Totty Teas soon grew and blossomed.
Today, it has all the features a tea shop connoisseur would hope to find: friendly service, pretty china and cake stands, co-ordinating tablecloths and posies of fresh flowers, along with a few surprises such as big, squashy sofas, a piano and a library of art books.
In fine weather, you have the option to enjoy your tea outdoors while admiring the colourful ‘garden’ of container-grown flowers. If you stay inside, you can either sit at a table that will give you a good view of the main craft showroom, or choose one in the quieter alcove if you want to read, have a chat with friends, or just spend time looking at the paintings on the walls. The artworks are a small sample of those exhibited by local artists in the main art gallery on the floor above Totty Teas. There is something to appeal to all artistic tastes, and the display is constantly changing as new pictures replace those that have been sold.
Most of Totty Teas’ customers will tell you they discovered the tea shop by chance, but one visit is enough to turn them into enthusiastic regulars. ‘I must tell my friends about this place,’ is a common reaction from first-timers, and word of mouth recommendations are an important factor in the steadily increasing number of Totty Teas fans.
If you are visiting Peterborough, or just passing through the area, be sure to make a short detour to sample the delights – and especially the delicious cakes – of this charming little tea shop.
Totty Teas can be found in the Realitas Community Arts Centre at Peakirk, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
For up to date information on opening times:
Phone: 01733 252 538