“Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
“I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can’t take more.”
“You mean you can’t take less,” said the Hatter: “it’s very easy to take more than nothing.”
“Nobody asked your opinion,” said Alice.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
I’ll put my hands up and confess that I am a devout coffee drinker. Having said that, if I am to drink some tea, I’d always drink it in a quirky little place which makes me feel like I’m whisked all the way to the 20’s or 30’s. With bubbles, if at all possible.
One of such places is the Tea Parlour in Liverpool. It’s an absolute find, in more way than one; you could really easily be so distracted by the Cavern Club and the other Beatlesque establishments of Matthew Street that you’ll walk by the inconspicuous entrance.
But that is the only inconspicuous, or for that matter, modest thing about the place.
Tea Parlour lives inside a historic 19th century warehouse in what was once the centre of fruit and produce trade in Britain. And it’s adorned in vintage grandeur galore. It’s such a mixed bag of luxury and random knick-knacks. Just look at their chandeliers; crafted from what looks like haphazard Christmas decorations, plastic pearls and feathers – and they are all kinds of fabulous. I’m seriously considering tracking down the designer and getting one for my home. I don’t care if it takes over my whole dining room.
And the crockery. It’s super cute. It’s super vintage. It’s fun. It’s pretty much what this place is all about.
Their afternoon tea will part you from £20, and apart from all the finger sandwiches and cakes you get a choice of loose leaf Breakfast tea or Earl Grey (supplied by Rare Tea Company London or Phom Tea Liverpool), as well as their expert advice on how to brew it to make it perfect. They’ll top you up with hot water if you run out of tea too quick, too.
And the food? Oh my days. There’s a choice of around six or seven different finger sandwiches (like Scottish smoked salmon and herbed butter, Gammon and homemade Cumberland sauce, Roast beef, horseradish cream and rocket, the list goes on) depending on what package you go for and then there’s the scones and cakes and tarts and pastries and and and… I couldn’t even finish them all, that’s how plentiful they were. The sugar rush was near lethal, but totally worth it.
Oh, and if you want to tart up your afternoon tea, you can bring your own bubbles for a £3 corkage. So you can sip your champers while not being disturbed by the hustle and bustle of Matthew Street. You kind of forget it’s just out there, under your feet. Which is pretty phenomenal.
It’s such a sweet little spot you just don’t want to leave. But leave you must because they’re usually fully booked and there are others wanting your seat. The staff are super nice though so you never feel like you’re hurried.
So yeah. Until next time, Tea Parlour. I’m totally coming back for your trays and pots of tricks. A special thank you goes to Polly, whose hen do took me to this magical little vintage lair. I may take her with me next time as a thank you.
“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground