It's time for tea
Teabox, 7 Paradise Road, Richmond, TW9 1RX
£ – About £15 per person
This place is a real local gem. It’s tucked away just a few minutes’ walk from the station and high street, even if it feels like a step back in time. I could easily imagine Miss Marple solving her various puzzles here. The church opposite is even called St Mary’s. (Nod to the Agatha Christie fans).
There are pages of different teas to choose from: black teas; green teas; white teas; flowering teas; herbal teas. They even have ‘squiffy teas’ which as a teetotaller, I can’t comment on. If you’re a fan of teas, this is the place to be. Coffee fans aren’t forgotten either, although, coffee is on the menu if you can tear your eyes away from the teas. I love the Morrocan Mint.
There’s a selection of hot foods and sandwiches that make a great weekend lunch or brunch with friends, but the area this place really shines is the cakes and desserts. Star among them is the Devonshire scone (best ordered as part of the Cream Tea with a tea of your choice)with jam and clotted cream. They’re warm, fluffy, not too heavy – just right. Although the portion sizes are generous enough that you’d struggle to finish them if you’ve had some food beforehand.
It feels like the Teabox is a real hub in the local community because as well as the great food, there are the events catering to young and old. There’s amazing looking crafts for young children involving a woman wearing fairy wings carrying tubs of paints, glitter and safety scissors; a book club; poetry readings; knitting groups and late openings on Friday nights for jazz and comedy nights.
Service is a charming mixed bag. Everyone is really friendly and chatty, some of the younger staff – presumably local students on summer jobs- can sometime be very chatty. It’s endearing and what they might lose in speed is made up for by the entertainment of it. Having said that, they all seem aware of when you would rather have your space and not engage in a conversation. It can get busy in here on Sunday afternoons, which in the past has meant having to wait a while for food, although this seems to have been resolved. I’ve always been really happy with the service. Although, it can sometimes take a while to get your bill and we’ll often just go up to the till to pay it rather than wait. If you have the time though, or it’s not so busy, waiting for the bill is worth it, because look…
It’s a tea chest! (with thanks to my sister for this picture)
All in all, this is a great little place. It’s charming, has lots of options and relatively quiet. If i ever had my own tea house- it’d be something like this.