Two new tea concepts set to open in the UK
France’s oldest teahouse, Mariage Frères, is to open its first UK emporium in London’s Covent Garden in September, while a venue mooted to be the world’s first gin and tea bar is set to open this Autumn in Cheltenham.
The Mariage Frères site will be the brand’s largest branch to date as it will be housed in a five-storey listed Georgian townhouse on Covent Garden’s King Street.
The ground floor tea emporium, incorporates a tea wall with close to 1,000 varieties of rare teas displayed apothecary-style in antique black canisters on floor-to-ceiling. A selection of freshly brewed Mariage Frères teas will also be available to go alongside freshly prepared sweet and savoury pastries on the ground floor.
On the first floor, diners at the 100-cover Salon de Thé will be seated in the ornate gallery, flooded with daylight from the atrium above and surrounded by an intricate listed heritage balustrade.
Meanwhile, a campaign is being run on crowdfunder website Kickstarter to raise £55,000 to open what is to be called The Memsahib Gin and Tea Bar.
It is being launched by the owners of the East India Café, also in Cheltenham, and is inspired by the British Raj period, in which many Anglo-Indian women settled in the town.
The Chai tea, which will be served at the restaurant and bar, is a mix of aromatic Indian herbs and spices that are combined and then infused with tea.
The bar will also offer Anglo-Indian cuisine, 55 seasonally selected gins including its own house-distilled gin called Masala Chai Gin.
Co-owner of East India Cafe & the new Memsahib Gin & Tea Bar, Litu Mohiuddin, said: “Our customers at East India Cafe love our idea of mixing gin and tea together, so it’s a dream come true that we are taking the next step and opening our very own gin & tea bar, which to our knowledge will be the first ever in the world.”