I’m always on the look out for new places to go and different things to do and see in London, attempting to add at least one new discovery to my list each weekend, whether it’s a new route to a familiar place, a quirky boutique, an exciting new place to eat or just somewhere cosy to while away an afternoon. Soho’s Secret Tea Room was one such weekend discovery. This gorgeous vintage-inspired tea room is an absolute delight tucked away above one of London’s most famous pubs (reportedly the first veggie pub in London) the Coach & Horses on Greek Street. There’s something exciting and a little bit mysterious about going behind the bar (if you’re lucky and they have a free table!) and ascending the rickety staircase to the hidden tea room – like entering a different era.
I’d read about the Secret Tea Room before we visited and although it didn’t get five star reviews I thought that the retro concept sounded intriguing. I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Everything had clearly been thought out with such care and attention to detail, from the vintage crockery and tableware to the trinkets and treasures decorating the room. The kitsch tablecloths and lace doilies, floral cups and saucers, photos and pictures decorating the walls in vintage frames (including my favourite – the vintage covers of Private Eye) and the stunning red record player (playing retro music of course) all contributed to a unique ambiance. The Secret Tea Room was perfectly cosy too – just like visiting the familiar front room of a friend. The service was warm and friendly, which added to the homely feel of the place.
And not to forget the food of course! The homemade scones were a highlight for me (they came with scrummy homemade jam and clotted cream), and paired with the range of expertly selected leaf teas (16 in total!) made for the perfect afternoon tea. If it was up to me, I would have gone for retro bakes to match the surroundings, but the contrast of the more modern pastries and cakes with the vintage environment added something to the experience. I do prefer my cakes a little daintier too (we had the afternoon tea selection for two) as I found I was nearly full after just the scone, but if you like your afternoon tea a little more substantial then this will be right up your street! The tea itself was delicious, and perfectly brewed thanks to the timers that came with each pot.
For our trip to the Secret Tea Room and then Highgate’s Christmas Fair I wore my Whistles red and black flecked jumper with leather details, which hasn’t been off my back since I got it in October. I wore it with my faux leather pleated skirt, tweed Crombie coat and ankle boots. This faux fur Cossack hat dresses up even the most simple of outfits, and paired with the tailored coat and leather details I felt it gave the look a smart, military twist.
I’ll leave you with a few snaps from the Highgate Christmas Fair. They had camels and baby reindeer… Need I say more!