Restaurant Review: Bea's Vintage Tearoom

This cosy little teashop has just opened at the top of Bath, along a narrow pedestrian passageway called Saville Row. The property has been empty and unloved for ages so it was with some excitement that I noticed somebody was starting to refurbish it – and what a good job they did. The freshly-washed windows let in great floods of sunshine, making the newly-painted butter-yellow walls glow, and the whole space feels light and airy. Tables are spread with embroidered cloths and set with mismatched flowery china; your tea comes with a silver strainer and your cake with a silver cake fork. The whole place has a feeling of tranquillity and unaffected elegance.

There was a fine selection of freshly homemade cakes to choose from, as well as more substantial toasted sandwiches, quiches and other tempting offers. I went for Devil’s Chocolate Cake, which was a fabulously moist sponge with rich chocolate buttercream on the outside and the proprietress’s wonderfully delicate homemade strawberry jam in the middle. I washed it down with a cup of Yellow Oolong tea, which was a very exciting discovery – it’s a beautifully subtle golden tea which tastes like fresh-cut grass smells. It was summer in a teacup.

The service was swift and very friendly, and the prices were surprisingly reasonable. I have to say, in fact, that there are many places in Bath where you could pay a lot more for a cup of tea and a piece of cake, and get a lot less for your money…