14 Holand Street,
0207 938 4666
Why oh why oh why oh why aren't there more tea rooms like this
Nestled away in the tranquil mews of lesser trod Kensington,
Holland Street is a wisteria-festooned oasis of cobble-street
calm in the very heart of London. Just by pressing your face
against up the glass and staring in wonder at the beautiful array
of cakes and patisseries you can't help but fall in love. As soon as
we crossed the threshold of No. 14 we were besotted.
A single table - surrounded by plush antique thrones - occupies
the middle of a tiny and very artistically arranged drawing room.
There's a small counter and an enormous silver samovar and
that's about it, save for a large communal sugar bowl which
occupies the centre of the table.
We were joined by a Chinese-American mother and nanny, 3
Parisian socialites and what we took to be two gay Dutch golf
pros. As one might expect from such an illustrious clientele, the
whole shop has been lavished with exquisite taste and
extraordinary attention to detail. Even the weird metal spatulas
and quirky spherical cups are beautiful (and no less of an art form
to drink from).
We opted for gluten-free mud pie and invigorating green tea and
foretold from the leaves that we would visit very soon and very
often. If the people of Britain weren't being constantly and
systematically insulted by inferior establishments what happy
times these would be. See you there!