Last weekend I was invited to do a tour of the oldest residential house in Hackney, followed by an indulgent high tea and cocktails in the stunning Tudor Tea Rooms and Courtyard at Sutton House. Obviously I couldn’t say no.
The tour of Sutton House, a National Trust Tudor house in the middle of Hackney, was led by possibly the best tour leader I’ve had – Elsa, a 90-something year old local volunteer who knows Sutton House better than anyone and who had more stamina and energy than all the 20-30 something year olds that she was showing around. It’s a gorgeous house, one of the oldest Tudor houses in Greater London, and it was pretty amazing to imagine the simpler life when it was first built in 1535 surrounded by empty farmlands. How much this city has changed!
After the tour, we were spoilt by Little Nan’s (adult) grandchildren with high tea and cocktails served in vintage teapots.
I must admit that despite living in London for almost 4 years I’ve never been to a high tea before, mostly because – dare I say it – I don’t really like tea (sorry England). So replacing tea with cocktails served in teapots was a winning combination for me.
This was a nice little reminder of just how much history I’m surrounded by every day and has really encouraged me to keep discovering more secret little spots like this one. Whilst I don’t think each time will be quite as indulgent as this, it was a brilliant way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon.
The company that set up the high tea is called Little Nan’s and is a travelling cocktail bar that takes up residencies in interesting spaces & venues within London & New York. They’ve only just started this pop-up serving teapot cocktails and afternoon teas at Sutton House and they’re best known for their Dalston Rio Bar and Peckham Tropical Bar, all decorated in a quirky kitsch theme. Worth checking out!
Have you ever been to a high tea in the UK and what did you think of it? Love it / hate it / neither?