A top place to take tea

Peacocks Tearoom in Ely stands alongside The Dorchester as the two leading places to take tea in the UK. The Tea Guild has just named The Peacock Tearoom UK s Top Tearoom of 2007. The Dorchester, where afternoon tea costs £29.50 a head, won the Top London

Peacocks Tearoom in Ely stands alongside The Dorchester as the two leading places to take tea in the UK. The Tea Guild has just named The Peacock Tearoom UK's Top Tearoom of 2007. The Dorchester, where afternoon tea costs £29.50 a head, won the Top London Afternoon Tea award.

What makes this even more of a coup is that owners George Peacock and Rachel Lemkov only opened the tearoom in 2004. Rachel said "When the Tea Guild rang us with the news we were completely stunned. They told us it was an amazing achievement to win this coveted award in such a short space of time."

George explained that they approached the Tea Guild for membership when they first opened "If the tearoom meets the Guild's criteria they are invited to join". Currently there are 150 members, which include The Ritz, Claridge's and The Dorchester. To maintain standards each member is given an annual 'undercover' inspection and can be asked to leave if standards have dropped.

When asked why they had opened the tearoom Rachel said "We were having a conversation in the car about what we wanted to do. We were both looking for a change of direction. I was in that antiques trade and George a solicitor, practising out of these premises. The idea for a tearoom came up and we thought why not?"


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The couple had to convert part of the property at Waterside in Ely, adding windows to lighten the room and a fireplace. "It is a small family run business and we wanted to create an inviting and warm atmosphere. The personal touch makes all of the difference." said George. "Our staff are friendly and keen to help and our clients are a nice balance of locals, regular customers and tourists."

The numbers of teas on offer at the moment are 62 and George and Rachel are always sourcing new ones on their travels. Rachel explained "People don't realise that tea can have other ingredients such as spices, flowers and fruit. One of our personal favourites is Kashmiri, a black tea richly blended with Indian spices, orange peel from Berlin." The blend and type of leaf used gives the tea its original flavour.

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Everything apart from the bread is homemade at the premises. Rachel does most of the cooking and on offer are light lunches, sandwiches soup and daily specials. "We buy local food wherever possible the only exception is the clotted cream which comes from Cornwall" she said.

Peacocks Tearoom has a simple philosophy for what makes the best cup of tea. George and Rachel believe that tea drinking is all about personal taste, so they provide tea pots with filters that allow the customer to take it weak or strong adding lemon or milk to taste.

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