Last week, whilst off work for a few days, I took the opportunity to visit two tea houses here in the North East of England; one I have been to several times before, and another for the first time.

tea@HART

Paul suggested a swift stop off in Hartlepool last Friday afternoon, giving us the opportunity to visit tea@HART, a family run tea room and board gaming space / shop.  I’ve wanted to visit for a while, so I jumped at the chance.

I’m not sure what I expected to be honest, but given the geeky credentials of the board gaming library and shop on premises, I suppose I wasn’t expecting this décor, which is what I would describe as your more stereotypical tea room ‘look’.  The space is light and airy, and I just love the crockery (I wanted to take the tea cup home!).

I opted for a pot of Lapsang Souchong and it was a lovely cup of tea.  I paired it with a slice of Jammie Dodger cake, which was sweet and delicious.

I don’t often find myself near Hartlepool, but if I do again, I’ll be going back to tea@HART.  Maybe next time I’ll make sure I have long enough to play a game or two whilst there!

Quilliam Brothers

Somewhere I do find myself quite often is Newcastle upon Tyne, and as such, I end up at Quilliam Brothers on the regular!  It is a happy place for me, serving lovely tea, and equally wonderful food.  Their weekend breakfast menu is a particular favourite of mine.

This Saturday just gone, I tried the Eggs Florentine for the first time.  I usually opt for the Eggs Benedict but I fancied something a little lighter, so switching the ham of the Benedict for spinach of the Florentine meant I still had the delicious eggs and hollandaise, but with the freshness of the greens.  I’ll be having the Florentine version again!

They offer their eggs with hollandaise sauce and stottie 4 ways; with spinach or ham as mentioned above, or with either salmon, or sausages.  I shall have to try the remaining 2 at some point.

As for my pot of tea, I tried the Keemun Mao Feng, which is a black Chinese tea (read about it here).  The description of it ‘tasting like those chocolate desserts you get in yoghurt pots’ drew me in, and whereas I would not go quite that far, there was a definite cocoa note to the flavour.  A tea I look forward to drinking again.

Quilliam Brothers is somewhere I cannot recommend enough; good food, good tea, and lovely surroundings.  The basement of the establishment houses a art gallery (the featuring artist changes regularly), and even has a small cinema, which play movies on a couple of evenings a week.  A list of movies can be found on their website, which can be found here.

Do you live in the North East of England?  If you do, I’m always on the lookout for new tea house recommendations, so please, send them my way!

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