Happiness is finding time for a sit down. True happiness however lies in finding a new favourite place. On Sunday, having a little stroll from Dalston, we looked inside Time For Tea. The sign for this wonderful discovery has filled me with much curiousity previously but having always been on buses when I passed it, I’ve not had a chance to peek in and investigate the delights it holds.
Finally on Sunday, we walked into a room, not unlike most grannies’ living rooms. There were a couple of tables and intimate groups of people sat about drinking tea from a variety of vintage tea sets. The room was filled with the sounds of swing, but curiously punctuated by the sound of someone typing on a typewriter.
We walked in through to the back passing “objects”. On an upside down chair, the legs now housed some hats; on a little dressing table, there laid some vintage brooches; and a whole load of records all for £2. On that wall, an old map of Australia, brown from age; on another some beautiful old clocks.
At the back of the room, we reached a little serving counter with an old cash machine. Shelves were lined with labelled jars of tea and there was even a selection of homemade cakes (on cake stands). At the corner of our eyes, we saw the typist. A girl of about 10 or 11 sat facing the room and typed away. She wore a flat cap and jodphurs and she was concentrating seriously.
After a sit down and a few cups of Russian Carnival (oh yes, even the teas are magical blends!), it was time to go. The girl -Tilly is her name, served us.
She had finished typing. I asked her what she was typing, was it a story?
“It’s a classic love story”, she replied.
That was a surprise. And she went on. She said it was set in the 40s.
But of course.
Going into Time For Tea is a magical experience. Stepping in you leave the craziness of Shoreditch High Street and back into time. Drinking tea and eating cake. I didn’t know it was so easy to forget 2009.