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Village Food & Drink

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Posted on February 28 2015 at 1:44:23 0 comments

The Tea Shop

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A year after it opened, The Tea Shop in Barnt Green is toasting its remarkable success.

“I’m so glad I did it,” says owner Diane Cooke, who launched the venture off the back of her original Constance Wallace vintage shop and mobile tea party service.

“We meet such lovely people, many of whom have become regulars, and it’s a great environment to work in!”

It’s also a perfect environment in which to enjoy a cup of tea, a slice of homemade cake or something more substantial, as the cafe’s hordes of customers will testify. Surrounded by the vintage homeware collected or created by Diane, the pretty tables are always full of happy faces.

The Tea Shop enjoyed a very busy run-up to Christmas, with the giftware proving especially popular – while the festive afternoon tea parties featuring carols from Alvechurch Community Choir were fully booked.

Plans are in place to offer these throughout December this year, and Diane says some people have already put their names down.

The shop is also offering a special afternoon tea on Mother’s Day – get in touch for full details. Gift vouchers for afternoon tea and cream tea are also available to buy.

As we move into spring, Diane has introduced some new giftware ranges, including more of the super-cute animal doorstops which have been such a hit.

There’s also a selection of Ted Baker gifts for men, plus nostalgic giftware such as old-fashioned lunch boxes, for kids and bicycle repair kits in traditional packaging – ideal for the many cyclists who frequent the shop.

Beautiful fabric dolls and quilts made by a local crafter are now on sale, alongside locally-made jewellery with vintage and Victorian charms. And now that the shop is running like clockwork, Diane is giving herself more time to make her own textiles such as cushions, bunting and aprons.

Meanwhile, the wedding season has begun – which means lots of bookings for catering and hiring vintage china and accessories (of which there is now an Increased range). One customer has even booked an intimate wedding breakfast in the shop itself, ahead of her wedding abroad.

The Tea Shop is frequently hired out for special occasions on Sundays or evenings, while Diane continues to take the party to clients’ homes with the help of her 1958 Austin van, Peggy.

The Tea Shop’s menu of homemade food now has a bigger selection of cakes, as well as more savoury items including a very popular homemade cheese and potato pie – and there are more teas to choose from. The tables are always adorned with lovely flower arrangements by staff member Claire.

Diane’s daughter Emma, who works alongside her mum in the shop, has now qualified in holistic massage and will be providing treatments in clients’ own homes – so the Tea Shop will soon be offering a gift package entitling someone to a massage from Emma as well as afternoon tea.

“There’s still lots more we want to do, such as opening on Sundays for afternoon tea in the summer,” says Diane. Watch this space – or better still, pop in to The Tea Shop and find out what’s new.

91 Hewell Road, Barnt Green
Tel: 0121 679 6917
http://www.constancewallace.co.uk
Facebook: Constance Wallace


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