Thursday, 20 June 2013

'Coles Vintage Tea Rooms' ... another hidden gem in Rayleigh

'Anyone for tea?'
Greetings Ladies and Gents,

Today's blog is all about the delights of Rayleigh, Essex! I wrote a blog on Lindy Lou's (which is in Rayleigh) in March and I can't express how super this shop is. It sells primarily replica patterns for men and women from the 1940s along with some original vintage pieces. The great part about this shop is that there is no pressure to buy anything but I bet you don't leave empty handed! 

After our journey to Rayleigh we needed to re-fuel so we 
Decorative lamp shades
headed straight to Coles 
Vintage Tea Rooms. When we came to Rayleigh in March we saw this little cafe but decided to head home instead as it was so cold! This time we made sure we had plenty of time and went for a snack-let. On entering the cafe you are hit by the attention to detail. It's decorated like a 1940s tea-room with art-deco lights, old newspapers, vintage tea sets, bunting and even an art-deco bathroom! We sat down and ordered some lunch - I ordered ham, fried egg and bubble and squeak and husbandy ordered Cumberland sausage sandwich both with lashings of tea. 

Afternoon Cream Tea
The food arrived and we tucked in - I haven't had bubble and squeak for an age and it was divine - I even managed to grab a mouthful of sausage and it was scrumptious. After eating our lunch we were toying on whether to have cake now or later... but as I'm weak the decision to eat cake was now! There was a counter displaying a vast array of different cakes from chocolate to coffee and walnut to scones. I ordered my favourite cake which is the lemon drizzle cake and husbandy ordered the Afternoon Cream Tea. The Afternoon Cream Tea came with two scones, jam and clotted cream plus strawberries and small pieces of chocolate brownie all beautifully presented on a cake stand with a pot of tea. The lemon drizzle cake came with a sprinkling of icing sugar and a strawberry. The cake was just so light and moist - my mouth was having a little party and it did not want to end! My husbandy said that they were the
Lemon Drizzle Cake
best scones he 
had ever tasted (and he has tasted a few!). The tea at Coles Vintage Tea Rooms (which makes a damn fine cuppa) is there own infusion and the tea selection is endless - you can even buy the leafs to make your own at home! The food was delicious, the cafe had a relaxed atmosphere and the staff were friendly - my idea of a perfect cafe

My Handsome Husbandy
After all the indulgence we thought we best stop otherwise we would need to buy bigger clothes! With full bellies we waddled up to Lindy Lou's where the search to cloth my man began. My husbandy is a tall, slim fella (6ft 4in) and has trouble finding trousers that are long enough... so with some thorough searching through the racks we found a good selection of 33 inch leg. He tried them on and it was like they were made for him! He also wanted a jacket, but didn't have the one he wanted and we thought 'bum', but to our delight the owner said she could make a made to measure and even in the same fabric - smiles all round! We were in Lindy Lou's two hours...the time just flew by. We walked away with two pairs of trousers with a jacket on order... plus a head-piece for me!

Rayleigh is a true hidden gem in south Essex. Not only does it have a great vintage shop and splendid tea room but it is has plenty  more to offer... I could spend a whole weekend there and still need longer. It has a lovely high street with shops you normally find on a high street plus other shops you wouldn't expect to find. I wanted to rummage through the charity shops and fabric shops but ran out of time! There is also a healthy vintage scene in Essex - especially in Southend-on-Sea - so come on; what are you waiting for... 

Happy Indulging x

P.S. Nearest Train Station: Rayleigh (trains leave London Liverpool Street approx. every 15 mins). Only a 8 minute walk from the station. 90 minutes in the car from West London and ample of parking.

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