Saturday 19 November 2011

Time for Tea, Prestwich

Yet another wonderful find.  Time for Tea was pointed out to me by a colleague who posted a comment on my blog after I’d posted a comment on the VC’s blog at the University of Salford, where I work.  Ah, the joy of social media!
I actually drive past this pretty establishment every day I go to the office. I’ve often thought it looked quite cute.
Yet it is far more than that.
On Friday I arrived early. I’d arranged to meet a friend there. She said “What about a coffee?”  earlier in the week and I’d said “What about helping me to check out this new café?”   
So there I was at ten to three ordering a pot of tea.  And what a pot it was! A proper china one. The amount of tea reminded me of returning form a day of teaching and my late father making a whole pot of his special brew which I would consume before settling down to  some marking and / or lesson prep.  In Time for Tea you get a little jug of milk and a separate pot of hot water.  
Once my friend arrived, we ordered more tea and some of the homemade cake.  It all lived up to expectation. Much nicer than the big chains!
The colleague who’d recommended it said how tranquil it feels. I’d doubted that as it is situated on the busy A56. But she was absolutely right. You feel detached form the big city when you’re in there.  You are back in the world of lace tablecloths and waitresses in black and white.
But how creative is it?
It works. There are books that the lone customer can take down from the shelf and read.  Once a week, a journalist spends a couple of hours there collecting stories for her local newspaper.  So they already had a writer in residence. They also do tea parties for £7.00 a head- minimum number 15, maximum 25. I’ve already decided to hold a “literary salon” there in the New Year.  There will be readings of poetry and short stories and a chance to buy signed copies of books.  There will be sandwiches, cake, tea and coffee, and a glass of wine.
Definitely worth a visit!