The British Tea Rooms, a quintessentially English chain of cafés, is to draw on a 1950s theme for the launch of its first shop in London later this year.
A joint venture between Ponti’s and Hope and Greenwood, the project is the first in a series of up to 100 cafés throughout the UK.
Interiors and brand development for the tea rooms is by design consultancy Sedley Place, which was appointed following a pitch involving an unknown number of groups.
The brand system by Sedley Place will include the development of the current visual identity for the tea rooms, which will become a hand-drawn logo. Tea room characters will also be devised – a boy and a girl who aim to depict the ‘cheeky optimism’ of the new concept.
Set to launch in September, the first British Tea Room will open on London’s Marylebone High Street and will use bespoke materials from the 1950s.
According to Sedley Place managing director Mick Nash, the centre point of the café will be a traditional tea urn.
‘This is a fantastic fight back from the tide of coffee shops we seem to be overwhelmed by and it will be quintessentially English,’ Nash says. ‘Not American, not Italian, but very honest and flag-waving. We will be using materials that would have been popular in the 1950s, such as Bakelite and Vitrolite.
‘The whole place will use reference points to the 1950s. We want the flavour of the time with a modern edge. We want the best parts of the era – for example, the wallpaper design back then was fantastic, but some of the interiors could be a bit drab. It is something new and fresh, but typically English.’
• The British Tea Rooms will open first in London’s Marylebone and be rolled out to up to 100 stores across the UK
• The tea shops will offer classics such as sponge pudding, toast with English butter and jam, English strawberries and scones and clotted cream, along with proper leaf tea
• Ponti’s was established in 1963 and has experience in a variety of retail catering environments• Hope and Greenwood is a confectionery store in Dulwich, south east London