A taste of the 1940s at Tea at The Shed

Tea at The Shed in Sproughton Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Tea at The Shed in Sproughton Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

A 1940s themed tearoom has opened at The Shed in Sproughton

Glenn Miller is playing, an old-fashioned till stands behind the counter and union jack bunting hangs from the ceiling at the 1940s themed tearoom Tea at the Shed in Sproughton.

On the tables, which are laid with pretty tablecloths and vases of fresh flowers, the menus are tucked inside replica ration books.

Lunches featured include the land girl’s Ploughman’s – a Scotch egg, pork pie, ham, cheese, pickled onion, chutney and bread – and an evacuee’s lunchbox for children, with a jam sandwich, crisps, a carton of drink and a snack. There’s even an antique high chair for little ones to sit in.

Sandwiches, paninis, jacket potatoes and quiche are on the menu too, not forgetting the scones freshly made on site by tearoom manager Hayley Hutchison and her team.

Hayley Hutchison with some fresh scones Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Hayley Hutchison with some fresh scones Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

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It was Hayley’s scone making which helped her get the job at the tearoom, which reopened on November 20. After The Shed owner Lesley Austin mentioned she liked them, Hayley arrived the next day with warm fruit scones, clotted cream and jam presented in a vintage basket.

Cheese scones are made at the tearoom, which is open Tuesday to Sunday, as well – I can vouch for their quality after being treated to one along with a pot of loose leaf tea.

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Sausage rolls, made with Dingley Dell pork, are made in the tearoom too. “Ingredients are locally sourced where possible,” explained Hayley, who has always worked in catering.

As well as a variety of loose leaf teas, drinks available include cafetieres of coffee, hot chocolate and bottled soft drinks from Hartridges and Belvoir.

Tina Mackay, Hayley Hutchison and Lesley Austin enjoying a chat Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Tina Mackay, Hayley Hutchison and Lesley Austin enjoying a chat Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The cakes and traybakes, which are home made locally, always include a gluten-free and vegan option.

Set teas are on the menu too, featuring a traditional cream tea of fruit scone, clotted cream and preserve or a cheese tea with a cheese scone, cream cheese and chutney. Both are served with tea or coffee.

The afternoon tea, which must be booked in advance, includes a selection of finger sandwiches, fruit scone with clotted cream and jam, a selection of cakes and pastries and tea or coffee.

“We are also thinking about doing something called Tea to You,” said Hayley, where afternoon tea, including the crockery and cutlery, will be delivered to people in vintage suitcases.

“If they can’t come to us, we can go to them,” she added.

Lovebirds can book for a special Valentine’s afternoon tea this Thursday, which will also include a glass of pink bubbles and a gift to take home for £19.95 per person.

Another special event coming up at Tea at The Shed is a 1940s sing-along on Wednesday, February 27 from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Customers can sing along with wartime songs at the tearoom, where the usual menu will be available. The event is free, but you must get in touch with the tearoom to let them know you are coming.

Like any trip to Tea at The Shed, it won’t be a flying visit for its customers. “We don’t want it to be somewhere you just come and go, we want you to take your time and enjoy it,” Hayley said.

Lesley added: “The tearoom is in keeping with The Shed. We wanted it to be oldy worldy, somewhere calmer, not somewhere where you rush in and rush out.”

Everything is served on vintage china crockery, much of which has been sourced from The Shed itself along with the furniture and signs. Lesley’s partner and fellow owner of The Shed, Ken Dunn, upholstered all of the chairs and handmade the impressive tearoom counter.

“I feel so at home here, it’s lovely, it doesn’t feel like a job,” said Hayley in her vintage-style tabard, clearing away the pretty crockery.

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