A tearoom inside a pub could be just the place to escape the ordinary
- Credit: Archant
One Suffolk pub has come up with a novel way to draw in a new clientele - it’s turned one of its bars into a tearoom.
Escape the Ordinary is the newly opened tearoom inside the White Horse Inn pub in Tattingstone, and it’s an apt name for such a venture.
Although an increasing number of pubs now are widening their offering to include tea and cakes - some, like the Rushbrooke Arms in Sicklesmere, now have a cake display on the bar - turning one of the barrooms into a separate tearoom is an entirely different cup of tea.
And although the tearoom concept might be more associated with the older age bracket, the idea for Escape the Ordinary came from a 19 year-old, Jemma Boyton, whose parents, Simon And Lisa Boyton, run the White Horse Inn itself.
“I am really into cupcakes and love to create different flavours, and my cupcakes were selling really well in the pub,” she said. “I like to experiment with out-of-the-ordinary flavours that you don’t normally find in cupcakes - After Eight, Rolo, strawberry and Prosecco, chocolate orange - even cheese and Marmite.
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“Locals all love the idea of having a tearoom in the pub, because no one in the village offers such a service. I’ve already got 12 locals booked in for afternoon tea.
“We are right by the walking path that goes around Alton Waters and loads of walkers come in and say they fancy a cup of tea and a cake, so I’m hoping to get passing trade.”
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The White Horse Inn is a 17th Century Grade II listed Inn, with a large beer garden and camp site. One of the bars has been refurbished and made into the cosy tearoom, with grey-painted walls, quotes on the tables and walls, fairy lights and a book shelf for book swapping.
“It doesn’t look like a normal tearooms, because I wanted it to be unusual,” Gemma says. “Instead of cups and saucers we have mugs, and there’s a massive bookcase with old books.”
Jemma, who attended Stanway School, has been baking cupcakes since she was 12, after her dad, Simon Boyton, was found to be gluten-intolerant and she began preparing gluten free cupcakes for him to enjoy.
But it was her grandmother who enthused her with a love of baking, she says. “My grandma was a massive influence on me, I was really close to her and we used to bake cakes together.”
Simon worked for 30 years as a manager for Royal Mail, along with Gemma’s mum Lisa, and Jemma says it was a “giant leap of faith” that led the family after 16 years in Colchester to decide to uproot to Suffolk to run a pub. “It felt like it was meant to be, because buying the pub came about the day after my grandma died. I think she would be really pleased if she could see it now.”