Indulge in fizz, macarons and hot cocoa at pop-up chocolate house on the coast 

The Chocolate Tea Pot in Aldeburgh PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Afternoon tea at The Chocolate Teapot - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

There’s nothing like a bracing coastal walk to blow out the winter cobwebs. And there’s nothing like finishing that stroll with a steaming cup of tea or hot chocolate. 

If you’ve got a wander along Aldeburgh’s pebble beach on your calendar, you’ll notice a brand-new spot’s popped up for you to indulge your sweet tooth, and warm your cockles. 

Owners mother and daughter.The Chocolate Tea Pot in Aldeburgh PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sarah and Lucy, owners of The Chocolate Teapot pop-up in Aldeburgh - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

The Chocolate Teapot (in the former Cragg Sister’s tearoom on the high street) is a venture from retired nurse Sarah Ray, and photographer daughter Lucy, who say it’s been their ambition to have a café for a long time...and that working together is a bonus. 

“Paddy Bishopp took the building on last summer and did his Bubble and Squid pop-up,” says Sarah, “then he advertised for someone to take on the lease over the winter. I’ve always wanted to run tearooms, and had taken early retirement from mental health nursing, and Lucy’s worked in hospitality on and off. It just seemed like a good time for us to go for it.” 

Owners mother and daughter.The Chocolate Tea Pot in Aldeburgh PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Mother and daughter Sarah and Lucy at The Chocolate Teapot - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

“I’ve always wanted my own pub,” adds Lucy. “I was born in, and grew up in Suffolk, and I’ve always loved the countryside and coast. I’d been living in London for six or seven years working as a photographer but when Covid happened I had to rethink what was important and what I wanted out of life. 

“I mainly do architectural interiors and not being able to work with developers or clients in houses was hard. So I went back to what I knew. Hospitality.” 

Lucy took on a job in a pub, and says she fell back in love with the industry – despite tough times. “When the pop-up came along I thought it was such a great time to combine mine and mum’s skill set and passion. Mum’s fantastic with people and she’s a great baker. And it’s been very successful so far. Especially in what’s a quieter time for Aldeburgh. It’s been such a lovely place to work.” 

The Chocolate Tea Pot in Aldeburgh PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

A sweet treat at The Chocolate Teapot - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

The Chocolate Tea Pot in Aldeburgh PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Afternoon tea treats at The Chocolate Teapot - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

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The name, The Chocolate Teapot, is not only a clue to what’s inside the tearoom/cafe, but also, Sue says, befits the notion of a pop-up. “It’s something that’s there for a short time, then melts away,” she explains. 

The Chocolate Teapot is influenced heavily by Sue and Lucy’s time spent in Luxembourg visiting family, where chocolate houses are ubiquitous. 

“You go in, pick a chocolate stirrer, and choose toppings at the counter,” says Lucy. “They’ll sometimes have over 100 different choices, along with cakes and savouries. Also, when we used to go we’d buy Cremant [a type of sparkling wine] and macarons. We thought it would be nice to bring those here.” 

The Chocolate Teapot offers four flavours of hot chocolate stirrer (dark, milk, salted caramel and Sorrento orange), and milk, dark and salted caramel hot chocolate flakes, with a range of delicious additions available, including a slug of Baileys. 

More than 20 flavours of tea also feature on the drinks menu, from award-winning Good and Proper Tea, and served on Sue’s proper vintage china, collected over the years. 

Coffee is sourced from Freshpac in Halesworth, served in cafetieres. 

The Chocolate Tea Pot in Aldeburgh PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

There are up to 10 flavours of macaron at The Chocolate Teapot - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

If it’s fizz you’re after, the café offers Cremant de Bourgogne, and pink or regular Cremant de Loire – with Lucy saying all three go well with their selection of macarons made in Framlingham by Hilton Macarons. Ten or more flavours are usually in stock, be it rich chocolate, pistachio, raspberry or salted caramel. 

“All our food is fresh and homemade here in our kitchen or by our local suppliers,” Lucy says of the menu. “Mum bakes all the savoury foods like cheese scones and quiches, and sweeter bakes like fruit cakes, Victoria sponges, Biscoff millionaire’s and chocolate tiffin come from The Cake Bench in Framlingham. Since we opened we’ve also been supplied by a lady in Aldeburgh, who makes delicious Bakewell tarts and cupcakes. And we have a great butcher across the road, Salter & King, who supply our sausage rolls.” 

The Chocolate Tea Pot in Aldeburgh PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Hot chocolate at The Chocolate Teapot - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

“My favourite thing is our cheese scones,” says Sarah. “I pack in as much cheese as I can so the flavour is really good. They’re very nice washed down with a glass of Cremant!” 

Afternoon tea is a big deal at The Chocolate Teapot, with Sarah and Lucy saying they go ‘all-out’ to make it a luxurious experience for their customers. It’s £20 per person or £26 with a glass of Cremant. That includes four different sandwiches (with your choice of filling), and a selection of savoury pastries such as a sausage roll, homemade cheese straws and a choice of quiche. 

And that’s just for starters.  

Once the savoury plates are finished, they’re cleared away, making space for a dessert of plain or fruit scones with local jam and clotted cream, a sweet chocolate bite, a choice of cake and a macaron. 

Dietary requirements such as vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free can be catered for, and afternoon tea can be booked any day the café is open, with 48 hours notice. 

“I very much hope we’re here for the summer,” says Lucy. “I think Aldeburgh is enjoying having us here and giving us every success to continue.” 

Sarah adds: “I have to say, I feel very privileged to be able to work with my grown-up daughter. It’s not very often you get to spend every day with them, and we’re a good team. It would be great to still be here this time next year. It’s a lot of hard work, but we’re both used to that. It’s fun!” 

The Chocolate Teapot is open from 10am to 4pm Thursday to Monday.