by Nancy Stiles
The new London Tea Room is now open at 3128 Morganford Road in Tower Grove. An Anglophile's dream, the tea cafe moved into a bigger space -- with a new focus on retail -- from Washington Avenue. The new London Tea Room opened Friday, February 7, after a few weeks of closure.
We spoke to owner Jackie James about how the new tea room turned out and what's changed at the Tower Grove location.
"I've been very, very happy from the amount of support we've had from people that live in the neighborhood and people that drove down and are so excited for us," James says. "It kind of makes you feel good!"
The London Tea Room is now in a completely rehabbed historic building, with seating for about 25 people in the main cafe. The fare is primarily pastries -- unfortunately lunch is mostly gone, but some items are still available. James describes it as comfortable and cozy with exposed brick and a bevy of tea products and accessories for sale.
One of the reasons for the move was to refocus on retail and event space. There are loose-leaf teas, teaware, tea cozies, tea kettles and pots -- you name it, it's there. The London Tea Room has also launched a new website to support its retail component, with local and national shipping as well as store pickup available.
The event space already has bookings for some baby showers, bridal showers and birthday parties; it seats around 40 guests for afternoon tea. While the cafe is warm and cozy, James says, the event space is bright and elegant.
James is also excited about the addition of tea education courses twice a month. Tea 101 is the most popular class, she says, so she's working to build that up and teach St. Louisans the basics of tea. You can sign up for classes here.
A grand-opening celebration is planned for March, but for now James is happy with the response over the past few days.
"It has been fantastic," she says. "There's a lot of stuff going on. Despite the weather, it's been a very successful soft opening!"