Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Nostalgic Loveliness at Vintage Lindy Lou's

When you first think of vintage tea rooms, images of quaint villages and little nooks come to mind. The last place you expect to find such a place is in the suburbs of London. Whilst the South East is not particularly well known for its love of vintage, it seems to have gathered quite an interest in the past year, with shops popping up all around areas such as Sidcup and Bexley.

Although these places are technically London areas they have Kent postcodes, but this is not rural Kent, far from it. Amidst the hubbub of Bexley and its surrounding towns lies an exceptional oasis, known as Vintage Lindy Lou's Tea Rooms.

I visited this dear little cafe after spending a few long hours Christmas Shopping in the adjoining town of Bexleyheath and I needed somewhere to relax. I had heard about it from a relative and it seemed the perfect time to experience it for myself. I drove to Crayford, not really recognised for its "vintage" interests and parked up, looking around for the tea room, which exists right in the centre of a small park with the address as "Waterside."

From the outside the tea room isn't much to look at. A brick building previously used as a pop in parlour doesn't exactly excite anyone, but take a step further, open the door and you step into another world.

This is the era of the late 1940s and early '50s, where tea is served in china cups and tempting cakes await under glass domes. I fell in love with it at once.

The actual building encompasses a dual purpose as a tea room and vintage/memorabilia shop which sells everything from kid gloves, to glassware and vintage novelty cards, I even spotted an Enid Collins bag high up on the shelf. This was an exception to the low-end pricing for the items, at £75, which is to be expected from such a famous designer.

There were also two dresses on display which I was told later had belonged to the owner's mother who came from Italy. The dress is in simply stunning condition and I was very moved by the story that went with it. Another dress stands on a mannequin by the window with a hand painted floral design, it is truly a work of art.

Still, I was there to have the full experience so I settled myself in a large comfy sofa covered with a hand knitted blanket and waited patiently for someone to attend on me. It took about five minutes but was definitely worth the wait. My order was taken, swept into the kitchen and planted on the table barely a few minutes later. What service!

Now, I'm a bit picky when it comes to eating in independent restaurants and cafes. I am generally very cynical of anything that says "home-made" but I can honestly say that the sandwiches (I chose cheese and ham) were lovely and fluffy with hand grated cheese and even a little garnish on the side. The tea was served in a fine old china teapot with a mismatched cup and saucer. This seems to be the theme of the entire room, as everything is very cleverly put together. It is very clear that a lot of thought has gone into the design, and you can't really go wrong with Laura Ashley wallpaper! I also noticed that the owner has paid homage to tradition with portraits of Her Majesty the Queen as many shops used to do back in the 40s and 50s.

I was told later that almost every item on display has either been brought from the owner, Linda's personal collection, or donated by customers. This really does make a difference, and gives the whole place a real sense of home and comfort. I could have gladly sat on the sofa all day with a good book, but alas I didn't have much time so after two pots of tea (the hot water was replenished twice at no extra cost) and a slice of gorgeous Victoria sponge I was approached by the owner who told me all about the venture and plans for next year. All I can say is, make sure you visit during the summer!


A pot of tea
Ham and Cheese sandwiches (served with garnish)
A slice of Victoria Sponge (big slice)

Came to a grand total of £6!

Afternoon Tea at its Finest!
Not only does Lindy Lou's offer great service and delicious treats it is also great value for money!

I would recommend anyone to visit this lovely place, its worth bringing a few friends along to get the full "tea party" experience. They also offer Birthday Parties, Children's Parties and other events can be booked upon request.

It's worth the trek, and definitely worth every penny!

Holly x

You can find Lindy Lou's at the following:

The Willows, Waterside Gardens, Crayford Way, DA1 4JJ Kent, United Kingdom

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