Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.
The chocolate factory gates are locked, whispers spread that lights have been seen at night, strange noises startle those that pass too close and hounds guard the door. The locals scurry by the closed shop on their dreary morning trudge to work, clutching their scalding, uncaring coffee, in its unsatisfying cardboard carton. Colourful sparks glitter under the door, and they wonder; could something magical be coming? Is there something better? More satisfying? More caring and tasty to perk up their morning? Their surroundings are beautiful, the fireworks of autumn are strewn before them across the Vauxhall Gardens, but their beverage is sharp and instant and doesn't last. Through the boarded windows glimpses are made of strange creatures beavering away, cut off from the outside world and the sweet aroma of tea drifts into the neighbourhood, a mellow high that lasts the whole day, invigorates without tiring and hugs rather than kicks. Ancient and worldly, the infusion is brewing slowly. There will be no golden tickets, the doors will open to all come spring.
We have been talking to tea suppliers and have entered a fascinating world populated by wonderful and knowledgeable men. They wish to share and pass on their knowledge to new boys and we welcome the opening to the guild that they have offered. We will strive hard and make them proud. The range of teas that we have discovered is magnificent and our palates are improving, we are aprentices in a 4000 year old body of knowledge and delight in each new discovery. We hope to sell loose leaf tea, so that if you enjoy a cup, you can take some home with you. We will run into a battle over pounds and ounces but with the British Weights and Measures Association on our side we are prepared to hold our ground against tyrannical European legislation that is destroying all things local and democratic.
We have plans for our layout, they look beautiful. Decisions must be made, but our lavatories have to be top notch. We are looking at 50-70 covers with a few snugs, chesterfields and open fires. We are not sure whether to have a counter or not but we must have a well equipped kitchen as we will be preparing food. Full English Breakfast with a cuppa. Welsh rarebit, ploughmans, shephards pie, toad in the hole, haggis, ice-cream and cheese boards. Teas of the world and top British fayre.
The premesis licence is nearly complete, we are going to sell liqour but only in the evenings persuant to the theatre. We are going to be a hot little art house and have a live band about once a month, tea dances on a Sunday, murder mysteries, and gallery space for local artists. Stick that in your cafe Nero.
Foolishly we have tried to get support from Arts Council England, but they were all at a fundraiser for the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, they were nice enough to take time out from the canapes to explain that times are hard.
There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea. ~Bernard-Paul Heroux