I recently was surprised to hear that UK Tea Rooms began in Glasgow, Scotland. Afternoon tea started in people’s homes in England in the 1840’s, then became mainstream in the 1860’s. So, naturally, I thought tea rooms began in England.
However, in the early 1870’s, Stuart Cranston was the first to open a tea room and retail store in Glasgow. This allowed customers to try teas before purchasing them. At the end of the 1870’s, Kate Cranston opened The Willow Tea Room built specifically for Afternoon Tea. Popularity of tea rooms spread and in 1884 London began opening its own tea rooms through the Aerated Bread Company.
And there you have it 😉 Happy tea-ventures!