For a nation obsessed with tea, we’re easily impressed (see: chimps dressed as old ladies and the builder’s variety). Which is to say, we could stand for some sophistication in the quintessential cuppa.
Especially if it’s steeped in charm at Chelsea tea atelier Bellocq. From a trio of New Yorkers (two of whom are former Martha Stewart staffers), the new shop uses antique fixtures, natural wood floors and dramatic floral arrangements to frame rows of bright yellow canisters brimming with specialty teas.
Signature blends include Afghani chai (Indian black tea with poppy flowers and marigold petals) and Noble Savage (juniper berries, Douglas fir tips, wildflowers), as well as divine-smelling pure varieties sourced everywhere from Taiwan to India to Sri Lanka. Staffers know their black from their oolong and will dole out samples and tips (never add boiling water to green tea, it makes it bitter!).
Products like shearling tea cosies, maté cups and drinkable sprinkles of real gold and silver make it a trove of unexpected gifts — and just our cup of tea.
Bellocq Tea Atelier, 141 King’s Road, SW3 4PW (0800 0148119 or bellocq.com).
Photo: Courtesy of Bellocq