Samovar Tea House
Situated on Fore Hill in Ely, Samovar Tea House is a quirky little teashop and gallery. Run by Sofia and her team, it stocks nearly 200 leaf teas including a number of their own house blends.
You can stop off here for breakfast, lunch and snacks, including bagels, wraps and soups. Their cakes are particularly fantastic and we highly recommend their grapefruit and tarragon polenta cake.
Upscaled furniture and artwork on the walls give Samovar a relaxed feel. The tea house also has a regular display of works by local artists. The art is for sale, as is a range of teapots and loose leaf teas. On our visit, we purchased a lovely blue ceramic teapot with an internal stainless strainer, ideal for loose tea (which we also bought). We chose Sencha, a Japanese green tea that the staff have for breakfast, and Shou Mei, a Chinese white tea from Guanxi Provence, which is recommended for its antioxidant properties.
If you’re elsewhere in the UK and can’t get to Samovar Tea House, don’t despair. Their tea is also available by mail order.
By Philip Seaman, Cambridgeshire editor