If you love homemade cakes and antiques a new Staffordshire tearoom could satisfy your cravings for history and good food.
The Antique Bean Tearoom has opened (June 5, 2021) in the chapel at Georgian country house Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge. The grade II* listed mansion is Hansons Auctioneers’ country house saleroom - and the café’s proprietors hope people will flock to taste a new experience.
Stoke-on-Trent couple Matt and Vicky Grooms have worked flat out to bring the new eating-out destination to the area in time for summer.
The tearoom, which currently opens daily, 10am-5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sundays, offers a variety of drinks including freshly-ground coffee, plus a rich array of homemade cakes. Scones, Victoria sponge and triple chocolate brownies are among sweet treats on offer and afternoon teas can be booked in advance.
After you’ve enjoyed refreshments, you can enjoy a stroll in Bishton’s Temple Gardens, home to one of the most impressive Doric screens in the country, or even pave the way to an auction windfall.
Hansons offers free antiques and collectables valuations every week at Bishton. On Mondays, books, maps and manuscripts specialist Jim Spencer is on hand together with militaria and arms expert Oliver Thomas. On Wednesdays Dr Richard Halliday can assess ceramics while Thursdays is a general antiques and collectables valuation day. Appointments are available from 10am-4pm and on other days by arrangement.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons, said: “I’m thrilled to see The Antique Bean Tearoom open its doors to the public. I’m keen to see Bishton Hall and its beautiful gardens enjoyed by the public and the addition of the café will, I’m sure, prove a great attraction.
“And of course, if you’re fascinated by antiques and collectables, it’s the perfect place to soak up history and, perhaps, enter an item into one of Bishton’s many auctions. Events to look forward to include a Country House Toy Nostalgia Auction on August 14, plus TV’s Bargain Hunt will be filming at Bishton’s Antiques and Collectors Auction on August 17-18.
“I hope all that Bishton has to offer will help to bring Vicky and Matt great success. They have worked extremely hard to offer something new to the people of Staffordshire and beyond. I hope people will flock to enjoy the tearoom's amazing home-made cakes and hospitality.”
Vicky, from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, said: “We had a great opening day on June 5 and we’re looking forward to a busy summer at Bishton.
“We started out with a mobile coffee business three years ago – Matt’s idea not mine! I thought he was mad but went along with it thinking nothing would come of it. I was wrong!
“Our first booking was a market in Swadlincote, South Derbyshire. We made £50 and we were over the moon. Coincidentally, Charles Hanson did the opening ceremony that day. We carried on doing markets, then expanded into events and our business took off.
“One event we were asked to do was a drive-in cinema night at Bishton Hall. We enjoyed the evening and it led to the tearoom opportunity and a meeting with Charles. We clicked straight away.
“We will be taking baby steps at the café to begin with - hot drinks, cakes, sweet treats and afternoon tea. But plans for the future include hot food.
“It’s a big and exciting challenge for Matt and I. We’ve been married for nearly 25 years and our two children, Jamie (21) and Megan (17), will definitely be helping out when needed.”
How to find The Antique Bean Tearoom
The Antique Bean Tearoom is located in the courtyard at Bishton Hall, Bellamour Lane, Wolseley Bridge, Staffs, ST17 0XN. It is open Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm, and Sundays, 10am-4pm. Afternoon tea, including a selection of cakes and sandwiches, can be booked by emailing [email protected]. Please allow four days’ notice. Free parking and access to gardens.
To book a free antiques valuation at Bishton Hall, email [email protected] or call 01889 882397.