Taking Tea in Victorian Scotland
Despite all the latest coffee shop chains springing up across the country, we still enjoy a cuppa and a bite to eat somewhere that's a little less samey and a little more individual.
In the centre of the city of Perth is a place where you can do just that.
Step through the door of Small Talk Traditional Tea Rooms and you're straight through a time tunnel back to Victorian Scotland. It's a little historical haven offering a refreshing alternative to the many modern shops and businesses which make up the busy High Street.
A Slice of History
Deep burgundy paintwork, an old fashioned pavement sign and some stunning hanging baskets first draw the eye to Small Talk. The windows are filled with wonderful objects, like the wooden rocking horse and silver tea pots, with the warm glow from the glass chandeliers tempting you in to its cosy interior. The long space inside is crammed with Victorian artefacts which owner, George Sinclair, has amassed over the years.
There's a huge wooden dresser just inside the door, tantalising visitors with its delectable array of cakes. A wonderful collection of old-fashioned tables, chairs, clocks, ornaments and decorative mirrors stretches the length of the room. A varied display of pictures adorns the walls, including two original and valuable crystoleums produced using the Victorian craft technique of applying paint onto curved glass.
Virtually everything in Small Talk is from the era of Queen Victoria, even down to the bone china cups and saucers, with tea being served in one of their 40 antique silver teapots (the oldest of which are over 150 years old).
Haggis, Dumplings & Shortbread
An enthusiastic advocate of using the local supply network, Small Talk's popular selection of home-made food is all provided by nearby businesses. Much of it has a fantastic history, too. The Haggis is from a recipe dating back to 1927, the Clootie Dumpling (a fruit pudding in case, like us, you didn't know!) is still produced using an age-old method involving hessian sacks, and the unique shortbread recipe originates from someone who worked as the private baker to King George V in 1893.
A tearooms and antiques shop all rolled into one delicious serving, Small Talk is a true Victorian treasure worth seeking out amongst the hustle and bustle of the Scottish streets.
Pop Into Perth
With no plans for a website or social media accounts, Small Talk Tea Room's tables get booked up quickly without the need to advertise. They were quick to grasp the benefits of virtual tour however, even encouraging a number of other Perth businesses to sign up, too. Take a virtual visit to lots of these at popinto.co.uk/perth
Find Small Talk Tea Rooms at 202 High Street, Perth, Perthshire PH1 5PA. Tel: 01738 634770. Check out their fabulous reviews on TripAdvisor
Date: 16 October 2015
Author: The 360 Company