New hands serve tea at ‘Cobbles’

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Keith with some freshly baked scones

New owners of “The Cobbles” tea room, Keith Beadle and Anderson Medeiros are upholding the premises’ traditional gold standard of tea-room dining. The secret to any good tea room is a high-class scone and customers old and new have been singing the praises of those served at The Cobbles since Keith and Anderson took over at the beginning of May. In addition to traditional scones, fruit, cheese and gluten-free options are all on offer. The handmade scones are freshly baked every day to a recipe that is as closely guarded as the formula for Coca-Cola, or the secret to Betty’s hotpot in Coronation Street’s Rovers Return.

A traditional cream tea with two scones, butter, jam, cream (from a local dairy) and tea is £6.50; and a full afternoon tea with a choice of sandwiches, cake, scones and tea costs £11. The handmade “Cobbles Cakes” include carrot cake, Victoria sponge, coffee and walnut cake, and lemon drizzle cake, as well as gluten-free chocolate cake and Elizabeth cake, made with fruit and apricot jam.

Home-made sandwiches, which can be made with gluten-free bread, include egg mayonnaise, tuna and cheese melts, brie and bacon and cheese and ham. All are served with salad, coleslaw and dressing and cost between £4.50 and £7.

Also on the menu are jacket potatoes, from £6 to £7.50 depending on the filling, a ploughman’s at £9 and a cheese and cured-meat platter also at £9. Other staples are toasted teacakes, hot crumpets with butter, and pancakes. There are a selection of daily specials which on the day I visited during Wimbledon included strawberries and cream, salmon bagels, and sausage and home-made caramelised-onion toasties. There were also quiches supplied by Rye Deli.

The tea shop is a teabag-free zone. Their loose-leaf teas vary from Assam, herbal, gunpowder and peppermint to fruit teas such as strawberry and kiwi, all supplied by the Pluckley based “Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company”. Other beverages include rich Belgian hot chocolate and Fentimans’ soft drinks and lemonade.

Keith, who previously worked at Rye Art Gallery, and Anderson from The Whitehouse, will be well-known to many local residents and the pair are relishing providing a great service over the summer and beyond.

Running the business has been just as exciting as they had imagined but they have been struck by the tremendous support they have received, not just from the friends made since moving from Brighton in July 2018, but from the existing staff. Of particular help have been the previous owners, Simon and Georgia Benn. And new and returning customers are clearly delighted with their efforts as evidenced by glowing reviews on TripAdvisor.

The pair are aware of the importance of maintaining the high standards set by previous owners since 1953, when spinster sisters Doris and Iris Rouse started serving cream teas to customers in the front room, while their father lived in the back parlour. In a way the basis of the tea shop’s success hasn’t changed in 66 years – tasty cream teas with handmade scones and loose-leaf tea, a toilet out the back, and no Wi-Fi.

The Cobbles Tea Shop is located at 1 Hylands Yard, off The Mint and is open from 10am to 5pm seven days a week. There are outside tables in the front and in the rear garden. Dogs are allowed at the outside tables, and water and treats are available.

The tea room operates a first come first served basis. Payment is cash only. For further information telephone 07801 847687, e-mail cobbles.tearoom.rye@gmail.com or check out their Facebook page.

Image Credits: Tony McLaughlin .

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