In England, there is a phrase we use to define something that is useless. For example, if my husband Mr. Tea gave me a book written in Mandarin, I would say to him first, that he was brainless, and second, that the book was “as useful as a chocolate teapot.” The logic behind this idiom is that a chocolate teapot would melt as soon as you poured boiling water in it, so it is used as a comparison to anything useless or badly conceived. (Next time darling, just check my Amazon Wish List, okay?)
I had a chocolate teapot experience of a different kind on Saturday, one that warmed my heart into a big gooey puddle of English tearoom bliss.
The Chocolate Teapot in Esher is anything but a proverbial chocolate teapot. As tearooms go, it certainly ticked all the right boxes for me: ambiance, cleanliness, friendly staff, and good food and tea.
The best tearooms are ones that reflect the personality of their owners. This variety of style is what makes visiting them so much fun. My favourite tearoom style is traditional: lace curtains; pretty, mismatched china; real flowers; wooden chairs; and – above all – a cosy, comfortable atmosphere. The Chocolate Teapot in Esher did not disappoint!
Mr. Tea and I arrived midday and the crowd had already come and gone, so we had the tearoom all to ourselves (although there was a small special event taking place in the courtyard outside). Combined with perfect weather and glorious sunshine, could Afternoon Tea get any better?
The wait staff at The Chocolate Teapot are very friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient, and we were also lucky enough to meet the owner, Jane, who was charming.
The menu at The Chocolate Teapot is just right: a good selection of snacks, meals, and of course, teas. We ordered the full Afternoon Tea which included our choice of sandwich and homemade cake, accompanied by a pot of tea, scones with jam and cream and – appropriately – a tiny chocolate teapot brownie. (I love that little extra touch!) The food was excellent.
On the tearoom’s first anniversary last year, they set off balloons with coupons inside for a free slice of cake. One of the balloons – believe it or not – ended up in Germany, and the nice man who found it contacted the tearoom and the story was written up in his local German paper. Saturday happened to be the tearoom’s second anniversary, so Jane asked if I would do the honours of releasing this year’s balloons. It was my privilege, so here I am.
If you ever find yourself in the Surrey area (inside London’s M25 corridor), I suggest you visit The Chocolate Teapot in Esher. You will receive a friendly welcome, delicious food, cosy surroundings – and the only chocolate teapot that melts will be that bite-sized brownie in your mouth.