Hints & Tips on getting started with an Underground Tea Room

Since opening my Underground Tea Room in June this year, I’ve had many emails from hosts asking for advise. I do my best to reply with as much information as possible. Here are a few ideas of how to get started with a

Secret Tea Room

Try …………….and read msmarmitlover’s blog ‘The English Can Cook A pioneer of the UK Underground Restaurant movement. Here you will get an in site into the many Underground Restaurant events that she holds and the themes and recipes that have been offered over this last 18 months.

Establish …….a menu, with a suggested donation and a description of what your Underground TeaRoom event is going to be like, ie Miss-matched china, sitting with strangers etc.

An.…………….. invite to your friends for the first event (see my first event with friends here) is a great way to get things going.

Remove ………unnecessary  furniture and lay the table/s the day before leaving it covered overnight ready for your lovely sandwiches and cakes.

One……………. area you need to pay attention to is the toilet/bathroom. Make sure it’s as clean as it can be. No-one wants to wash their hands or pay it a visit knowing that they come out feeling that you don’t care about their health. Instead of a single towel, I leave a few dozen small white face cloths folded up by the sink, which guests then place in a bin after use. These can go straight into the wash at the end of the day.

Obtaining…….. a certificate in Food Hygiene, registering your kitchen and taking out public liability insurance, is something else you should consider.

Most……………. important. Get help on the day, this will give you the chance to chat to your guests and give you time to sit with them.

Social Networks are a great way to promote your events whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook or Supperclub Fan Group. It’s worth signing up to them enabling you to get in touch with likeminded people.

It’s hard work, but it can be great fun. Good Luck


10 thoughts on “Hints & Tips on getting started with an Underground Tea Room

  1. Hi Lynn
    I contacted you last week about attending your next Secret Tea Room, unfortunately it was full, but I am on your waiting list… since then I have decided to take the plunge and set up my own event. I’ve applied on your supper club listing site as Time for Tea @ Lavender Attic. Many thanks for your good advice and inspiration. Would be lovely to hear from you.

  2. Dear Lynn, saw the article in Prima Mag and got very excited: would love to start a Dorset underground tea room. Think I have a good venue ( Cobb cottage built in 1680’s in historic village). I am also confident with the baking etc. What scares me is the idea of being dragged kicking and screaming into the modern world of blogging etc. Any tips? Realised that it is a fabulous medium for contacting interested parties but need some guidance. On a practical note, do you change the menu each month and do ‘ themes’ or is it sufficient to just do ‘afternoon tea’ ?

  3. Hi Lynn I am looking to start a secret tea room myself as I have always loved cakes and cooking. I have read your tips and just wanted to ask about the food hygiene certificate. I have seen some online that cost about £15 and give you the certificate, is this the sort if thing you mean? It seems quite cheap so I didn’t want to get the wrong thing. Any other advice you have would be most appreciated. King regards clementine

  4. Thank you so much for the prompt response. The one I was looking at is city and guilds accredited i think. Would it be the level 2 that I would need as opposed to level 1? Thank you, clementine

  5. Thank you! Sorry, one last question, would it be food hygiene for catering or retail? Sorry to keep asking! Thank you, clementine

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