101 Star Bars: Tea Smith, Spitalfields
Saturday 05 January 2008
The logistical problems presented by the traditional January detox are manifold, but one of the greatest among them is the bar dilemma: what on earth do you drink on a night out? A couple of Diet Cokes and you'll be climbing the walls. Too much orange juice and you'll think you have a urinary tract infection. Too much cranberry juice and other people will think you have one.
So, this peaceful sanctuary in the middle of Spitalfields was just made for the month-long hangover that is January in the UK. Designed along contemporary Japanese lines, it soothes the weary head and brings colour to jaded cheeks with its Zen ambience. And that's before they even put the kettle on.
The management of Tea Smith combines tea geekiness in its two purest forms: British and Japanese. Its owners, John Kennedy and Tomoko Kawase, have studied with a tea master in Hong Kong and sourced scented nectars from all over the Far East. There are flower teas, white teas, green teas and oolong teas, and that's in addition to the many varieties of black teas that are familiar to the British palate. This is what Betty's of Harrogate would be like if Betty took up yoga and found her inner karma.
This being London, however, there are also cakes supplied by a British ptissier. Well, you can't have posh tea without a posh biscuit nothing's worth getting that detoxed about.
8 Lamb Street, Spitalfields, London E1 (020-7247 1333)
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