The Old Thatch Tea Shop! What an incredible find in the most idyllic English location. This write up will be my last from our trip to the Isle of Wight and what a beautiful place to remember. There was rain promised for the day ahead however them dark clouds never appeared. The skies had been clear, with the weather dry and crisp and that morning we decided to take a walk through Shanklin Village.
Shanklin village offers plenty of options for the quintessentially English cream tea. There are lots of venues to choose from, and in the peak periods, I can see how there is a real necessity to have so much on offer.
The Old Thatch tea shop stands out with its delicate pink hue and sits beneath a gorgeous thatched roof tucked up on a little bend on the main village road. The external advertising “BEST TEAM ROOMS AND TEA GARDENS I.O.W” gives a small insight into what will lie beneath.
The shop has been serving tea since the 1940s and has seen its fair share of history and change over multiple centuries. I always wonder what it would be like if walls could talk and who knows! The ‘Old Thatch Tea Room’ would certainly have some stories to share as the original construction of the tea room dates back to 1690. In the lengthy history, various businesses have come and gone. In today’s world, the current owners Pat and Charles, have got this right on the button with what they have created.
The external pink hue is just a teaser because once you’re inside, there is a variety of settings to spend your time indulging in this traditional fare. The entry starts with a royal blue tribute room dossed with delicate china fit for the queen herself, and this was not a spot for Munching Menace! The real magic however begins and ends with the garden, in what should be described as magical.
There are times when Munching Menace earns her nametag and full credit to her; she would definitely be an A star student in mayhem. We had been treated this day because ‘The Old Thatch’ charms the vibrant minds of children with the spectacle of a fairy garden.
We were advised to seat and nestle ourselves amongst the magical garden, on the guidance of Liz who works at ‘The Old Thatch’. The look on Menaces face when she started to see the world around us was priceless, and we all live for moments like that. The miniature world that Pat has created here will put a smile on any child’s face or adult for that matter. I have so much respect for people who allow our children to dream, and our time here will be one for the memory bank.
The fairies have moved in, and it doesn’t look like they are going to move out anytime soon. I would say to call this a Fairy garden would be an understatement, it is more village than garden and one that would make Poppa Smurg envious. The Isle of Wight never ceases to amaze me with its imagination, a very unique place indeed.
Imagine immersing yourself for a small period in a location that welcomes children and incites their desire for exploration and use of imagination, a little time to forget society’s addiction to 9-5 mayhem and drilling every ounce of freedom from our minds.
Munching Menace made friends with another couple of explorers of a similar age, and off they took around the gardens on an adventure to find the fairies and their magic. I know most parents or guardians can appreciate the challenge of keeping children away from any sweet treats. On this occasion, none of the little adventurers even noticed!
We opted for a traditional victorian cream tea for two. This included a sandwich of choice for each of us, plus jam and cream scone then topped off with the most delicate, softest and moist victorian sponge that we have ever encountered. Munching Mumma is a regular around tea and cake plus tests her baking skills regularly. The victoria sponge on this knocked her back while she acknowledged how good it was!
There was a unique atmosphere, created by the love and appreciation shown from the team with their caring nature towards all of the children. This has been one of our most laid back meals (children included) for a long time. I would advise anyone visiting the Isle of Wight to pencil in a visit.
The Old Thatch also host a ‘Family Fairy Extravaganza’ on an annual basis which includes; games, fancy dress and beautiful gifts to help raise support for The Sophie Rolf Trust ‘KissyPuppy’ – Caring for children at end of life. If you want to know more about the charity or help by making a donation then please visit KissyPuppy.
I will be looking to create some more blog posts over the next few weeks however would love to hear from people on what I could be exploring! Please drop any comments onto my social feeds.