Dear Mummy, over the weekend we visited Moscow State Circus in Reading. While we were visiting we stumbled across this beautiful tea room on the River Thames.
This was no ordinary tea room though. It was located on a barge! It’s called Whittington’s Tea Barge and is located in a great spot by Meadows Hill, George Street, Reading RG4 8DH (where the circus was touring).
It was one of the most unusual lunch experiences we’ve ever had. We rang up 15 mins before we were due to arrive in Reading and they managed to squeeze our party of seven in for lunch. My folks and I visited with my Grandparents, Uncle and cousin.
We spotted the barge straight away on the river, it was a beautiful forest green boat. There were little tables on the bank at the side of the river and from the outside it looked small and we couldn’t imagine all of us fitting inside to have lunch. But looks can be deceiving!
When we headed on board and down the little steps onto the barge we ducked our heads to enter the barge through the little door and were amazed at what greeted us!
A large beautiful space with at least 8 tables set! There was plenty of space for our party! A lot of customers were people who hadn’t booked and just popped in after their river walks. Some were enjoying cream teas on beautiful vintage cake stands with elaborate tea pots, while others were tucking into an all day breakfast.
The kitchen was at the other end of the barge and we could see all the way down and watch the chef prepare the food which was fascinating.
In the middle of the barge was the counter adored with large homemade cakes displayed within glass cake domes. The adults ordered tea and coffee and they arrived in vintage mismatched pots, cups and saucers, with tea strainers and cute little pots of sugar cubes. It was so quirky and fun! Like a Mad Hatters Tea Party onboard a barge!
We loved all the little touches, the kids squash came in children’s Disney beakers. There was children’s cutlery provide and nothing was too much trouble for the friendly and attentive staff. While we were waiting for food the owners even invited us to tour the barge, while my folks relaxed and enjoyed a natter while drinking their loose leaf tea. Their was a constant stream of customers too, which proved this is a popular haunt for people in the know.
While we were eating our fantastic and varied lunch (everyone had something different from salmon sandwiches, cream tea, omelette and ploughman’s) I watched the rain splash on the window panes and the motorboats drive past on the river.
We even had little ducks swim up to the barge. It was such an enjoyable experience for everyone. It was cosy and snug inside the barge hearing the rain beat down outside. My mummy loved her cream tea and Grandpa said it was some of the best scones and clotted cream he’d had this side of Devon!
A break in the clouds brought a bit of sunshine so we took the opportunity to feed the ducks on the riverside, just outside the barge after lunch. There was also a great play park further along the bank with a zip wire, pirate ship, swings and adventure climbing area.
If you are visiting Reading anytime soon we’d definitely recommend Whittington’s Tea Barge for an afternoon experience you will love. The location, food and staff were great!