Food & Drink

Rare Tea at the Real Food Festival

A tea party fit for Alice where divine tea will be served.

The Rare Tea Company is planning something very special at this year's Real Food Festival, which takes place at Earl's Court, London from 7th to 10th May this year.

Henrietta Lovell, founder of Rare Tea, is creating a magical tea-garden at the very heart of the show. Together with Tregothnan, the Cornish estate that is the first and only place in Britain to grow tea, a large central area will be transformed into a magical garden with real grass underfoot with trees and bowers of flowers.


Real tea will be served from tea pots. Henrietta says, "It will be loose leaf and divine, not bagged and bog standard. The coffee will be bog standard. The very opposite to the way things are usually done in the UK. We are giving our national drink pride of place and the respect it deserves."

At the centre of the garden will be an elaborate table fit for Alice. Visitors can join the tea party but every time someone leaves the table everyone must move round to the left. Unlike Alice they may take their tea with them.

Henrietta says, "In this way, we hope everyone gets to meet the line up of guest producers who will be sitting at the head of the table in the Mad Hatter's chair." A number of Rare Tea's favourite small producers have been asked to join the party. Amongst the guests will be Sipsmith Gin, Trealy Farm charcutery and the the Giggly Pig. Bompass and Parr, the jelly mongers, will be creating a special tea jelly.

Visitors will be able to purchase a boxed cream tea with their choice of infusions from the wonderful array offered by Tregothnan and Rare Tea Co. They can then choose to join the Mad Hatter's tea party or sit at a discreet table. To find out more about the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, click here.


The Festival brings together 400 of the world's best artisan producers of food and drink. This event, now in its third year, gives visitors the opportunity to buy great quality food as well as meeting the people behind the produce. The festival is packed with events that appeal to all the family with cookery workshops, children's activities and friendly livestock including Laverstoke Park’s very own water buffalo, Petal.