You all know me - you all know how much I love a good cup of tea. If I'm at work, with friends, sitting in bed watching TV or doing just about anything else within a 50m radius of a kettle the chances are I'll have a cuppa in my hand.
A little email pinged into my inbox a couple of months ago shouting about the launch of a new tearoom (I prefer the word tearoom to cafe, it makes me feel more like I'm in a Jane Austen novel) just a couple of minutes walk away from Olivia Burton HQ in Shoreditch and therefore the perfect place for me to pop into for a chat and a ridiculously gooey salted caramel brownie.
The Hawkhurst Vault is everything I like in a place - quirky, eclectic and run by people who actually like talking to their customers. As soon as Jane and I were through the door we were greeted by the fabulously facial haired Theo and James and we were soon sniffing away at an array of teas trying to make the difficult decision of which to pick - with the largest array of loose leaf tea in London available in front of us this was a lot harder than it may sound!
Deciding to follow our noses (just call me Rover) we went for two teas to share between us - the Dragon Well Green Tea and the Yellow Gold Oolong. As we headed downstairs into the more airy basement lounge area we pottered around checking out the array of odds and ends on display before being presented with two pots of tea, some antique spoons and...two egg timers?! That's right, these guys don't do tea by halves - you don't get the full effect of the flavour if your tea isn't just right so the water is heated to exactly the right temperature and the egg timer is for you to judge when to take the (homemade) teabag out of the pot and start drinking.
If you love tea and you're getting just a teensy bit sick of paying three quid for an English Breakfast teabag and some scalding water in a styrofoam cup then you need to get your butt along to this place. Theo and James know their business and despite the fact that I usually think green tea tastes like the insides of a lawnmower I came away craving my own supply of the gorgeous Dragon Well variety. I'll be going back soon to test the coffee...and y'know, it would be rude to turn down a croissant on the side.