Tipsy Tea with the National Trust
After a very cultural weekend in York which included a visit to a beautiful National Trust building, I was delighted to receive an invitation to visit Sutton House in London. Located in Hackney, where I would never have expected to see the National Trust, Sutton House was a lovely surprise. I live only a short bus ride away and never would have guessed it was there.
To breathe a bit of life into this historic building, the National Trust have teamed up with Little Nan’s, the travelling cocktail bar. I think it’s genius! Who wouldn’t want to have afternoon tea and cocktails in a beautiful setting? It certainly makes history a bit more exciting for people who aren’t listed-building-geeks (like the boyfriend!).
Every afternoon tea comes with a guided visit led by a volunteer. We were taken around Sutton House by the sweetest old lady who told us so many fascinating stories. The house has lived through five centuries of changes in London. Throughout its life people have divided it, stolen pieces of it, modified parts of it, squatted in it and finally restored it. It’s a beautifully imperfect house that reveals all of the changes it’s been through. It has Tudor origins, but was heavily altered in the Georgian period. Each room has so many stories to tell and these spaces really give you an insight into Tudor and Georgian life – the good and the bad. A guided tour is the best way to make the most of your trip.
We were even a bit disappointed when the tour ended, but the disappointment didn’t last long.
After picking a fancy cocktail from the menu (“Duchess Anne-Sophie”), we were handed the most quirky-looking vintage teapots filled with a lethal concoction. I have to admit that the scones and sandwiches were not the best I’ve had in London, but we felt really lucky to be stuffing our faces in such a historic setting.
After drinking way too much teapot booze and gobbling up an extra piece of Victoria sponge, we wandered around the upper floors of the house. We discovered a room that has been kept the same as it was when the house was full of squatters in the 80s. Sutton House was rock venue back then!
This was such a great way to spend an afternoon. I’d recommend it for anyone looking for a special afternoon tea in London or for someone you know who loves history and listed buildings. We loved discovering something totally unexpected in East London.
Book your afternoon tea here. Afternoon tea is £20, high tea with cocktails is £30. All teas come with a guided tour of Sutton House.
Thanks to Little Nan’s and the National Trust for inviting us to afternoon tea. Love of boozy teapots and historical buildings is entirely my own!