Date visited: Wednesday 16th October 2019
There are two establishments in Bath claiming to be the original purveyor of the original Bath Bun. One is Sally Lunn’s Eating House and the other almost opposite on the street is the Bath Bun Tea Shoppe. Each has their own story as to the origins of the Bath Bun and, indeed, as to what a Bath Bun is.
The Bath Bun Tea Shoppe has two ground floor rooms and a first floor room for those taking tea as well as tables outside on Abbey Green. The smaller ground floor tea room faces Abbey Green whilst the larger room has a door onto North Parade Passage, close enough to Sally Lunn’s Eating House to entice some deterred by the queues that often form for the Eating House.
As well as offering their variant of the Bath Bun (essentially a fruit bun with a lump of sugar in the middle), The Bath Bun Tea Shoppe also offers soup, sandwiches, baguettes, paninis and a range of cakes, though unusually for a tea room the cakes weren’t on display. Full afternoon tea is also offered. A range of hot beverages is offered, including a reasonable range of teas though, alas, they are all made using tea bags.
As it is in the heart of the tourist zone in Bath, The Bath Bun Tea Shoppe can get very busy, but quietens down later in the afternoon after 3pm. Payment is by cash only as card payments are not accepted. On the day I visited, the waitress was somewhat flustered after a busy day but nevertheless pleasant and cheerful, and chatty with those customers that wished to chat. The proprietor was of a more stern demeanour, and clearly had a management style that might have been familiar when bath buns originated almost three hundred years ago.
A slice of coffee and walnut cake and a rather small pot of sencha tea were very quickly served and came to £6.30. My guess is that the Tea Shoppe serves very little green tea as the sencha was definitely a browner shade of green.