Date visited: Monday 6th December 2021
Tea Inc. opened their Marlborough branch in October 2019 and it was slightly larger than their original Devizes branch, which remains open. Their Marlborough branch had nine tables on the ground floor for those taking tea, with a shop in the basement for those wishing to make purchases of loose leaf teas and accessories. Light lunches were served between 12 noon and 2 pm, whilst teas were served throughout the shop’s opening hours. The Marlborough branch of Tea Inc. was open daily, except for Tuesdays.
A display of cakes was somewhat hidden to the side near the rear of the single tea room. Eight or so cakes were on display on the occasion of my visit. The beverage menu was very extensive, with many pages of teas and tisanes listed. The food menu was shorter, fitting on a single side of paper. Coffee was also available, for those with less discerning tastes.
The two branches had very similar menus and as on my visit to to their Devizes branch, I chose a “Ploughman’s Savoury Scone” from their lunch menu, though this time with a bacon and maple syrup savoury scone. The warm scone was accompanied by butter in a small covered dish, pickle in a tea cup, slices of apple in the saucer, and a few slices of cheese, all served on a piece of wood. This is very much a boutique version of a ploughman’s lunch and one is definitely paying for quality and not quantity. And the quality was very good, with the savoury scone delicious, with plenty of bacon and a hint of the maple syrup. Gyokuro green tea was served with a three minute timer, which unfortunately wasn’t entirely reliable and stopped several times. The teapot included a rotating paddle to stop the steep at the end of the brewing time, and the teacup was of a thick, insulated design.
A slice of apple and cinnamon cake was very enjoyable, being light but moist, with a flavour very similar to a Dorset apple cake and, unlike the ploughman’s scone, served on proper crockery. Total price for scone, cake and tea was £13.30. Quite definitely a boutique price, but the experience was very enjoyable and despite the small portions I left fully satiated.
Tea Inc. in Marlborough included a few quirky features. The table I was seated at appeared to have originally been the base for a manual sewing machine, and still had the treadle and hand-wheel in place. Occupancy of the customer toilet was indicated by two lights attached to a 1960s car radiator grill, as well as by the more conventional method of an ‘engaged’ sign connected to the door lock.
This branch of Tea Inc. closed permanently after Sunday 31st July 2022. The original Devizes branch continues to trade.