Date visited: Thursday 14th September 2023
A feature of tea rooms in Romsey is that they are discreet to the point of being easily missed. That Little Tea Shop has ten tables split across three upstairs rooms for those taking tea, and is situated above an Indian restaurant on The Hundred. It is accessed by a door on an alley between The Hundred and Love Lane, and although there are signs at each end of the alley advertising its presence, it is very easy to miss. After passing through the door, customers are requested to ring a bell and wait, before ascending the stairs to be seated.
The main food menu runs to two and a half pages – one page for all day breakfasts, one page for lunches, and half a page for ‘something sweet’ – with separate menus available for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Breakfast options were mainly variations on a cooked breakfast, but also include pancakes, omelettes, toast and hot sandwiches. The lunch menu includes a range of hot and cold snacks, including baguettes, toasties, sandwiches, jacket potatoes, bubble and squeak, and ploughmans lunches. The sweet options included waffles with ice cream, bread pudding, cakes, teacakes and scones. Seven cakes were on display on the counter when I visited. The drinks menu includes a dozen teas and tisanes, as well as coffees, soft drinks and milkshakes. The tea is ‘bottomless’, though I found the teapot sufficiently large that a refill wasn’t needed.
I chose a ham and cheese ploughmans, a slice of coffee and walnut cake, and a pot of green tea, which came to just £11.95. The ploughmans was substantial, with two chunks of cheese, pickles, coleslaw, salad, and a whole hot baguette, with butter that wasn’t so cold as to be unspreadable – a common failing. The slice of cake was a large slice. The cake was nice and moist, with both the sponge and cream tasting of coffee. Unfortunately, on quite a hot day and without a chilled cake display cabinet, the cream in the centre of the cake was almost melting, but this didn’t detract much from an enjoyable and filling meal.
During my lunchtime visit, all but three of the tables were occupied at one point, with the all day breakfast options proving to be exceedingly popular. With good value for money, this is a tea room worth searching out. Note that, unusually in recent years, That Little Tea Shop only accepts payments by cash, and does not take card payments.