I like a little bit of space when I go to a café. I’d rather not be hemmed into a corner or share a table with strangers. But a room all to myself? Blimey!
Hidden behind the Esplanade on the South Cliff in Scarborough, The Francis Tea Rooms give customers their own private, art deco, wood-panelled ‘booth’. The reason?
In the 1930s, the shop was a hairdressers. When ladies came for their weekly shampoo and set, they’d be shown to a booth so that no-one saw them with wet, scraped-back hair or in rollers.
Today, the basins and mirrors are still there. But now you’ll be served tea in vintage crockery on embroidered tablecloths by waitresses in little white pinnies.
Sip earl grey and take delicate bites of your lemon and ginger scone…or dunk your biscuit in your coffee and wipe your mouth on your sleeve. No-one will see!