Tea World: the great British cuppa goes international at Blackpool's most multi-cultural café
Truly, it doesn’t get much more quintessentially British than a nice cup of tea with a slice of cake on the side. A certain Lancastrian tea room have, however, has decided to add a distinctly international flavour to the whole affair.
Tea World in Blackpool is swiftly becoming the Red Rose County’s go-to cross-continental hang-out zone, combining that most beloved of British pastimes with a dash of ‘je ne sais quoi’ to add a little multiculturalism and new languages into the mix.
Opened by Dee Janic and Mark Hallett earlier this year, the fantastic new tea room and cafe sits below Dee’s foreign language teaching business, Language 4 Life School, which she founded in 2009 after coming to Blackpool from her native Poland, where she had previously worked as an English teacher.
“My partner and I were looking for a new premises for the Language 4 Life school and we came across Simon’s Plaice, the former chip shop,” explains Dee. “What with Covid-19, the majority of my lessons had moved online, so we didn’t need as much space and, because we love travelling and going to cafes to try different local drinks and food, we decided to open Tea World.
“We wanted to give Blackpool the experience of international food and drinks in a nice surrounding,” she adds. “I wanted to link the two businesses in a subtle way, so - if you want - you can practise a foreign language with the members of staff.
“If you don’t want to, that’s fine too, you can come and relax and just enjoy.
“We also offer cakes and teas from different countries so you can come to us and feel like you’re on holiday, especially now when we can’t travel as much as we’d like to.”
A talented linguist in her own right, Dee is herself a fully-qualified interpreter who specialises in one-to-one tuition in Chinese, Polish, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Reflecting it’s owner’s polyglot skillset, Tea World’s international roster of baristas wear the flags of the nations whose language they speak so as to encourage customers to come in and say the odd hola, ciao, or bonjour.
“Opening during Covid has been a bit of a challenge but, with restrictions being lifted, I think things should get easier,” says Dee when asked how getting Tea World off the ground has gone. “It is what it is; you just have to adapt to the circumstances.
“And the response from customers has been really good - everyone comes back with more friends, so that’s been really exciting to see everything get busier,” she adds. “People have embraced the multi-cultural side of things, too.
“My partner and I have absolutely loved it. It’s a new and exciting adventure and we’re really trying to establish ourselves as a high-quality café offering exceptional products and service with a smile.
“We want to be a meeting place which has something for everyone.”
With almost 40 variations of tea available from across the globe as well as themed days when the café introduces customers to new drinks and foods from various countries, ‘something for everyone’ really is the Tea World mantra. But they also know how to keep it local as well, using suppliers from the North West including Lathams of Preston.
“In the future, we’d love to hopefully expand and open another Tea World and, eventually, franchise it,” explains Dee, with Tea World currently offering table service as well as being in the process of getting their alcohol license and redoing the back garden. “There’s a lot of pride in the business because I love it when people come and start talking different languages.
“No matter where you’re from, what you do, or who you are, you can come and enjoy and be yourself,” she continues. “It gives people the chance to mix and mingle and make new friends.
“That’s what we need after all the lockdowns, really.”