ISSUE 24  |  Rugged and Rustic

Restaurant Visit: Tin Tabernacle Tearoom

June 15, 2011 8:30 PM

BY Sarah Lonsdale

A couple of summers ago, on our annual trip to the UK, I dragged my family on a three-hour detour to visit Bailey's Home and Garden in the West Country, and it did not disappoint. Owners Mark and Sally Bailey (authors of Recycled Home and Simple Home) have deftly applied their philosophy of "repair, reuse, rethink" to Whitecross Farm: a collection of sheds and barns housing their well-sourced household wares and recycled finds from their travels. Since then, the Baileys have added the Tabernacle Tearoom to the grounds, serving morning and afternoon tea to visitors and making a detour even more attractive.

Above: The Tabernacle Tearoom pays homage to the tin tabernacles that popped up in the British countryside during the Industrial Revolution as temporary churches and schools.

Above: A wooden cross above the door hints at the building's original ecclesiastic purpose.

Above: Rows of stools and tables create an informal "aisle."

Above: A wooden "altar" with offerings of cake and biscuits.

Above: Teatime offerings include cakes and scones.

Above: Simple wood-topped tables with reclained stools for seating.