Sauce Magazine – The London Tea Room is moving this fall from Tower Grove South to Downtown West in St. Louis

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The London Tea Room is moving from Tower Grove South to Downtown West in St. Louis this fall

The London Tea Room announced it would be moving from 3128 Morgan Ford Road in Tower Grove South to 1900 Locust St. in Downtown West with a scheduled opening date of October 15.

The last day of all operations at Tower Grove South will be October 9; however, the coffee (café-like) portion of the business will end on September 4 and only afternoon tea service will be offered from September 7. “I want to thank the neighborhood of Tower Grove. It’s been a good race, and we’re happy with our new path, but it’s sad to leave [the Morgan Ford location] behind,” owner Jackie James said.

The main reason for the move is lack of space, according to Jackie’s son, Peter James, business operations manager. “The [current] the place is so small and it’s always crowded, especially on weekends,” he said.

photo courtesy of London Tea Room

The business can currently only accommodate 35 to 40 people on approximately 3,000 square feet, which will soon increase fivefold in the new location. The new building’s main dining room, the Hyde Park Room, has a seating capacity of 66. Coffee service will not be offered at the new location, but afternoon tea service will be available, typically in 90-minute seats. Groups of up to 16 people are welcome for afternoon tea. Advance reservations can accommodate 32 people.

The UK menu curated by Jackie James will change seasonally apart from staples such as cucumber sandwiches and macaroons. She hopes to hire a pastry chef to finalize the offerings, which will include gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. The new Garden Waldorf salad sandwich will feature chickpeas tossed in a vegan curry mayonnaise on a mini croissant.

The quiche will no longer be served at the new location. “When we looked at the expenses, we found that we were not making money with the cost of the baker, Gruyere cheese and heavy cream. As wonderful as it has been, we need to reflect with our business leader,” said Jackie James.

For the afternoon tea service, each guest can choose from a menu of black tea, white tea, green tea, oolong, puer and herbal tea. Food is served on a three-tier tray, with dessert on top, scones in the middle, and savory dishes like sandwiches and mini sausage rolls on the bottom. The London Tea Room will also offer a savory high tea, which does not include dessert. Tea is served first, followed by a two-tier tray with savory dishes as the top and scones as the bottom.

photo courtesy of London Tea Room

Guests can book the Kensington Room, which seats approximately 100 people, for private teas and events hosted by the London Tea Room. The Mayfair Room, which can accommodate up to 200 people, is available for weddings and receptions with outside caterers. “If someone wants a bigger wedding, they could have the two venues together to accommodate up to around 300 people,” Jackie James said.

While The London Tea Room is still in the process of acquiring a liquor license, they are looking for a bartender to serve mimosas, champagne and wine. The London Tea Room will not offer a full bar, but outside bartenders will be able to serve alcohol at private events.

photo courtesy of London Tea Room

The airy but intimate building has two bedrooms on the first floor and two bedrooms on the second. The 1,000 square foot patio adjacent to the Hyde Park venue will host events like the fall bonfire and will open in the spring for 60 seats.

A 1,200 square foot room on the first floor is currently being renovated to match the rest of the building. “It’s elegant. It’s a historic building and it has a lot of character. There is a warm atmosphere. We fell in love with it when we first walked in because it’s so welcoming,” said Jackie James. “It has beautiful exposed brick and hardwood floors – it’s casual elegance but also very comfortable and calming.”

Hours of operation for the new location will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The last call for kitchen service will be 1 hour and 15 minutes before closing.

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