An Exeter Tea Party
The Hidden Treasure Tea Room is a small, independent company which started life as a pop-up tea party experience in Brixton, London. Over time it has developed (and relocated!) and at present the shop at 5A New Bridge Street houses multiple strands of the business. First and foremost it’s a vintage tea room – a place to relax in style and enjoy deliciously indulgent food and drinks that are baked and prepared by hand, daily.
In addition, there is also a vintage china hire service, a private catering service and a event planning and styling service too!
Owner Vicki Parks says
We organise bespoke tea parties, supper clubs and special events in the tearoom and elsewhere, and are always up for a challenge or for trying out new ideas
Vicki is very proud that more than 95% of our china, linens and tableware are preloved or recycled. To her, vintage is not just a style or a look – it’s a way of life.
In a world where we are continually encouraged to consume and upgrade, I believe there is something extremely beautiful in the concept of treasures. By that I mean particular items that have been cherished and are passed on between friends or generations of a family. Frequently when I describe the business to people (mainly women of a certain age, I have to confess…) they begin rifling through drawers and pulling out all these amazing things – linens embroidered by Great Great Grandmothers and a vast array of haberdashery and kitchenalia, much of which was produced long before I was born. Nowadays we are so accustomed to single use, disposable and mass produced and I think it’s a great shame. Many of the treasures in the shop have been gifted to me and the rest I have taken great pleasure in sourcing and collecting. Every piece has a history and I find that very inspiring.
The Hidden Treasure Story
Before setting up the tea room Vicki spent ten years in London working as an actress and singing teacher. The piano (in the shop) is still her prize possession and her very favourite way to wind down at the end of a busy day. She says that in many ways the events side of the business is very similar to doing a show and she still gets the same buzz after a successful service, party or event.
Vicki is originally from Exeter and used to shop on Fore St as a teenager, then later in her twenties she rented a precarious top floor flat just up the road, so the local sights and sounds are very familiar to her. She knew when the unit on New Bridge Street became available that it was the right place for the business.
The neighbours are wonderful, and the other traders are warm, friendly and genuinely interested in what I’m doing. It’s a little oasis of vintage beauty and creativity. What more could a lady ask for?
The initial idea for Hidden Treasure stemmed from Vicki’s personal penchant for throwing tea parties at home. Quite quickly her friends began asking her to help out with catering and planning for their special celebrations (like weddings parties and baby showers) and eventually she realised she could set up her own events and sell tickets.
The first few tea parties were held in secret locations around Brixton and patrons had to follow treasure hunt style clues to find them, hence the name.
I have always enjoyed the sense of excitement that this encouraged and hope the food, service and events we produce today are still as unique and interesting as those early adventures in tea and cake!
Where To Find Hidden Treasure Room
5a New Bridge Street
Tel: 01392 274134
Website & Online Shop: www.hiddentreasure.biz
Car Park: Mary Arches
Train Station: Exeter Central or St Thomas Exeter