Babingtons, an English Tea Room right by the Spanish Steps inRome, Italy, has thrived since 1893 and even today is considered a must stop intourist guidebooks. It was started by two young English ladies, IsabelCargill and Anna Maria Babington, who opened a tea and reading room with theirlife savings of 100 pounds.
Babingtons has been open for over 125 years and even remainedso during WWI & WWII, closing only briefly on Liberation Day as staffcouldn't reach the tea room because of the chaos in the streets.While Babingtons has temporarily shut its physical doors, for now, theyare still open via their online shop and can ship. Readers can browse productsat https://www.babingtons.com/it/categories/25474-t.Babingtons is alive and well online and looks forward to re-opening as soon aspossible."
At the top of three steps leading from the front room tothe second room, Miss Babington or Miss Cargill would sit behind the counter,with their little dog at their feet. From this position, they could keep an eyeon both rooms while being close enough to the kitchen to ensure that theinfusion of the tea and the baking were being carried out correctly. They insisted that it be British in every wayfrom the food to the décor. Keep in mind, at that time, the only place youcould purchase tea was in a pharmacy. They had everything shipped over fromBritain and remained true to keeping it authentic. Family decedents still run Badingtonsto this day. What is the secret to theirsuccess? Could it be the prime location, or the famous English Breakfast, orthe enticing Afternoon Tea?
As always, hotcakes, cakes, and pastries are all made on the premises.Hot buttered scones, muffins, tea cakes, and toast were and are the main itemson the menu, also plum cake, sponge cakes, and chocolate cakes.' Some of therecipes came from Mrs. Beeton's celebrated 1861 Book of Household Management,still in print in the present day.
Whatever the case maybe they are still developing newproducts and thriving in 2020,
125 years and still going strong. They also do their sourcingand blending to satisfy their customers' tastes.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s to consider yourself awell-educated English gentleman, you had to invest in traveling to Europe, andRome was a must-see on that list of romantic adventures. Nineteenth-centuryguidebooks talk of a Hotel de Londres, a Hotel d'Angleterre, a Hotel des IlesBritanniques, and a Hotel Brighton. Later a Hotel Vittoria was opened, to payhomage to the Queen. With their position in the Via Due Macelli, Anna Maria andIsabel were in the heart of the so-called 'British Ghetto.'
If you ever go to Rome, you will not have trouble findingfoods that will tempt even the most finicky of eaters. Babingtons Tea Rooms offers such a greatvariety of British temptations and then tops them off with a great pot of tea. Babingtonsis staying current by developing a new herbal tea line with the packaging fromrenowned London designer Marcello Minale. The monochrome tins show the famoustravertine plaque that has adorned Babington's Palazzo on the Spanish Steps for125 years.