I feel a shopping blog post is well overdue, so today I’ll be blogging about one of my favourite places in the whole world, The Harlequin Tea Room and Curios in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. It’s a bit of a trek from London, I know, but well worth it and you can visit the beautiful Cotswolds while you’re at it (and there are loads of great charity shops in the area too!).
This unique little shop is full of weird and wonderful goodies, it’s got vintage, it’s got foreign, it’s got character AND it’s got tea, cake and sandwiches! What more could anyone want?
Enticing you in, the shop window has all sorts of eccentric items on display from cake stands to vintage fabric and leather goods. Stepping into the store you’re greeted by an array of cushions, knick-knacks, clothing and memorabilia.
For those curious (pardon the pun) about what exactly a curios is… the definition of a curio is: A strange and interesting object which invokes curiosity or something (as a decorative object)considered novel, rare, or bizarre. So my understanding of a curios is the either: more than one curio, or a place where curios are kept.
As you can see it’s a bit of a treasure trove! In their glove basket I found some really cute brown sheepskin mittens for £7.50, a bargain compared to ASOS’s pair (£36 now £21).
The cabinets display beautiful ornaments and jewellery, I particularly liked some art deco drop earrings priced at £20, and the soldier bottle opener made me smile.
They have a good selection of vintage pearls (my personal favourite), and also stock kooky vintage/retro glasses (the ones below are £50, a little steep, but cheap compared to a designer pair).
They also have various pieces of vintage clothing, from a pink coat with a leopard print trim and baby blue lace cape to Victorian nightdresses and Indian sari’s. I’d say prices equal London vintage shops, but here you’re getting a unique shopping experience to go with.
What tops it off for me is the ambience. There’s 40’s music playing, each table and chair is different and unique, as is the crockery (their collection of teapots is unbelievable!). I feel like I’ve been whisked off to another era, where factories don’t exist and craftsmanship does. It’s cosy, homely and… fabulous!
We ended our visit with a pot of tea for two and a slice of cherry shortbread. We were so keen that I forgot to take a before picture, so here’s the after! An afternoon of fun for only £5.60, not often you get that nowadays!
Want to visit The Harlequin Tea Room and Curios? You can find it at 270 Cheltenham High Street (near-ish The Brewery). You can contact them on 01242 252 933 if you are looking for a particular Curio, or just want to know their opening hours.