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(Well Publicized) Guerilla Tea in London

April 24, 2009

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popup_teashopBrought to my attention by Tonnvane, a sometime contributor to GongfuGirl, a charming little temporary event-space called a Pop-up Tea Shop appeared at 47 Lamb’s Conduit Street in London yesterday. Sadly, the entire lifecycle of this “business” was to conclude at the end of the day today as it was part of a rather clever marketing strategy for Timberland, a shoe company.

The tea, quiche and cakes were free to all comers and the furnishings, teaware and serving wares were vintage early-ish twentieth century. It sounds like quite a marvelous thing to step into for a brief visit back into history. If nothing else, this is a good reminder to pay enough attention not to miss brief opportunities like this when they happen.

“I sat down with a china cup full of lapsang souchong and nibbled on quiche. I thought of tea parties I wanted to have. I stirred my tea with a silver spoon. What an utterly perfect way to spend a sunny Thursday. All I needed was someone to talk to and I could have spent the whole afternoon there. Instead, I packed up after my third cup (and after having some of the cake) and went back to work.”

– excerpted from Tonnvane’s post about her experience

The gentleman serving (literally) as the face of this ephemeral tea shop runs Time for Tea, a tea shop on Shoreditch High Street, and also produces vintage-themed events and provides vintage props, such as a fabulous Daimler limousine, for events, photography and films.

The pop-up tea shop concept is not unique to this particular event, although it might be a London phenomenon, at least in name. There was another similar manifestation this month: Lady Luck’s Pop-Up Tea Shoppe. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about such a thing popping up again in the city some other time, in support of some other cause or business.

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