A few Saturday’s ago, I had an urge, but no reason, to go to Shad Thames. For those of you that haven’t been, Shad Thames is a cobbled street sandwiched between two Victorian warehouses which runs along the Southbank near Tower Bridge. The warehouses were once known as “London’s larder” owing to the tea, coffee and spices that were stored inside. For a fleeting decade in the 1970s, and after the decline of shipping on the Thames, the warehouses were used by artists for who needed cheap accommodation and good light. Nowadays, one thing the area is not is cheap! It was redeveloped in the 1980s into luxury flats (oh, how I would love to peek inside one!) The architectural highlight is the lattice of iron bridges connecting the buildings on each side of the street which were once used to roll barrels from one warehouse to the other but which are now used as balconies.
At street level, the buildings house temptingly interesting eateries (including several owned by Terrance Conran). In need of an afternoon pick-me-up, I was attracted to the lime front door of Teapod, a bright and modern tea house. I popped in for a simple peppermint tea (having just eaten my way around Borough market). Families around me were lunching on hot food and friends gossiped over sweet smelling cream teas. There were also a few single tea drinkers making use of the shop’s free wifi or reading Teapod’s books about the 19 types of tea available. I noticed the usual varieties (English Breakfast and Earl Grey) and a few of the more exciting blends (Spicy Masala Chai, White Silver Needle and Rose Petal Green).
As I was leaving, I noticed that you can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at Teapod. Now next time I have the urge to visit Shad Thames, I’ll also have a reason!
P.S. Notes on the history of Shad Thames from Melanie Backe-Hansen’s blog.