Mystery Shopper – Tea and Kate

I’m a child of the Sixties/Seventies, and my parents, in the spirit of the times, turned their backs on old fashioned ‘Americana’ and embraced all things Scandanavian…Danish teak to eat our smorgasbord on. Smorgasbord in our house was leftovers on Friday night long before the eve of the microwave oven.

I’ve recently come across the the Danish word ‘hygge’, which is about creating a warm atmosphere, the warm glow of an evening spent with friends; a good word for winter, but perhaps a words that’s more about a way to live your life, rather than a season.

It was happenstance that son-number-two saw the Tea and Kate shop out of the corner of his eye and we popped in to have a look! This little gem of a shop is tucked up on Victoria Street off Orwell Road. It’s fresh; white walls with whitewashed floorboards – it’s a blank canvas to allow Kate Bradbury’s merchandise to shine. She has described her shop as a ‘concept shop’ and a ‘small emporium’ and although these appear to be very different ideas, both are applicable to ‘Tea and Kate’. It’s a joy to just wander around and look at the finely made, simple, quirky items from mainly Scandinavia and Japan: small perfectly formed dollhouse pieces sit harmoniously next to vintage teak and industrial signage. You will find unique decorative objects, household items and furniture. It is equally the place to pop in to pick up a hand printed card as it is to choose a Danish design classic for your home. The shop supports an online shop, which makes sense in today’s market and has an engaging presence in social media. Kate herself was very warm and welcoming – the epitome of ‘hygge’! My only disappointment? I was hoping for a cup of tea as the name suggested!

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