Take tea the Trevelyan way at Wallington

Enjoy tea the Trevelyan way in our new tea-room in the house © National Trust/LindaHolung

Enjoy tea the Trevelyan way in our new tea-room in the house

A tiny corner of our house at Wallington has been brought to life by the opening of a new tea-room inspired by the war diaries of Mary, Lady Trevelyan.

The tea-room transports you back to the Second World War at a time when Wallington was home to a number of evacuees. The children had fled the dangers of city living in Newcastle for the safety of the estate owned by socialist Sir Charles Philips Trevelyan.

The evacuees are visited

On 10 September 1939, a large group of parents made the journey from Elswick to Wallington to visit their children and Lady Mary, or Molly as she was fondly known, saw an opportunity. The following week she arranged for the parents to be served with tea at the cost of two pennies a cup. She comments in her diary that they ‘made a tidy profit on the transaction’.

Now you too can 'take tea the Trevelyan Way’ in the house at Wallington.

A wartime ambience

The tea-room is furnished in the style of the era with a mixture of antique and replica furniture, china and serving utensils. War-time and tea-dance music drifts across the room from a mock-gramophone and 1930s newspapers sit on the side for people to read. Even the waiting staff, who offer table service, have got into the spirit by wearing plus fours or 1940s pinafores and a simple menu of tea, coffee, finger sandwiches, cake or cream scone is available for a set price of £5.95.

In the tea-room, you may even spot a tea cup and saucer that has been stapled together. Legend has it that Sir Charles was a tad clumsy and when famous actress Sybil Thorndike was staying at Wallington, her husband would take pleasure in fixing Sir Charles’s latest breakage. In small wartime suitcases along the walls of new tea-room, you will also see images of the evacuees who lived here during the war.

Tea the Trevelyan Way is served daily except Tuesdays from 12 – 4pm so surround yourself with the sights, sounds and tastes of the 1940s, and spend a lazy afternoon soaking in Wallington's history over a cuppa.