It is a fact of life that British people simply love a good old cuppa tea.In fact, watching a re-run of historical period drama series Downton Abbey confirms this statistically proven fact, I mean, have you seen the amount of tea the Crawley family downed in a single episode?

How they still managed to fit into those size zero embroidered dresses and evening gowns after consuming so many calories we will never know.

This brings us to High Tea of Highgate. An adorably cute little tea room like something straight out of the post-Edwardian era and slap bang in the middle of the urban multicultural melting pot that is North London.

Mere inches away from the shadows of swirling council estate blocks lies this nostalgic and charming little retro tea room that serves delightful pots of tea, coffee and traditional cakes and scones, all freshly homemade.

These sponge cakes aren’t from the knock off isles of Lidl, these are beautifully decorated works of art made with love and care that would make even Mary Berry shed a tear.

“Everyone needs a cow creamer in their life, even if you are an illegal migrant fresh off the boat.”  

Set in the surroundings of Highgate Village, the quaint and picturesque country village only mere moments away from the scattered syringes and McDonald’s empty boxes lying idle in the ravaged and overpopulated ghetto next door. The class difference and separation is palpable as you step foot out of Archway tube station and walk a few minutes into Highgate Village.

With its alluring landscape of Georgian shops, traditional pubs and high-end restaurants complete with the romantic profusion of decorative trees and people who actually don’t look like a toothless guest on Jeremy Kyle. Highgate Village truly is a representation of what makes Britain Great. Just try to avoid eye contact with the riff raff and undesirables loitering around the edges.

To say Highgate Village is a magical setting is truly an understatement, it really is like a traditional village just a short bus away from a 3rd world country suburban cesspool where the only fine dining these un-natives know is the succulent and oily taste of halal Chicken Cottage.

I mean, you can actually walk through the rose tinted fields and windswept green grass only a stone’s throw away from Highgate Cemetery, and not fear spine-tingling anxiety that a hooded youth will suddenly jump out of the bushes and grab your iPhone while branding a dodgy blunt knife close to your neck while quoting Shakespeare.

‘Yo fam gimme your pone’ was one of the most profound and philosophical lines from Macbeth. It’s wonderful that the young labour supporting the youth of today have such extended vocabulary.

Amongst the enriching culture that the charming Highgate Village has to offer is where you will find High Tea of Highgate, a hidden gem that will tingle your taste buds and sooth your soul. What makes this small yet cosy tearoom that ever more endearing is its individuality. You will not find the generic and cooperate décor of Starbucks and Caffè Nero here, but instead you will be tantalized by the sight of delicate china teacups, pink teapots, milk cow creamers and sprinkles of loose-leaf tea in a variety of different tastes and flavours such as Miss Worthington’s Rose (black tea scented with rose petals) and the nation’s favourite, British Breakfast, all blended in-house.

Nibbles are all homemade too. Delicious fresh scones and classic British cakes such as lemon drizzle served in generous portions by charming and pretty waitresses that are not decked in some grubby uniform complete with mandatory foreign accent, but instead smile with unstained pearly whites because they are generally happy to be there. There is an individualistic charm and the atmosphere is warm, inviting and quite literally… lovely.

When the inevitable closing of the tea room comes and you don’t want to leave the ambience of High Tea of Highgate you can actually recreate the traditional look and atmosphere at home by browsing the small gallery, crockery and crafty knick-knacks for sale, including those adorable cow creamers.

Because everyone needs a cow creamer in their life, even if you are an illegal migrant fresh off the boat.

An awe-inspiring and astounding leafy village sat perched next door to the dismal and miserable eyesores of towering council estates and out of service ATM machines where the very best of the E.U and free movement set up camp to get their daily quota of free pickings to send back home.

And as you walk past the atmospheric pubs where tearooms and bookshops rub shoulders with squares full of red phone boxes and historic chapels, you’ll find yourself inhaling actual uncontaminated fresh air that does not linger the aftereffects of weed and unwashed body odour.

‘Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in North London anymore.’ Oh wait but we are… the part of North London where manners are much preferred over mandem.

Discover the joys and magic of High Tea of Highgate and everything it has to offer:

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Michael Lee



Illustration by Teresa Robertson |