Royal Teas, Brockley Road [UPDATED]

BC reader "The Oracle" has been tormenting the good citizens of Brockley with conundrums worthy of the Riddler. On this thread, they wrote:

Riddle me this:

Royal but not Windsor,
Tea,
Green but not 'witch',
Coming soon,
Under the Moonbow,
Jake

The answer, as Beecroft Alex was first to guess, is that Royal Teas of Greenwich are taking over the greatly-missed Moonbow Jakes. Royal Teas is an extremely popular Greenwich institution and it's great to see that entrepreneurs from other south east London hotspots are alert to Brockley's potential. That stretch of Brockley has been a sorrier place in Moonbow's absence, so this sounds like good news.

The proprietor Ray responded to our enquiries with this email:

It is true. We are presently trying to get all the paperwork done so we can complete and move into Brockley. We are very excited about this opportunity. We understand that Moonbows was a much loved place and we hope that our presence will not be a disappointment to the people of Brockley.

We hope to integrate into the local community just as Moonbow Jakes did. We would be very interested to hear your readers thoughts on what they would like to see us provide at Moonbows. Opinions on all aspects are most welcome - food / seating / price / garden / decor / drinks / opening times / events ....

As soon as the paperwork is finished I will then have a better idea of our opening date. I will keep you posted.

Thanks and good luck to Ray. And of course, thanks to our mysterious friend 'The Oracle'.

UPDATE:

We've heard from The Greenwich Phantom (the friendly ghost) who confirms that this news represents the best of both worlds - Royal Teas will stay put in Greenwich and expand to Brockley.

48 comments:

Headhunter said...

Excellent, excellent! Let's hope they're not as long setting up as The Talbot...

The Cat Man said...

Nice, another cafe opening in Brockley...

Recession? What recession!

will the wonders never cease...

Brockley Kate said...

Yay, welcome Ray! (It rhymes ...)

tyrwhitt ali said...

Ohhh that's great :-)

???? said...

SMALL TABLES PLEASE. Sorry for shouting. couldn't be doing with being forced to sit next to strangers (you don't know where they've been), and stopped going to Moonbows for that reason primarily.

psyche9 said...

That is such good news - good luck with this venture; can't wait.

PSW: I would love to see the little yard/garden at the back made more of. It could be so nice.

Graeme said...

Yippeee!! American Style Breakfasts? Pancakes, maple syrup and all that (with bottomless coffee)? How about Eggs Benedict too? Can't wait!! Will have to check you out in Royal Hill to see what we can expect.

I really hope that this will be a success for you. God knows, that parade needs a bit of a lift.

Moira said...

Ray - please get in touch with me about taking part in Brockley Max!
moira@brockleymax.co.uk

growing girl said...

Message to Ray

This is excellent news and I wish you every success. I live just round the corner in St Margarets Road and in order to support this new local business I hereby promise to eat lots and lots of your cake.

Good news for Brockley, bad news for my waistline.

PS if you take Oscar's in Ladywell as your model for decor, ambience and use of outside space you won't go far wrong. I like the look of your menu, and if you also sell (as your Greenwich cafe seems to) lots of different types of coffee, that would be just perfect :-)

Monkeyboy said...

Sounds great....but do my eyes deceive me or is there no 'full English' on the menu? Or any piggy related food stuffs for that matter.

That would swing it for me.

Brockley Kate said...

Oh man - they sell bags of loose Earl Gray - THIS is what I moved to Brockley for! And cakes. Phwoar.

Comment said...

I'll second that about Oscar's decor. Moonbows is missed. I wish the new enterprise the best of luck.

angelofthewest said...

fantastic! i know royal teas well, and it is truly a 'local' institution -- tough to pull off in greenwich these days! the carrot cake is to die for, and oh, the coffee walnut...... Bring it!!

veggiegirl said...

I love Royal Teas! Very glad to hear they're taking over Moonbow's old premises, assume this is as a result of losing their fight with Greenwich Council. Brilliant news for Brockley :-)

Anonymous said...

Good news...I love tea! particularly chai tea latte and darjeeling. please have chai tea latte (pretty please)....

brunch would definitely be a good idea I love the sound of american pancakes or waffles and eggs.

anyway good luck. we will support all (Broca/Royal teas etc)as much as we can.

Anonymarse said...

So has the Greenwich version had to close? Why, pray tell?

Anonymarse said...

And the name. The Royal bit will have to go because it's not on the Hill. May I suggest Brockley Tease?

veggiegirl said...

anon @ 22.17, they had a longstanding battle with Greenwich over the definition of "cooking" ... they were apparently not licensed to cook food, which Greenwich interpreted as making toast! I forget the full details but I think they lost the final court case last year and it meant they had to make extensive changes to their menu -- actually that may have been the conclusion, rather than closing, must check their site again to see whether the menu contains anything "cooked".

apologies for waffly post, the perils of writing before first cuppa of the day!

veggiegirl said...

Greenwich Phantom's blog has more on Royal Teas v Greenwich Council ... http://www.thegreenwichphantom.co.uk/2008/06/royal-teas.html

mintness said...

Good grief, veggiegirl, that thread is a revelation. To live in a part of town where the smell of bacon is the only blot on the landscape...

Sue said...

This is great news! One of the town centre managers dropped a hint a few months back that a well-known Greenwich business was looking to take the premises, but I didn't know which one. @Monkeyboy, the website says it is a vegetarian cafe, so bacon is probably off the menu (cue mung beans a plenty comments).

Headhunter said...

Perhaps they serve that veggie "facon" stuff?

Bea said...

Greenwich's loss = our gain!

Great news - can't wait to try it out.

(@ Ray - Moonbows was a little gloomy inside, more bar feeling than tea shop - so maybe better lighting is in order? Also, second that more could be done with the outside space at the back)

Brockley Nick said...

@Bea - and others - I have heard nothing to suggest they are leaving Greenwich. I imagine this is a new branch.

Bea said...

Nick

Having read the Greenwich Phantom blog I assumed they had given up their legal challenge and given in to Greenwich Council (thereby making it difficult to function as a profitable business and hence their move to Brockley). Anyone know if they are taking their case to the House of Lords?

Apologies should know better than to assume!

Comment said...

I've just looked at the Royal Teas menu, it's niche, I'm not sure whether what's on offer will attract enough people, given the location.

There is trend now for DIY, or MIY make it yourself for food and especially cakes, see Rachel Allen's Bake programme and also there's, a cake is seen by me at least as a treat, not an every day staple.

Anonymous said...

ugh - can't stand vegetarianism!

such a strange commercial decision as well. its like saying you'll only serve customers with ginger hair.

Comment said...

Not really, it's just a point of view thing. Some genuinely believe that meat is murder, a moral issue. I doubt that they qualms on the same scale about hair colour.

right fred said...

Was very excited but read on to find it's a veggie place so less excited now - will still try it out though...

Anonymous said...

Sue. Was it a town centre manager who got this together?

Monkeyboy said...

veggie apart from the dead fish so not veggie at all then.

I'm all for eating happy pigs.

Cookie Monster said...

testing

Enoki said...

Looks great, Royal Teas people - but you realise that salmon is not vegetarian, and that one of the best ways to annoy veggies is to say that it is (and it seems that simultaeneously you're putting off the carnivours by claiming to be veggie only)...?

Monkeyboy said...

Joking apart, it looks good. I think I can cope without a bacon sandwich if I must.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Ray, some decent coffee monmouth style please!!

Paddyom said...

Amazing - best of luck to you guys. Delighted to see that something nice will finally open on that parade. I will deffo be using it regularly as live on St Margarets Rd. Shame they dont do meat though (always helps when hungover!) but sounds good for coffee and cake :)

Sue said...

@ Anonymous 15:49: don't know the details but I think that Liz, one of the town centre managers may have played a role in putting the right people in touch with each other. She is the former tcm for Greenwich so knows the businesses there.

abdou said...

Great news - I love Royal Teas and live 100 yards from Moonbow's. Obviously, Brockley being better than Greenwich, it has to serve bacon and sausages.

Paddyom said...

Yes Abdou, hopefully its only Veggie in Greenwich due to licencing and they will do full-on breakies in SE4. It may be a bit of a risk limiting its offer to veggie only in Brockley, I wonder what proportion of the population is veggie anyway, maybe 10%? Anyway, best of luck to them, I will certainly be a customer for drinks and deserts if nothing else.
Went to Jam Circus for Sunday lunch at 5pm the other day and for the 3rd time in a row they had ran out of food. Is 5pm a bit late to eat on a Sunday? I wouldnt have thought so. Anyone else had this problem? If anyone from JC is reading this please buy more food on Sundays, there were 7 of us who walked in and walked out. :)

Anonymous said...

wait - you think that you need a license to serve vegetarian food?? The planning problems that the cafe had in Greenwich had to do with cooking food on the premises - and yes, vegetarian food occasionally comes cooked. It also had to do with fact that the complaint was raised by a sitting Councilman in Greenwich, who happens to live next door to the cafe and who just wanted to shut it down, come what may. the case was heard at the House of Lords, and also got a double-page spread in teh evening standard, it was so unfair. the cafe's legal representation was offered pro-bono by cafe patrons who love it :)

I understand RTs (as its known to its friends) is veggie-ish because it always was - just something the current management inherited, and don't feel particularly strongly about. So, could go either way in Brockley. My vote is veggie all the way. the smell of bacon makes me gag.

Anonymous said...

here's a link to the evening standard article about royal teas

http://tinyurl.com/dzv6ja

apologies if someone's already posted this, i couldn't bring myself to read the whole thread... !

Anonymous said...

YEY!!! I was so sure it was going to be another funeral directors!!

I also live a hop and a skip away from moonbows and regularly cycle to Royal Teas in Greenwich. I love their menu - the different coffee types, the amazing scones and the breakfasts. So I'd say keep it more or less the same, please don't make it more expensive, and agree that Oscar's in Ladywell is a good start in terms of decor. Surely they could make something nice out of that outside area too...

Anonymous said...

What wonderful news. I know many wouldn't agree but it would be great if there was space for pushchairs. With the Toad having steps and Magi's love of putting china right next to the door Brockley is not always the easiest place to navigate with a small baby!

b. said...

such awesome news - living in comerford road just got better - jam circus 2 minutes away and now this to cure the hangover the next morning. win.

Richard said...

Paddyom, sorry I know it's frustrating to find that food has run out & we try our best not to, but Sundays are hard to call, as customer numbers can vary so much week to week (by upto 30% recently). We try to prepare for more customers than we expect, but at the same time try to avoid waste. We do serve until 6pm on Sunday and I hope if you come at 5pm in the future we won't have run out.

On Royal Teas - great news for this end of Brockley, I'm sure we'll see our lunchtimes dip for a while - the mums in Jam Circus are chuffed to pieces - but to have a decent cafe (or shop of any kind) on that stretch is so important to keeping both ends of Brockley linked. Plus, I'll have somewhere to go for lunch!

Comment said...

What about bookings, to avoid waste. Give people an incentive to book 10% off or something.

Richard said...

We do take bookings, but a lot of customers decide on the day, leaving it just as difficult to estimate numbers. Weather is probably the biggest factor - our quietest Sundays are when the sun unexpectedly comes out and everyone runs to the parks & our busiest are when it's unexpectedly grey.

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