Sunday, August 12, 2018

Babington's Tea Room in Rome: Our visit to this English tearoom with Italian flair featured in Tea Time Magazine!

BTS' Barb and Rachel Gulley visited Babington's in Rome last year

Although tea may not be the first drink that comes to mind when you think of Italy, when we visited last year, we found a few exceptional tea venues including Babington's in Rome.  I had the great pleasure of experiencing a delightful afternoon tea at Babington's last September while interviewing, Chiara Bedini, co-owner of the tearoom, for Tea Time Magazine. The article is in this September/October issue of Tea Time Magazine!

We wrote about  the fascinating history of Babington's, featured in the September/October issue of Tea Time Magazine

 Almost a year ago, I traveled to Italy with  my daughter (and BTS Marketing and Ops Manager), Rachel, and my husband, Chris. We explored Venice, Florence and Rome, the latter being home base for most of the trip. Our hotel was on Via Margutta, a five minute walk from the Spanish Steps and, at it's base, another Roman treasure, celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, Babington's Tea Room and Café.

Babington's has a history as rich as it's afternoon tea pastries. The tearoom was the creation of two British expats, Isabelle Cargill and Anna Maria Babington,  who came to Rome to forget the past and seek new adventure.  Their story is told in the most recent issue of  Tea Time Magazine (that you'll just have to get a copy, if you don't already have a subscription, and read about these amazing entrepreneurial ladies). Without too many spoiler alerts, this tea room survived many challenges yet remained a family business throughout the years. Today it's still run by descendants of Isabelle Cargill, cousins Rory Bruce and Chiara Bedini.  It was Chiara who met us last fall and opened the tea room's entrance doors that lead us into this enchanting afternoon tea venue.

Afternoon tea tablescape, delicious artistry!

Interviewing co-owner, Chiara Bedini, who could easily be mistaken for one of the celebrities that patronize Babington's

Chiara showed us to our table in the front of the tea room and sat with us while we enjoyed Babington's afternoon tea fare and other tasty items on their menu. Our hostess is beautiful - with blonde hair that naturally flips up at her shoulder and frames her elegant features - and could easily be mistaken for some of the celebrities that patronize Babington's.  Chiara told us her grandfather was a director for MGM studios in Italy and she remembered playing with children of famous actors when she was young, including one that became a celebrity herself, Jamie Lee Curtis.

In the back of the tea room, where we met up with Rory, Chiara showed us the guest book where many of the rich and famous have penned their autograph.

Chiara with cousin and other co-owner, Rory Bruce

Chiara opens up the guest book where some of the  rich and famous visitors have signed in

We loved the tea room and its tea so much, we stocked up on some of Babington's signature blends, including Roman Holidays, a delicious mix of black teas with rose and vanilla.  We also came back later in the day with friends, Rik and Carol D., who were,  coincidentally, vacationing in Italy and  our stays overlapped by one day. What better way to spend the afternoon with buoni amici than having tea at Babington's?

Babington's in the morning for the interview, back with friends in the afternoon.

In a meta move this weekend, I took to my outdoor patio, where my souvenir "Via Margutta" sign hangs alongside our front gate, and enjoyed a cup of Roman Holidays while reading the Babington's article in Tea Time Magazine.

Meta morning, drinking Roman Holidays tea in my own Via Margutta patio

We hope you enjoy reading about Babington's as much as we did writing about it.

And, of course, there's LOT more to savor in this edition of Tea Time Magazine.

And, as always, Godetevi il tempo del tè miei buoni amici!


Unknown said...

Amazing, Here am I preparing a talk on Babington's Tea Room's and an Internet search brings up this page. However my talk will go back as far as the Babington Plot as Anna Mary Babington was a direct descendant. It concentrates on her Great Grandfathers Dr. William Babington and Benjamin Fayle. Dr William Babington has a statue of himself in St. Pauls Cathedral. Benjamin Fayle built South west england's first railway here in Purbeck at the time of the Battle of Trafalgar. Both were fellow members of the Geological Society with Sir Humphry Davy who used Dr. William Babington's home chemical laboratory for some of his early experiments. Those tea rooms owe something to Anna's Great Grandfathers wealth.

Barb's Tea Shop said...

Hello! This IS amazing!! Your talk sounds so interesting!! You are in Purbeck? My email is I would love to hear about your talk. Email me when you can! We found Babington's to be such a lovely tea room BUT the history was fantastic! We were just in England in May. We try to get "across the pond" every other year. Thanks so much for your comment! Great to hear from you!

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